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Oracle cautiously pushes Fusion Applications to enterprises

Companies will continue to have choice when it comes to their business application portfolio, Oracle says

April 13, 2011 06:00 AM ET

Computerworld - ORLANDO - Oracle is continuing to take a cautious approach in pushing its new Fusion Applications to enterprises.

At the Collaborate 11 user show here today, a senior company executive said that enterprises that want to immediately implement Fusion Applications can do so, by taking advantage of Oracle's early adopter program.

However, Oracle will also continue to fully support its existing business application portfolio for customers that don't want to immediately migrate, said Steve Miranda, Oracle's senior vice president of application development.

The goal is to give customers a way to stay on their current upgrade path with their existing products and to deploy Fusion in modular fashion, when they are ready to do so, he said.

Miranda's comments come amid some concerns that Fusion Apps will somehow result in forced migrations for users of Oracle's legacy business application portfolio, even though Oracle itself has committed to continued enhancements of existing products under its Applications Unlimited program.

Oracle's Fusion Applications is a line of open-standards based business applications similar to the technologies it has acquired over the years from its purchases of companies such as Siebel, Peoplesoft, JD Edwards and others.

The Fusion Application suite features over 100 separate modules including those for financial management, human capital management, governance, risk and compliance, CRM and supply chain management.

The company has been working on the technology for several years now and recently started shipping it to customers under the early adopter program.

Oracle says Fusion Apps integrates best-of-breed features from the various business application products the company has acquired over the year. Miranda said that more 50 enterprises so far have deployed the technology, many of them alongside existing legacy applications.

Companies will be able to seamlessly upgrade their existing business applications to Fusion Apps as long as they are using either the latest version of their legacy software or the version prior to the latest one, he said.

Enterprises will have the choice of deploying Fusion as an on-premise technology or consume it under a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model from Oracle. The tools are architected from the ground up for Web services and will form a core part of Oracle's cloud strategy going forward. "Fusion is our new Software-as-a-Service," Miranda said.

Mark Temple, information technology director at Ciena, said his company is thinking of replacing its 12 year-old Siebel customer relationship management (CRM) technology with a new Fusion CRM capability. In Ciena's case, the company will have to simply rip and replace the legacy technology because it's too old to be upgraded to Fusion, he said.

However, the innovation and the additional functionality present in Fusion will make the move worth it, Temple said.



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