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Oracle ships analysis toolset

The company rolls out analysis tools for its business applications package, the first results of CEO Larry Ellison's efforts in that division.

    Oracle today rolled out a series of analysis tools for its business applications package, the first results of chief executive Larry Ellison's stewardship of the company's sluggish applications division.

    Oracle announced the Business Intelligence System (BIS) 1.0, a set of 20 client-side tools for analyzing business performance in a number of areas such as financial management, human resources, manufacturing, sales, marketing, and customer service, according to a company representative.

    As earlier reported, the BIS tools run in Web browsers and are intended to be installed on corporate intranets, the company said. No pricing was announced.

    The BIS announcement came the same day the company introduced Oracle Applications Release 11. The new release of Oracle Applications includes enhanced Web tools, multilingual features, and added supply-chain and front-office capabilities like the BIS.

    BIS is the first product to come out of the harried applications unit since Ellison reshuffled it in March in an attempt to boost sales at the slumping division.

    The Oracle chief debuted the new product today at the Oracle Applications User Group Conference in San Diego.

    The product is based on the Oracle database and applications scheme. It also consists of Oracle Developer/2000 and Reports 3.0, so anyone familiar with Oracle development tools can customize BIS for their own business needs, according to the company.

    A number of analysts compared the new Oracle tool to SAP's Business Information Warehouse, a data analysis tool for the German company's R/3 enterprise application package.

    Along with SAP, Oracle also competes with Baan and PeopleSoft in the global ERP systems market.

    In March, Oracle said it was reorganizing its applications division in an attempt to boost sales. The division was broken into two separate pieces--"back office" and "front office"--creating a separate development group in the process.

    Ellison reportedly drove the reorganization and indicated that he would become more directly involved in the unit after a poor showing recently in the applications business.

    Oracle reported two months ago that its applications licensing business missed its 50 percent annual growth projection, rising 35 percent in the Americas and 30 percent overall. It marked the second consecutive quarter that the business disappointed Wall Street, falling far short of its near triple-digit growth earlier in the fiscal year.