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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Fusion Message : Missing Zing & Glue

Oracle plans to add new features to its Fusion Middleware to enable developers to create composite applications using a visual container. Fusion Middleware put into perspective is a group of products that Oracle has had for quite some time—an application server, BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) engine, BAM (business activity monitoring) capabilities and more—that it combined to form Fusion Middleware a couple of years ago. Oracle has refined that product, and it has made a good deal of progress. Oracle missed a beat in Wednesday's Fusion road map presentation by failing to provide any real detail about the Fusion Applications themselves—where any changes will impact Oracle's huge ERP (enterprise resource planning) customer base. The omission of any substantive details leads some analysts to conclude that Oracle is nowhere close to half way there when it comes to bringing together the E-Business Suite with the PeopleSoft and JD Edwards suites to create Fusion Applications. Siebel comes with verticalised solutions and with a different data model – adding to the complexity. Joshua Greenbaum finds missing functionality, process and data models that are going to go into the functional areas, these are very complicated things that have to be dealt with to build the suite and thinks that Oracle is going to have serious trouble meeting a 2008 deadline." Granted it may be difficult to explain work-in-progress in detail to the external world, but fact is the excitement that went along with buyouts are clearly not see in the fusion message!!

As I wrote earlier, the challenge for new-new-oracle is the roadmap for integration.There are now four code designs and schema to be harmonized. Different classes of cutomers and multiple varieties of implementations to be supported and upgraded. Customers need to be convinced of the integrated roadmap.The transition challenges are indeed phenomenal in the design of the new platform and less said the better about the migrations that customers need to spend on. Come to think of it – there are not many companies in the world who have succeeded in integrating products with huge customer base all that well. During the acquisition proceedings of Peoplesoft,Oracle was predicting huge maintenance revenue stream – irritating some customers. Microsoft’s acquisition of Great plains and performance of companies like CA/DIVINE which acquired a lot of product companies have not been anything to write home about. Given all this - the choice platform it appears increasingly may not be the other one alone (who would no doubt seems poised to gain a lot) but a host of new players in the on-demand space along with less flashy players like Lawson+intentia and the retuned SSA global to an extent from conventional players.

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