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7/29/1999
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Oracle Details Plans For Business-To-Business Site

Oracle disclosed details yesterday on Oracle Exchange, ahosted business-to-business trading network it touts as the business-market equivalent of eBay, one of the largest consumer auction sites. The Oracle site, to debut by year's end, will run on data centers at Oracle's headquarters and provide a marketplace for enterprise suppliers and purchasers to buy and sell products and services.

Visitors will be able to access Oracle Exchange on the Web without special software--unlike most competing procurement sites, Oracle says. Exchange will be organized by vertical industry and offer both materials critical to production, such as manufacturing products, as well as nonproduction materials, such as office supplies. Purchases can be made via catalogs, spot buying from vendors, and auctions, using the buyer's preferred payment method.

Buyers and suppliers will be charged per transaction for using the exchange. While Oracle isn't ready to quote a price, CEO Larry Ellison says the fee will be low enough to attract the greatest number of users. "The key is to get the most buyers there, and the suppliers will come."

Offering wares on Exchange will be the 260 companies that currently compose the Oracle Supplier Network, including Office Depot, Dun & Bradstreet, Barnesandnoble.com, and Compaq. Exchange will be part of Oracle's move into the enterprise procurement market, where it competes with Ariba, CommerceOne, Clarus, and Aspect Development. Last November, Oracle introduced a suite of Internet self-service procurement applications that automate purchasing over the Web.

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