Oracle Targeting Niche Applications

Oracle President Chuck Phillips says the company will look to replace proprietary software developed by corporations.

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NEW YORK -- Oracle is going after the market for in-house software development in an effort to replace corporations' proprietary systems and offer niche applications built on its middleware lines.

During a meeting with financial analysts Monday, Oracle President Chuck Phillips, citing stats from Forrester Research, said applications for smaller verticals represent approximately 38 percent of its available software market opportunity.

Phillips allowed that major enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, such as human resource management and supply chain management, have been lucrative for Oracle. But the market opportunities for in-house software development consist of vertical, line-of-business applications that help a company grow and scale.

''These areas are harder to get into, and the barriers to entry are higher but we like that because the investment can yield a higher return,'' he said.

''Right now, most of these areas are led by smaller companies, lots of niche companies,'' he continued. ''If we can come up 'willing to buy from you'... That's where the game will be played and the battle will be fought.''

The strategy underscores Oracle's efforts to make headway with its Fusion middleware products, which came in part from its acquisitions of technology from PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards.

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