Oracle talks up Fortune 500 SaaS

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Juergen Rottler, Oracle's head of on-demand services, has publicly acknowledged the growing strength of the on-demand
and SaaS movements.

Asked whether there is an average size for on-demand customers for Oracle's own hosted services, he said" "It ranges from a few individuals to thousands of users. In general, our on-demand customers and the number of users are growing. We're seeing great interest among Fortune 100 companies. On-demand isn't just for small to midsize businesses."

Rottler said that, outside of the US, the strongest demand for hosted CRM and other services is in the UK, followed by Latin America and Australia, ahead of the rest of Europe.

Oracle chief Larry Ellison is a seed capital investor in two companies in the on-demand vanguard, Salesforce.com and NetSuite - but both those firms have racked up most interest at the low to mid-range ends of the market.

The database giant has long had an interest in the hosted ocmputing model, although this has differed from the SaaS model popularised by the likes of Salesforce.com. Netsuite is set to complete an IPO next year - which will present a challenge to Ellison in terms of how to capitalise on his investments.

Rottler told reporters at IDG in the US : "We believe [on-demand CRM] is a market worth developing to create a broader ecosystem. We're also a very important platform provider. Salesforce.com runs on our databases and middleware. They're a customer, NetSuite similarly.
We're in competition, but they're also customers of ours. We participate in the market in multiple ways.

"You will see us continue to raise the noise level a little," concluded Rottler."We've had a lot of other Oracle news to cover in the past quarters. On-demand is picking up; there's a lot of activity."

Oracle says that it has more than 1.7 million users of Oracle On Demand services across more than 2,200 companies. The 1.7 million figure includes subscriptions, managed applications, and software management consulting services. - which is different to claiming 1.7 million subscribers.

For the first quarter, ending August 31, Oracle reported $125 million in On Demand revenue, an increase of nearly 50 year on year. For the full year to 31 May 2006, On Demand accounted for $397 million out of total revenue of $14,380 billion.

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