Oracle on defensive over "collapsed" egovernment application

Oracle has gone into damage limitation mode in India over complaints by a government official that an application built on Oracle software 'collapsed' and that the company had not responded to his pleas for assistance.

The complaints were made directly to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison at a public event when the software chief was launching an egovenrnment research and development centre. Madhya Pradesh Commercial Tax Commissioner Vishwapati Trivedi told Ellison that Oracle's software failed within two days of being installed in his department and the company did not respond to his complaints.

Ellison was clearly thrown by the complaint, but promised it would be investigated. In May 2002, the department of commercial taxes of the Madhya Pradesh government selected CMC Ltd to create an online commercial tax collection system. CMC was asked to provide a complete commercial taxes application solution, including hardware, network, application development and implementation services. The tax department's application was developed to run on an Oracle technology infrastructure.

In a statement issued after the embarassing question was raised, Oracle insisted that the situation was not typical. 'The Oracle technology being used by the Madhya Pradesh government has been successfully used by corporate and government customers all over the world to run systems with thousands of users and terabytes of data,' it said.

'Oracle has been in touch with the Madhya Pradesh tax department through CMC, the prime vendor for the contract. Oracle and CMC have taken the feedback of Trivedi and will continue to help the department to address its issues, irrespective of what has caused them. Both CMC and Oracle are in touch with the customer and are committed to working together to see this issue through to a satisfactory resolution.

'CMC, using Oracle software, has created large solutions in banking, freight management systems and e-governance, including commercial tax for other states. Oracle Corporation has more than 200,000 customers globally, including 6,200 organisations in India, using its software to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. In the government sector, Oracle has more than 2,000 customers worldwide,' it added.


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