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It’s Web or bust, says Ellison

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The only way to buy Oracle software in one year’s time will be via the Net, according to the database giant’s CEO Larry Ellison. Software will be sold solely through the company’s on-line sales tool Oracle Store, he told the iDevelop 99 conference yesterday. He went on to predict that the company’s current pilot project, Business Online, would one day be bigger than Oracle itself. Ellison said: "In one year, the only way you will be able to purchase our software is through the Oracle Store…We want to be a total e-business company." The move to the Internet will cut costs by $500 million for Oracle. But this would be through chopping paperwork, not sales people, according to today’s TechWeb online news service. "We will be able to have more people on the street," said Ellison. Mark Byatt, marketing director at Oracle’s largest UK reseller Morse, said the announcement was not a threat. Byatt was unaware of Ellison’s speech, but commented: "If all Oracle channel partners have to buy software from the Internet, it won’t change things significantly.” "With regard to our customers, they will still buy from us because they want the value add." Yesterday’s conference was also told that Business Online was so popular that it was "having to fight off big customers." Designed to host Oracle and ISV applications and aimed at small companies, Ellison said demand was growing from larger businesses. Oracle has said in the past it may spin Business Online off as a separate company. ®

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