Oracle partners with slew of firms

The company inks 20 strategic partnerships with Web services firms and consultancies.

Business software giant Oracle is making new friends in the consulting world.

The Redwood Shores, California-based company today announced a number of partnerships with up-and-coming Internet services companies.

Oracle has inked 20 strategic partnerships with Web services firms and consultancies, including Agency.Com, AnswerThink Consulting Group, iXL, Sapient, US Interactive, and Viant, the company announced at Oracle OpenWorld, a company sponsored customer conference which kicked off yesterday in Los Angeles.

Oracle said it will work with the various firms to sell software and services to companies planning e-commerce ventures. Sapient, for example, said through its alliance with Oracle it will provide consulting in the areas of digital business strategy and e-business, as well as creative and technology implementation services coupled with Oracle's e-business applications and tools, including its database and application server software, and business application products.

Business for this group of Internet services and consulting firms has been rapidly increasing in recent months as more companies expand their businesses onto the Internet. Overall, smaller Web services companies have been gaining attention from Wall Street as some of them begin to turn profits more quickly than expected.

Internet services spending is expected to grow from $12.9 billion this year to $78.6 billion in 2003, according to market research firm International Data Corp.