Oracle and Vodafone in enterprise pact


23 Oct 2003

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Enterprise software giant Oracle and Vodafone, one of the world’s largest mobile network operators, have entered into a deal to bring mobile applications based on Oracle’s 10g grid technology to a variety of vertical industries.

The deal comes hot on the heels of a similar R&D-focused alliance announced yesterday between Oracle and data systems manufacturer Fujitsu Siemens, that will include joint development and cross-licensing of middleware software as well as joint marketing and sales.

Oracle and Vodafone plan to develop applications jointly for businesses to offer field workers, ranging from sales staff to service engineers, mobile access to key business systems.

The two companies plan to market and support new applications jointly to the healthcare, government, utilities and media industries. A number of pilot rollouts are already under way in these industry vertical markets.

One example of a joint application between Oracle and Vodafone is that of Scottish Water, which plans to connect its call centres with field engineers across Scotland to allow on the spot scheduling of service calls through Oracle TeleService and Oracle Field Service applications. Other companies, including Equity Technology in Sweden, ID Systeme, Franhofer and Damstadt Echo in Germany have signed up for the Oracle 10g proposition with Vodafone.

“Mobility is becoming critical for the enterprise market,” said Sergio Giacoletto, executive vice president, Oracle EMEA. “The workforce is becoming increasingly mobile and, to remain productive, employees need instant access to relevant, accurate and up-to-date corporate information. Working with Vodafone, we can provide this as a global proposition, starting today with functions already available.”

Oracle’s 10g technology will enable enterprises to operate all their various server systems as one, with equitable load balancing taking place across the entire corporate network. The new technology combined with Vodafone’s network services will enable developers to easily and quickly create and extend current and future Oracle-based applications that can be accessible by mobile devices.

As well as providing the mobile-enabling middleware, Oracle has also provided mobile access to Oracle Collaboration Suite, with tools such as e-mail, calendar, voicemail, faxes and files; as well as key aspects of the Oracle E-Business Suite and its integrated set of business applications.

“Increasing productivity through mobilising software applications is one of the key growth opportunities for Vodafone,” said Peter Bamford, group marketing officer at Vodafone Group. “We are pleased to be working with Oracle as one of our partners in addressing this opportunity. Oracle has a strong mobile technology foundation and extensive portfolio of applications that enable mobile access to back end systems. With this joint proposition we have been able to reduce complexity, with an end-to-end solution based on open standards.”

“Mobile workforces equipped with real-time access to relevant company information can do their jobs more efficiently and effectively, offering better customer service,” he continued. “This improves business profitability and customer loyalty, which are important goals in today’s competitive marketplace. Vodafone will be promoting this as part of its enterprise business proposition,” Bamford said.

By John Kennedy