Oracle rolled out on March 9 its Oracle Sourcing On Demand, a SAAS solution designed to make strategic sourcing, the process by which companies procure the best possible deals for the supplies they need to do business, more cost-effective and efficient.
The solution centers around a digital "workbench." Inputted data can potentially come from a variety of sources, including spreadsheets, purchase requisitions from a back-end system or information provided by users. Utilizing the solution's tools, the project goes through iterations until every user is satisfied; the output can take a number of forms, such as RFIs (requests for information) or RFQs (requests for quotation).
Say a large corporation wants to purchase 5,000 laptops as part of an annual laptop refresh. Several questions immediately come to mind about procuring such a massive amount of hardware: Do you need 5,000 of the same type of laptop? Do you buy the laptops directly, or through a reseller? How much would it cost per unit to upgrade?
Via Oracle Sourcing On Demand, the company's experts can start a new project, or "event," and then collaborate online over these questions. To help carry out any eventual decision, the software is integrated with procurement applications such as Oracle Purchasing. The software-as-a-service aspect means that organizations can access the program's abilities using a Web browser; Oracle Sourcing On Demand also comes with online tutoring and a dedicated help desk.
In addition, Oracle Sourcing On Demand is validated to meet SAS70 Type II and Sarbanes-Oxley Act requirements. The software is based on Oracle Sourcing and Oracle Sourcing Optimization, both of which are part of Oracle's E-Business Suite Release 12.
It will be priced at $850 per user, per month, with an initial start-up fee of $5,000.
"We're trying to give purchasing organizations the tools to take advantage of these pricing declines and to do it in a way that is very, very quick to get started," David Hope-Ross, senior director of procurement for Oracle, said in an interview. "We think the big buyers [of the solution] will be those involved in procurement."
Oracle has been expanding its product line over the past year, primarily via acquisition. After snatching up 11 companies in 2008, it has acquired one other company thus far in 2009: mValent, which provides configuration management solutions.