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Oracle, HP to unveil business software pact

Oracle and Hewlett-Packard are set to announce a plan tomorrow to jointly develop and sell Web-based customer relationship management software.

Oracle and Hewlett-Packard tomorrow are expected to announce a plan to jointly develop Web-based software that helps businesses manage sales and marketing services.

HP's newly appointed chief executive Carly Fiorina and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison are set to announce details of the customer relationship management (CRM) systems alliance at a joint press conference tomorrow at HP's corporate offices in Palo Alto, California. This will mark Fiorina's first news announcement since her executive appointment in July.

CRM software--sold by Oracle, Siebel Systems, Clarify, Vantive, and others--helps businesses manage complex sales, marketing, and customer service functions.

Though details of tomorrow's announcement are vague, Oracle has been aggressively moving forward with its CRM strategy, trying to catch up to market leader Siebel Systems.

As part of the agreement, HP will sell Oracle's CRM software, according to a report by Reuters.

The market for CRM software is projected to reach about $11 billion in 2003 from $1.9 billion in 1998, according to research by International Data Corporation.

HP and Oracle have partnered in a number of areas in the past, including bundling Oracle's database software with HP's servers for data warehousing, and on other e-commerce technology projects.

Last month, the two companies announced a joint program to develop and use HP's e-speak technology. Under the agreement, Oracle's 8i database software will be able to use HP's e-speak technology, which HP describes as a way to automate business transactions on the Internet.

Reuters contributed to this report.