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Oracle, IBM team on business apps

Oracle announces a quick implementation program for midsize manufacturers using IBM hardware.

Oracle today announced a quick implementation program for midsize manufacturers using IBM hardware.

Through the program, IBM and Oracle will load and preconfigure Oracle's financial applications on IBM's Netfinity or RS/6000 servers for its manufacturing customers.

The service, called IBM's Smooth Implementation Services for Oracle Applications, targets both discrete manufacturers, such as auto makers or computer makers who build from parts, as well as process manufacturers, such as chemical manufacturers who use raw materials.

The new service is intended to help customers quickly implement Oracle applications that promise better control over inventory and supply-chain costs. The companies said the service can also help firms control their Year 2000 problem and provide a way to avoid lengthy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) projects.

Today's announcement builds on Redwood Shores, California-based Oracle's recent rollout of a new version of FastForward Manufacturing, which contains the company's financial and manufacturing software preconfigured to fit standard industry business practices.

Most of the enterprise application vendors like Oracle, as well as rivals PeopleSoft and market leader SAP are also offering similar quick-fix programs to capture new business. While these programs can get users' applications up-and-running quickly, analysts say some companies still end up needing more customized software to fit specific needs, so they turn to outsourcing.

The new Oracle/IBM service can be configured for 50, 75, and 100 users. Both offerings for discrete and process manufacturing include Oracle Financials, consisting of Oracle General Ledger, Oracle Payables, Oracle Assets, Oracle Purchasing, and Oracle Receivables.

On the process manufacturing side, Oracle offers software for inventory management, sales management, planning, production scheduling, and cost management. For discrete manufacturing, offerings include Oracle bill of material, capacity planning, cost management, engineering, inventory, work-in-progress tracking, and order entry.