Oracle to Make New Push for Government Business

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Oracle is planning to launch iGovernment, a product initiative aimed at the public sector, at its OpenWorld conference in San Francisco next week.

Oracle describes iGovernment as a combination of the vendor's database, middleware and application technology meant to replace siloed, custom-built software systems with ones based on SOA (service-oriented architecture).

SOA pulls applications together from multiple, sometimes shared components, which in theory provides IT departments flexibility and the opportunity for reuse. An iGovernment data sheet talks about how governments can use the technology to share services not only within their organizations but with other agencies and governments.

Executives plan to describe iGovernment in greater depth on Tuesday during several sessions at OpenWorld.

The plan makes sense from a business perspective because government IT is one of the most lucrative sectors for software vendors, even when the economy flags, said Forrester Research analyst Ray Wang: "There's a lot of legacy stuff to upgrade, that's really driving the spend."

"I think it's different in the sense that what they're able to do right now is all piecemeal," Wang added. "Putting a real focus on it is different."

But it's not clear how Oracle has advanced the basic proposition of SOA for the government audience, such as through new process integration packs that help tie products together, or changes in how the software is sold, Wang said.

An Oracle spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Following OpenWorld, Oracle intends to reveal more about its plans during a Webcast series set to begin Dec. 3.

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