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Oracle offers a quick-fix that fits

The Redwood Shores, California-based software vendor announces a new version of its quick implementation program for small to midsized manufacturers.

    Oracle is getting lean and fast to lure medium manufacturers.

    The Redwood Shores, California-based software vendor announced today a new version of its quick implementation program for small to midsized manufacturers.

    Oracle FastForward Manufacturing contains Oracle's financial and manufacturing software preconfigured to fit standard industry business practices. It also incorporates services and training as well as support.

    Most of the enterprise application vendors like Oracle, as well as rivals PeopleSoft and market leader SAP, offer these quick-fix programs to lure clients. While the programs can get users' applications up-and-running quickly, most analysts agree that companies wanting to tailor the software to fit specific needs will need more than the programs offer.

    "The problem with these kind of [programs] is you get a generic system and not just the hardware and software platforms, but the actual functionality," said Joshua Greenbaum, analyst at Enterprise Application Consulting in Berkeley, California. "That is a good stop-gap measure but it is not going to give you a strategic advantage. You would want to go back and do more."

    Greenbaum said these programs can help give users a quick fix to such things as a Year 2000 problem or take the pain out of a lengthy software implementation project. But, he added that most companies will either want to go back and customize the software or opt to outsource the whole shebang to their vendor, another program most of the ERP players are starting to offer.

    Oracle is offering the Year 2000 compliant package at a fixed rate and promises implementation in 90 days or less.