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War of words over Oracle software snags

Bangalore, Aug. 16: Oracle India claims to have the latest systems and management integration to solve the customers’ problem within a few hours.

However, even two months after Madhya Pradesh’s commercial tax commissioner Vishwapati Trivedi wrecked Oracle chief Larry Ellison’s first teleconference with an Indian audience with an embarrassing complaint about Oracle’s software and poor after-sales service, the glitches in the state’s e-governance project have yet to be sorted out.

As if this was not bad enough, CMC, the Tata-owned company responsible for maintaining the systems based on Oracle software, is demanding full payment since it has ‘stabilised 50 per cent of the work’.

Trivedi has again written to Ellison on Friday demanding to know what CMC had told Oracle about the core problem responsible for the repeated crash of the system worth Rs 9 crore that was installed by the commercial tax department of Madhya Pradesh.

Larry Ellison’s attempt to hardsell his company’s e-governance range of products in India received a jolt when the Madhya Pradesh government told the Oracle chief at his teleconference in June about his inability get the systems based on Oracle software to function.

The spokesperson for Oracle India Private Ltd said CMC had failed to install and perform the simulation of the software Oracle91AS (application server) and Oracle 91 Database. Hence, the problem.

S.S. Ghosh, managing director of CMC, had acknowledged the problem, but blamed Oracle for testing the new software at the end customer’s premises. “We have been examining the issue for the last three months, but we are yet to identify the problem. It is a new software that has been installed.”

This is contrary to the claims of the Oracle’s technical experts at its India Development Centre in Bangalore and Hyderabad who said that the end customer should not worry after installing their products and can focus on their core area of business.

Both the IDCs contribute to the core software development across the entire Oracle product family, including Oracle91 Database, Oracle 91 Application Server, Oracle Collaboration Suite and Oracle E-Business Suite.

Vivek Marla, head of Oracle Solution Services India, said, “The end customer should not be thinking about the product. We have a repository of solutions to the problems that are part of our feedback to the problems and do it yourself. This can be accessed by the service provider (read CMC) and the end customers.”

Trivedi is fuming. “Shekar Das Gupta (Oracle India chief) calls me every week to enquire about the progress. That’s all. I am yet to get a formal reason for the crash. CMC is now insisting that they have stabilised the system to handle operations on 200 terminals. But I have 450 terminals and paid for the operation of the same,” said Trivedi.

“CMC claims that it would not crash once the traffic increases. But they have not performed any simulation and are insisting that I should bring in more operation and pay up the remaining Rs 4 crore,” added Trivedi.

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