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Signs £1.6m Deal For Oracle As Database Standard

Eastern Group plc, Eastern Electricity's parent company, has selected the
Oracle database with 1,000 concurrent user licences in a deal worth £1.6m.
The new database replaces Eastern's existing Ingres database as the company
readies itself for industry de-regulation in early 1998.

"The database is mission-critical and will be at the core of our 500 user,
UNIX-based, customer call-handling system, codenamed Respond. This is due
to go live at the end of this year," said Roger Coote, service delivery
manager, Eastern Electricity. "As one of the largest of the twelve regional
electricity companies, we are an industry leader, so we need to be sure
that we are more than ready for the increased competition de-regulation
will bring. To do this we need our suppliers to have the right vision for
the future, which is why we chose Oracle."

As well as the Respond system, Oracle will underpin a range of
applications, across all departments, being implemented in the run-up to
April 1998. As Eastern does not develop its aplications in-house, the
greater choice of applications and third party developers available on
Oracle was a major factor in the decision.

"The Utilities sector is a very important part of Oracle's business, and I
am delighted that Eastern has chosen Oracle as its database standard at
such a critical time and for such a critical application," said James
Metcalf, regional director, Utilities, Oracle UK. "As the electricity
utilities get ready for de-regulation next year, many of them are
standardising on Oracle to underpin their operations."

Eastern Electricity is based in Ipswich and is part of Eastern Group plc
which supplies and distributes electricity to around three million
domestic customers.

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