Oracle, Cap Gemini Extend Tech Pact

Technology consultancy Cap Gemini Ernst & Young International B.V. (CGE&Y) Thursday said it has extended its deal with Oracle, agreeing to pair its technology expertise with Oracle’s application server, Oracle9i for customers.

The news is a coup for Oracle, which is looking to pry application server market share from market leaders IBM and BEA Systems.

CGE&Y’s Paris-based unit said it would team with Redwood Shores, Calif.’s Oracle to develop joint products, demo centers and step up sales and marketing efforts over the next two years. CGEY, which competes with Accenture and BearingPoint, offers management and technology consulting; systems transformation; outsourcing and local professional services.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the specifics of the pact call for the creation of 13 CGE&Y Demo Center locations around the world that will showcase Oracle9i Application Server and Oracle9i Database software. These will be staffed by both companies.

The two companies will also design and develop industry and horizontal solutions that yield return-on-investment for our customers, including dedicated teams mobilized to deliver Oracle9i technology solutions in each major geography. CGE&Y will train hundreds of its consultants on Oracle9iAS, as well as deploy Oracle9iAS and Oracle9i Database to their customers.

Steve Garone, chief analyst and managing partner, The AlignIT Group, said the deepening of their existing deal should offer great value to CIOs and other IT decision makers.

“Both firms possess a strong focus on architecturally-driven solutions, and their combined expertise should yield significant TCO and ROI advantages for their customers,” Garone said.

The deal solidifies CGEY’s faith in Oracle as a quality provider of application server software, a field in which Oracle is competing fiercely for market share versus traditional leaders IBM and BEA. Oracle9i application server powers applications for portals, business intelligence and integration, and works well with Oracle’s database, which is the firm’s bread-and-butter data management software.

Oracle chose to highlight the competitive win over rival IBM. “Together, we are providing a compelling alternative to IBM proprietary solutions and delivering to customers solutions that benefit from the industry’s most integrated, reliable and secure application server platform,” said Thomas Kurian, senior vice president, Oracle9i Application Server Development.

Firms with international appeal such as CGE&Y are considered quality customers by infrastructure software providers such as IBM, BEA and Oracle because they bring their services, along with their preferred infrastructure partner, to more broad audiences in the a variety of industries.

And firms such as CGE&Y often mix-and-match the technology they choose from software vendors. For example, CGE&Y’s U.S. arm chose BEA as its preferred partner for business integration software, a field generally dominated by IBM, webMethods and Tibco.