Oracle Unveils Governance, Risk Management Tools

Promises to monitor compliance with rules such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act

Oracle Corp. has rolled out a new set of applications that it says can help IT managers implement corporate risk management and financial reporting compliance procedures.

The new Oracle Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) suite combines business intelligence capabilities in some Oracle-developed products with the compliance management and enterprise content management tools Oracle gained with its acquisition of Stellent Inc. last November, the company said.

Aaron Sager, manager of business systems at ViaSat Inc., a Carlsbad, Calif.-based provider of satellite and wireless communications equipment, said he intends to use the tools to better automate his company’s efforts to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

ViaSat currently uses the Oracle Internal Controls Manager in E-Business Suite 11i to ensure compliance with federal requirements for creating corporate financial controls, Sager explained. The company uses the Internal Controls Manager to support documentation and compliance procedures, he said.

Playing by the Rules

Sager said he hopes that the GRC Application Configuration Controls module can be used to establish a set of rules and then ensure that they are enforced. The tool promises to send out alerts if the rules are violated, he said.

For example, Sager said, ViaSat could have an accounts-payable policy for transactions dictating that a purchase order be within a predetermined percentage of the amount of the invoice. If someone were to change this policy, an alert would be sent to the appropriate employee and the change prevented, he explained.

ViaSat plans to start rolling out the new Oracle software later this year.

The Oracle GRC suite of tools expands considerably on the compliance support capabilities in the company’s E-Business Suite 11i software by supporting both Oracle and non-Oracle business applications, according to Folia Grace, vice president of applications marketing.

The suite, unveiled earlier this month, includes Oracle Fusion GRC Intelligence, which provides an out-of-the-box dashboard along with reporting capabilities.

It also includes the Oracle GRC Manager, which monitors business risks, automatically highlights potential weaknesses and initiates corrective actions.

In addition, the suite includes the Application Configuration Controls tool, which is designed to monitor 500 control processes in the Oracle E-Business Suite and help enforce corporate policies, the company said.

Michael Rasmussen, an analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc., said the new offering includes a comprehensive and sophisticated set of tools that support international reporting rules and complete risk-management processes.

All products in the GRC suite will be available later this year. Pricing starts at $995 per user.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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