I've written quite a bit in the last few months about SAP's efforts to win SMBs and its problems with Business ByDesign, the product it created for that audience. But it's been almost a year since I've said much about rival Oracle's approach to the SMB market.
Analysts including Forrester Research's Ray Wang and Ovum's Warren Wilson speak favorably about Accelerate in a recent Network World article. One of the keys, says Wilson, is that Oracle appears to grasp that the SMB market is really "a vast collection of sub-markets" rather than a heterogenous sample.
Tony Kender, the Oracle executive who leads the Accelerate program, says Oracle offers pre-configured, automated tools and methodologies based on more than 1,200 "business flows" specific to customers in a targeted vertical such as health care or oil. Its partners also develop applications for industry sub-segments like chemicals, logistics and electronics contract manufacturing.
This targeted approach appears to be working pretty well. According to the article, more than 120 Accelerate solutions are sold in 18 countries, with another 200 in development. Another interesting stat: Two-thirds of Oracle's business applications customers, or 24,000 companies, are SMBs, which Oracle defines as those with less than $500 million in annual revenues.