Eye on Oracle

Apr 8 2009   2:34PM GMT

Oracle still interested in planes, trains and automobiles

Shayna Garlick Shayna Garlick Profile: Shayna Garlick

As the owner of one of the world’s largest yachts and an avid racer, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison can probably handle his boat in just about any fleet.

Now, his company has released an application to help its customers do the same — in a slightly different way. Oracle Fleet Management, a component of Oracle’s newly released Oracle Transportation Management 6.0, will help users manage fleet and common carrier networks through a single platform. The tool can be used for all kinds of private fleets, including trucks, trailers and ocean freighters.

Oracle Transportation Management 6.0, announced Tuesday, is the latest update to Oracle’s global transformation management system. Oracle Transportation Management, part of the Oracle E-Business Suite, integrates and streamlines transportation planning, execution, payment and process automation in a single application across all modes of transportation, according to Oracle.

In the first major update to the management system in nearly three years, version 6.0 allows users  to manage transportation by third parties.  In an eWeek article, Derek Gittoes, vice president of Logistics Product Strategy for Oracle, says that manufacturers will be able to manage both their own drivers and those of third-party fleets  reportedly a first in the commercial software market. This release is also reportedly the first in the industry that combines shipment and asset-centric transportation solutions.

But will customers want to invest in this technology in the down economy?

According to Oracle, version 6.0 should actually help customers save on transportation and fleet management costs. The tools will reduce fuel costs, support sustainability, and measure and control financial performance, according to the company.

This isn’t the first time  Oracle has used the recession to invest in niche markets or offer enterprise businesses cost effective solutions. In February, for example, it released two new risk management applications, which Oracle believes will prove  cost effective for users  in the down economy. The software giant also continues to invest in eSourcing tools — including its newly released Oracle Sourcing on Demand — which helps  IT shops to save money by negotiating online with suppliers.

How has the recession affected your Oracle-related spending? Have you been able to take advantage of any of these supposedly cost effective tools?

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