Oracle Introduces New Governance, Risk and Compliance Applications

Oracle released two new applications for governance, risk and compliance: the Oracle Enterprise Governance, Risk, and Compliance Manager (Oracle Enterprise GRC Manager), and a new version of Oracle Enterprise Governance, Risk, and Compliance Controls (Oracle Enterprise GRC Controls). Oracle aims for the releases to help it create an end-to-end solution for its clients' GRC needs. While a number of Oracle's software releases throughout 2009 have focused on the midsize business market, the company continues to make inroads into the enterprise systems arena.

Oracle announced the release of Oracle Enterprise Governance, Risk, and Compliance Manager (Oracle Enterprise GRC Manager) and a new version of Oracle Enterprise Governance, Risk, and Compliance Controls (Oracle Enterprise GRC Controls) on Dec. 7. With the new releases designed to provide an end-to-end solution to organizations' GRC needs, Oracle aims to create a closed-loop approach to regulatory compliance, risk management and controls automation.

Oracle Enterprise GRC Manager, which is built on Oracle's Fusion Middleware 11g stack, allows administrators to embed accountabilities for risk management and control across an enterprise. By utilizing a single system, Oracle says, the Enterprise GRC Manager cuts down on overlapping tasks, as well as allowing independent risks and compliance initiatives to be more efficiently managed. In turn, this reduces the cost of auditing and governing change management processes on enterprise controls.

Oracle Enterprise GRC Controls monitor automated controls in enterprise applications, looking for violations and anomalies in transactions. The application includes new versions of Oracle Enterprise Transaction Controls Governor (Oracle Enterprise TCG), which leverages statistical logic to uncover suspect transactions, and Oracle Application Access Controls Governor (Oracle AACG), which graphically detects segregation-of-duties conflicts and advises on issues, remediation plans and potential impact.

"For many organizations, the greatest GRC challenge is creating a consolidated view of compliance, risk and internal controls," Chris Leone, group vice president of Oracle applications development, wrote in a statement tied to the release. "Oracle Governance, Risk, and Compliance application suite addresses this challenge by providing a complete, open, and integrated platform that provides the flexibility needed to efficiently and intelligently manage GRC programs."

While the economic recession forced many software companies to tighten their production pipeline in 2009, Oracle continued to release a variety of products at a fairly steady clip. On Sept. 22, Oracle announced the launch of new capabilities for midsize businesses through its Oracle Accelerate program, including new Accelerate Solutions, Oracle Business Accelerators, financing options and deployment methods.

Besides focusing on midsize businesses-a trend also embraced by competitors such as SAP-Oracle has maintained its traditional focus on the large enterprise market. Over the summer, Oracle introduced Fusion Middleware 11g, an upgrade to its middleware platform that added social networking, as well as layers of operational insight and automation.

In a boost to Oracle's attempts to offer its customers increasingly end-to-end systems, the company also moved in April to acquire Sun Microsystems, in a deal worth roughly $7.4 billion. That deal, which would allow Oracle to more fully use Java and Solaris in its products, is currently under scrutiny by antitrust officials-even as Sun continues to bleed cash at a rate of $100 million per month.

Oracle CEO and founder Larry Ellison told an audience at the Churchill Club in San Jose, Calif. on Sept. 21 that his company's goal is to beat IBM in the systems arena.

"We have a deep interest in the systems business," Ellison said. "We've already beaten IBM in software. Now we want to beat them in systems."