Last night, Oracle released Business Indicators on iTunes. It is a free client for the iPhone that provides top level information from business intelligence applications. Oracle is trying to appeal to a broad range of business users and claims the following examples: "Contact center managers can monitor call volume to determine proper staffing levels in order to provide superior service to their customers. Also, customer fulfillment managers concerned about a significant spike in customer demand for a product can monitor the available quantity to fulfill new orders."
The client requires Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Plus (OBIEE) or Oracle Business Intelligence Applications, Fusion Edition. For the security conscious, the client supports SSL encryption.
In the next release Oracle says it will support approval processes such as expenses or new hires. In the future, Oracle says it will deliver CRM application support such as lead management.
In the past, I've been quick to critique Oracle for its concentration on maintenance rather than break through innovation. On this occasion it is hard to fault the company for piggy backing on a platform that is getting plenty of attention. Even better that it is offered as a free download. As an aside, when I recently attended an Oracle event, I was surprised at how many of its people were toting the iPhone. As a cool sales tool, it's easy to imagine Oracle bag carriers wowing prospective customers. Provided of course, they are prepared to pay the iPhone communications tax and don't find the app sucks battery power too badly.