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Oracle Anointed Strategic Provider by Guardian Life

The Guardian Life Insurance Co. has taken its relationship with Oracle to a new level, naming the software and database technology vendor as a strategic technology provider

The Guardian Life Insurance Co. (New York) has taken its relationship with Oracle (Redwood Shores, CA) to a new level, naming the software and database technology vendor as a strategic technology provider.

The Guardian, which currently uses Oracle for a data warehouse application, will profit from the expanded commitment to the vendor's technology by gaining better control over the management of projects and their associated costs, according to Phil Felice, The Guardian's CTO. "The heightened relationship flows from the needs of a particular application. Oracle meets those special needs," Felice says. "This deal allows us to expand our usage across our technology platform."

While Felice declined to comment on the specific commitments entailed by the partnership status agreement, Tony Fernicola, Oracle's senior vice president, financial services, says the deal "puts a stake in the ground from Guardian's perspective, in terms of standardization on Oracle technology for their distributed computing platform."

From Oracle's perspective, the elevated status signifies a further consolidation of the vendor's position within the financial services market, Fernicola asserts. "Like most of the financial service firms in and around the Wall Street area, Guardian Life has in the past been largely an IBM- and, in many cases, Sybase-oriented technology shop. That has shifted over last five years to the point where Oracle is beginning to dominate the financial services space from a database technology perspective," according to Fernicola. " So I think the Guardian order and commitment to Oracle signifies that continuing shift for us." While The Guardian did consider solutions from a number of vendors, Felice says, "we didn't believe they would offer the scalability and price performance that Oracle could provide."

Adds Oracle's Fernicola, "I think it speaks well to Oracle's capabilities and performance—and to some degree our pricing models in this situation to win this type of business."

Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio

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