September 15, 1998 12:30 PM PDT

Oracle details outsourcing plan

Oracle is jumping into the outsourcing business with both feet.

The database software giant plans to launch an outsourcing service, called Oracle Business Online, within the next few weeks, according to Mark Jarvis, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Oracle.

As previously reported by CNET, Business Online is intended to be an outsourcing service for small and medium-sized businesses that do not want to handle their computing needs in-house.

Jarvis said the service will offer hosting of business applications based on Oracle's Applications software, plus hosting of third-party applications built atop the company's database software.

In addition to hosting applications, Oracle will also sell specific computing services, such as human resource outsourcing, to companies, Jarvis said.

Oracle is committing substantial resources to the project, such as the construction of a new data center to house Business Online hosting systems, Jarvis said.

The service will also be a showcase for Oracle's new 8i database, announced yesterday in New York. Oracle said the new database, which includes an integral file system for storing and managing word processing, spreadsheet, and email files, lets developers quickly assemble Web-based applications centralized on one or more servers.

Jarvis said Oracle will tune its enterprise resource planning applications to work with Oracle 8i in the coming months.

The company is in the process of finalizing deals with both independent software vendors that will offer applications via the service, and with initial Oracle Online customers, Jarvis said.


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