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Oracle automates office shopping

The company unveils Web-based software that lets firms automate their buying, targeting firms with revenue of more than $50 million.

Oracle is getting into the catalog business.

But don't check your mailbox for the fall collection of databases. The Redwood Shores, California-based software giant is integrating procurement catalogues into its business software.

Oracle unveiled today its Oracle Strategic Procurement module, a Web-based application which helps companies acquire goods and services at the lowest total cost by automating the entire purchasing life cycle from planning to procurement to payment, the company said.

"This is about anything a company buys that doesn't go into the products that you then sell to your customers," said Vance Checketts, group manager of applications development for Oracle.

The product is targeted at companies with more than $50 million in revenue. The software helps automate processes such as finding the biggest opportunities to save money, lets workers buy supplies over the Internet from preapproved catalogs and contracts, automates purchase approvals, and streamlines the process from order creation, to routing and receiving.

Like the rest of Oracle's new generation of software applications, it is completely Web-based, so no software needs to be installed on a user's personal computer.

Oracle is hooking up with Boulder, Colorado-based Requisite Technology, for the cataloging portion of the software. Requisite makes electronic cataloging technology and provides catalog management services. Oracle has acquired the license to embed Requisite's electronic search capabilities for products and services into the new procurement module.

"After reviewing our alternatives, we concluded that Requisite had the core catalog technologies and content expertise essential to successful Internet procurement initiatives," said Ron Wohl, senior vice president of applications development. "Oracle will leverage the Requisite technology to provide our customers with access to the products they need, from paper clips to industrial motors, all from their Web browser."

Pricing was not disclosed. The software will be bundled with other Oracle software and can be sold alone.

Reuters contributed to this report.