The Redwood Shores, California-based software vendor is sponsoring an event September 23 in New York to discuss the upcoming information technology ramifications of Europe's pending switch to a common currency.
Any corporation doing business in Europe or with a presence there will need to deal in the new currency. The $8 billion European common market is set to go into affect January 1, 1999, with a three-year transition period to follow that will require companies to handle two currencies at once.
"The Euro's introduction will require changes to a company's pricing, distribution, marketing, manufacturing, and operational systems, and it will require companies to operate a number of base currencies simultaneously," said Sarwar Kashmeri, Euro transition expert and founder of a conference series on the topic.
The conference will feature presentations by Sir Leon Brittan, trade commissioner and vice president of the European Commission, and Paul Volcker, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board.
Oracle began making its application line able to handle the pending currency change beginning with Release 10.7, but Release 11 has been enhanced to handle many more functions such as handling the Euro and local currency simultaneously, and the ability to convert one national currency to another using triangulation. The financial application in Release 11 also allows users to keep their books in both local and European currencies. Oracle also launched a Web site dedicated to Euro issues.
"The magnitude of the Euro transition's impact is greater than that of the Year 2000 problem," said John Wookey, vice president of Oracle's financials application division. "And it's not just European companies that are affected. Anyone who wishes to compete in the new Europe must understand the business implications surrounding the introduction of the Euro."
Wookey added that companies should also be aware that this issue is not just a technology fix and that "companies will have to make major business decisions about how and when they will transition their operations."
In other Oracle news, the firm also announced a product line geared toward the digital broadcast and interactive television markets.
The announcement was made at the International Broadcasters' Conference in Amsterdam. The product line is a combination of partner's products and Oracle's own products such as its video server, Oracle8 database, and applications server, as well as its services and consulting division.