Oracle is introducing a “special edition” of its electronic-business suite, targeting European companies with between 100 and 500 employees and sales of as much as USD $250 million. With around 200,000 such companies in Europe, the market has drawn increasing attention from big software players, which are seeking to boost revenue amid slumping information-technology spending.
The “special edition” software package is the core of Oracle’s e-business suite, which is targeted at larger companies. The new edition of the suite allows small companies to manage financials, inventories, purchasing, and sales orders.
At a price tag of about $100,000 (100,060), it is a major move for companies of this size. But Oracle does have an advantage over SAP and Microsoft. Its SME software product will be available immediately in 13 European countries from Poland to the U.K. SAP, for instance, only recently launched the German version of its Business One product, with other country versions yet to come. But the ultimate key to winning this market is how companies develop and motivate their sales networks, said Mr. Montgomery.
Because the market is so scattered, sales to big software players are feasible only through networks of local resellers. And none of the big players have shown they have this aspect totally under control, said Mr. Nigel Montgomery of AMR Research.
The USD 100K pricepoint is still too large for SMEs in countries outside of Europe, US and Japan. That is where our opportunity lies. What is interesting about Oracle’s move is that it is making the same enterprise software suite that it sells to large organisations available to the SME segment on a hosted service model.