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Web work is one unit at Oracle

Oracle announces it is reorganizing its Web-based applications divisions into a single unit.

Oracle (ORCL) is reorganizing its Web-based applications divisions into a single unit, the company has announced.

The revamped Application Server division, headed by senior vice president Beatriz Infante, will handle Oracle's Internet commerce, messaging, collaboration, and directory services and will be responsible for developing and marketing Web Application Server, Internet Commerce Server, and the InterOffice product lines, the company said.

Oracle is positioning the reorganization, which cost former InterOffice marketing chief Joe Duncan his job, as putting the server side of its network computing initiative in one division and challenging Microsoft's BackOffice and server-related technologies.

In trademark Oracle bluster, company executives said the move further strengthens the company's lead over Microsoft in handling enterprise-scale applications. According to Infante, "Microsoft today cannot deliver transactions on the Web or run Java in a server--and we can do that in NT today in production. We can deploy technology that Microsoft is only dreaming about."

The move reflects Oracle's effort to combine complimentary e-commerce software, transactions, workflow, collaboration, and email applications.

"This pulls together a really complete solutions platform and creates opportunities for additional product development," Infante said. She noted that Oracle messaging and collaboration software is based on its database technology, differentiating it from collaboration software from Lotus, Microsoft, and others.

Analysts see the move as an attempt to boost sluggish InterOffice sales. The groupware package competes against entrenched competitors such as Lotus Notes and Domino, and Microsoft Exchange. A combined package which bundles InterOffice with the Web Application Server and database server could potentially hold more appeal to corporate buyers.

Next month Oracle will announce new Intranet and extranet applications for its Web Application Server. It also intends to enhance its Internet Commerce Server to handle up to 3,000 Web storefronts.