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Oracle ready to save the mobile industry by reducing costs

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Brandishing its newly-discovered motto: "We're customer-centric", giant software company Oracle is making an all-out bid to take over the running of the world's mobile phone operators, by pulling all their multiple applications into a single stack.

The company called a press conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, to announce its support for the European Commission's i2010 strategy. "Oracle welcomes this phase, and actively encourages companies and telecommunications providers to establish a single European Information Space for an open, competitive and content rich market for electronic communications, media, and content," said Sergio Giacoletto, exec VP of the EMEA region.

The impressive phrases aren't all hot air.

The bit that probably is hot air, is the "customer-centric" tag - which was not one which commentators felt any need to take seriously, and as Ovum consultant Dave Mitchell put it: "Until they can measure the performance of their consultants and reward them for customer-centric behaviour, Oracle managers can be sure there won't be any behaviour like that - and they have yet to show any evidence of doing any such measurement or incentivising."

But the claim to be able to provide support for all aspects of mobile operator software operations is probably well founded.

"When it comes to moving to a customer-centred view of the network, mobile operators we have talked to for our report on the mobile industry in 2010 all agree that they will have to become ICT 'consultants' by then," commented Pim Bilderbeek of IDG.

He supports Oracle's claim that all an operator's IT functions had to become integrated, without "stovepipes" or separate vertical operations. He singled out TeliaSonera as "the first New Telco" capable of moving into this new age - TeliaSonera being a major Oracle software user.

Oracle also wheeled out another operator, Rudy Verlinden of Telenet NV in Belgium, who preached the same gospel, claiming that it had transformed his operation by building an integrated telecom solution between Field Service and Project Accounting.

"New products can be conceived and implemented in an afternoon, literally," said Bilderbeek, "once you have an integrated platform. Otherwise it can take seven to seventeen months to put all the support services in place to roll a competitive idea out."

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