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Oracle tool shoots for decent proposals

The new software helps create sales proposals and will be part of the company's Oracle Sales application, which it is refreshing and plans to announce next week.

Oracle next week plans to unveil an update to its sales force productivity applications, featuring an added component that helps create sales proposals.

Oracle Proposals, due to ship with Oracle Sales 11.5.9, is designed to help companies generate customized sales proposals for potential customers, according to an Oracle representative. The application will track the result of each proposal, allowing the user to measure its effectiveness, she added.

The new version of Oracle Sales will also update the application's other components, including programs for telemarketing, quoting prices and tracking commissions, the company said.

Oracle Sales is part of the company's set of customer relationship management (CRM) applications, which compete with software from Siebel Systems, SAP and PeopleSoft. The once-booming market for CRM software has sharply declined over the past two years as companies have cut information technology investments amid a weak economy. A rash of reports questioning the benefits of CRM applications have not helped the market recover.

Oracle has struggled to grow its application business, which sells programs for accounting, manufacturing and human resources in addition to CRM. The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company once touted its applications division as the future growth engine of the company, which relies mostly on sales of its database management software. Though Oracle predicted that the division would rebound this year, evidence of a marked improvement has yet to materialize.

Oracle representatives did not disclose a ship date for the new version of Oracle Sales.