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Internal Strategy, Outsourced IT

Financial firms gain ROI through Oracle On Demand.

by Ann C. Logue
Market-leading companies pursue innovation through robust information technology, but a growing trend is for innovative firms to make their software vendor their strategic technology partner to get leading information technology. This saves the creativity of in-house IT personnel for developing resources that the operating units can apply for growth.

Oracle is clearly on the cutting edge of this trend. On Demand is Oracle's fastest-growing business, supporting 1.7 million users working for some 2,200 customers all over the world.

Find out how Equifax, a global provider of data, analytics and technology, The Warranty Group, which provides extended warranty programs offered by manufacturers, retailers, and distributors, and Genworth, which used to be known as GE Financial before it was spun out of General Electric in May 2004, made the transition to an outsourced model and got the benefits they hoped for—and more.

Businesses of all types get ahead by refining, testing, and experimenting with core competencies. Market-leading companies pursue innovation through robust information technology—but that doesn't mean they always handle the IT infrastructure themselves. Many companies form partnerships with their primary software vendor to provide software and software management services, saving the creativity of the in-house IT staff for developing resources that the operating units can apply for growth. According to Marc Schwarz, Oracle senior vice president for On Demand, "Increasingly, large enterprises are asking Oracle to assist them in increasing the value of their software assets by providing more business and industry insight. Having Oracle manage Oracle applications and technology offers compelling advantages nobody else can provide."

Cynthia Beath, professor emerita at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, says that outsourcing can improve how the IT staff supports the operating business. "It lets them focus on IT use throughout the firm, and it requires lots of relationships within the firm," she says. If anything, it enhances the ability of IT to improve operations. "You can't outsource strategy or governance," she says.

The On Demand Advantage

Oracle On Demand is Oracle's fastest-growing business, supporting 1.7 million users working for some 2,200 global customers. For information-intensive financial services companies, Oracle On Demand provides an alternative to traditional outsourcing that lets the customer concentrate on the strategy while Oracle handles the infrastructure and applications management at one price per user per month. Customers have variable-cost access to Oracle's software, automatic upgrades, embassy-level security, and ongoing systems maintenance.

"One of the issues organizations have had in the past when they deploy technology is that they don't really know what it costs them," says Anthony Lye, senior vice president of CRM On Demand at Oracle. "On Demand helps them lock in the budget and avoid overruns. They can roll it out very rapidly so they can keep up with the speed of business," he adds, generating productivity gains from the start. Schwarz also notes, "We're in this business to help customers establish end-to-end business processes and industry-specific capabilities, to capture the business benefits of service-oriented architectures, to maximize the value of our customers' investments in Oracle software. We are changing the game, increasing customers' return on investment while lowering their total cost of ownership by making it easier for them to align their business transformation initiatives so that they achieve results faster, with less risk."

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