Oracle updates Demantra software one year after purchase

Oracle has released the first major new version of its demand management software a year after acquiring the technology through the purchase of Demantra.

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Among its many acquisitions, Oracle has made two other forays into the linked areas of demand, supply and product management, with the November 2005 purchase of transportation management software vendor Global Logistics Technologies (G-Log) and the pending $495 m (£247 m) acquisition of product lifecycle management company Agile Software, due to close next month.

Key to all of these purchases is Oracle's aim to compete aggressively against its main rival SAP. In terms of Demantra's competitors, Chorley named SAP and a host of more niche players including i2, JDA, Logility and CAS. Oracle's acquisition strategy continues to be a mix of tight integration with its own applications while retaining links into third-party alternatives, he said.

Unlike the G-Log acquisition where Oracle rebranded the software it bought as Oracle Transportation Management, the vendor has so far opted to retain the Demantra name, which is a contraction of "Demand is our mantra." It's a decision the company may rethink in the future, Chorley said, adding, "We've been a little inconsistent on naming." While Demantra is a well-known brand, the danger of sticking with the name is that some customers may not realize that the software is well integrated with Oracle's software, he said.

Like its application competitors, Oracle is considering which of its many applications it would make sense to make available as hosted software. "We could do Demantra on-demand; it's certainly a possibility," Chorley said. Oracle could host the software or enable other companies to do so.

Oracle is likely to begin using Demantra internally, Chorley said. Tools like Demantra are becoming increasingly relevant to software and services vendors as they look to ensure that their demand and supply chains include customer feedback and meet regulatory standards.

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