Oracle president and CEO Larry Ellison said this week that his company would cut expenses by $US1 billion in the next 18 months, achieving savings by using the Internet to conduct more of its business.
Ellison spoke at an event in the US at which Oracle unveiled new products and upgrades targeted at increasing Oracle's focus on Internet business.
Oracle also said it has formed a partnership with Qwest Communications International in which Oracle will offer its Internet software applications for businesses over a high-speed network owned by Qwest.
Qwest is building a high-speed fiber optic network that will span more than 29,600kms when completed by mid-year. In addition, Qwest and KPN, a Dutch telecommunications company, have formed a venture to build and operate a European fiber optic, IP-based network that will reach 14,500kms when finished in 2001. Qwest also has nearly finished a 2240km network in Mexico.
Also, Oracle said it had upgraded FastForward, a package of applications, platforms and professional services to help companies develop Internet business capabilities. Since FastForward was released late last year, Oracle has added a series of programs to help companies move to online operations within 90 days.
The most recent program upgrades include FastForward Internet Procurement, which provides automated Web-based procurement for the acquisition of goods and services; and FastForward Process Manufacturing, which enables manufacturers to reduce cycle times and manage supply chains.
The products are a step towards significantly greater involvement by Oracle in Internet commerce, Ellison said.
"We are about to become the hottest business in town," Ellison said at a briefing at Oracle headquarters at Redwood Shores, California. He said his company would become a leader as a provider of applications helping businesses use the Internet.
"My wish is to increase development spending this year very substantially, while taking $US1 billion out of the company in expenses because we are now in e-business," Ellison said.
Ellison also faulted Oracle's recent management practices. "We probably haven't been managing our business as well as we should have and growing as fast as we should, but that is going to change now."