Oracle Corp. is turning to mid-market customers as a source of new business with a low-price edition of its application server pitched against BEA Systems Inc, IBM and Microsoft.
The company will next month launch Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One, comprising a Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) container, portal, integration, business intelligence and identity management software for machines running two CPUs.
Standard Edition One, to be launched at Oracle OpenWorld in London, UK, will be priced $5,000 per CPU compared to $20,000 for the enterprise edition of Oracle’s application server.
Pricing, brand and strategy follow Standard Edition One of Oracle’s database launched in October 2003, priced $4,999 per CPU across two processors.
Oracle is squaring up to Microsoft Corp. in the Small and Medium Business (SMB) market where, it believes, other J2EE vendors – including IBM Corp. which has been targeting the mid-market customers with an Express line of products such as DB2 and WebSphere application server – have failed, or are failing to execute.
Oracle Application Server Standard Edition will also be used by Oracle to up-sell customers into the company’s other applications.
Senior vice president, Thomas Kurian, said: IBM is turning into that [SMB] space with Express, but has a long way to go. BEA is still highly priced and has no channel.
Microsoft is the primary player, but only available on Windows, not Linux – people want that [Linux] because it’s free and open, Kurian told financial analysts during a strategy briefing late last week.
You can build your extranets, internet applications and corporate portals using Standard Edition One. Coupled with the database, it will allow you to have the functionality of [Microsoft] SQL Server and Small Business Sever but with many, many more capabilities for information management and scalability, Kurian said.
He noted Oracle is doubling its number of direct sales staff whilst also increasing their degree of specialization. Individuals will sell business intelligence, identity management and J2EE, rather than focusing on selling just the application server.