Oracle's ( ORCL) strategy of selling specialized "vertical" applications moved into high gear this week, as the database giant launched a fleet of new programs and asked Wall Street to get on board.

At a meeting with investors in New York, Oracle President Charles Phillips said that horizontal applications, such as enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management, now account for only one-third of the market.

"Growth," he said, "is coming from industry-specific applications."

Applications, fueled by an expensive spate of acquisitions, are already a big part of Oracle's business. In the second quarter they contributed $1.06 billion to the top line, or a bit more than 25% of the company's total revenue.

Redwood City, Calif.-based Oracle has reorganized part its applications business around four industry areas -- financial services, retail, communications and utilities -- each with its own sales force and P&L responsibility.

Phillips on Tuesday said that Oracle will outflank German software giant SAP ( SAP) by selling more and better industry-specific applications. SAP, the world's largest seller of business applications, has generally stuck with a more typical, horizontal approach.

On Wednesday Oracle announced new versions of key applications programs including Oracle's E-Business Suite Release 12, Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise Release 9.0, Siebel's CRM 8.0, JD Edwards' EnterpriseOne 8.12 and JD Edwards' World A9.1.

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