Oracle To Provide A Financial Dashboard

An upgrade to Oracle's hosted small business applications will give diminutive businesses a similar executive view into finances that the enterprise suite does.

NetLedger Inc., the developer that supplies the technology for Oracle Corp.s hosted small and mid-sized business applications, will announce on Monday the 7.7 version of the Oracle Small Business Suite.

The upgrade is a one-feature release, but its a good one, according to NetLedger CEO Evan Goldberg.

SBS 7.7s Executive Dashboard, to be unveiled at Oracles AppsWorld user conference in San Diego next week, is a configurable dashboard that provides executives with real-time metrics regarding their company.

Some metrics were available previously on the homepage of Oracles Small Business Suite. But with the latest upgrades, the dashboard has been broken out separately.

The Executive Dashboard is Oracles small business version of the Daily Business Close feature in its full-scale E-Business Suite for large enterprises, Goldberg said. Daily Business Close was announced last quarter as a way for enterprises to capture daily financial highlights, though specifics of that product have not been released. The Dashboard for small and mid-sized businesses features Snapshots at the desktop that provide real-time information on a given area. For example, a chief financial officer can chose to have the top five sales reps in the company displayed alongside daily bank balances, top expenses and open business deals.

The SBS 7.7 also provides graphical charts – a top five or top ten list of items that the user can chose to view from a list of 15 metrics. Users can create custom searches of any data thats in the system, and have that information displayed on the homepage as a Snapshot. Comparative Snapshots is a new feature that allows users to compare last months numbers – sales by region, for example – to current numbers.

Dashboard information can be sent to users via email, for frequent updates while on the road. Specific circumstances can be highlighted, for example if payables go over a certain amount.

"What it really comes down to is when I log on I get an overview of my day," said Goldberg, in Redwood Shores, Calif. "I get my schedule, a to-do list and an overview of whats happening in my company – the numbers and charts that give me a real good idea of where I stand."

Pricing for Oracles SBS 7.7 starts at $1,200 for a single user, for a year, with $600 for each additional user. There is a separate fee for telephone support – e-mail is still free – which is $300 per year, plus 25 percent of subscription fees.

"Were getting a little overloaded by people using telephone support quite liberally," said Goldberg.