Ellison: Oracle to save $1B on the Net

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Oracle Corp. President and CEO Larry Ellison said yesterday his company would cut expenses by $1 billion in the next 18 months, achieving savings by using the Internet to conduct more of its business.

Ellison spoke at an event today 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 Inc. 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 18,500 miles when completed midyear. In addition, Qwest and KPN, a Dutch telecommunications company, have formed a venture to build and operate a European network that will reach 9,100 miles when finished in 2001. And Qwest has nearly finished a 1,400-mile network in Mexico.

Oracle also 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, and FastForward Process Manufacturing, designed to help manufacturers reduce cycle times and manage supply chains.

The products are a step towards significantly greater involvement by Oracle in Internet commerce, Ellison said at a briefing at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif.

"My wish is to increase development spending this year very substantially, while taking $1 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."

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