Oracle Fusion Applications five-year integration project is almost completed. Oracle Fusion Applications bring together elements of Oracle's acquisitions – including PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel – to create a suite of applications that are built on a common middleware platform. By using a shared platform, the apps are easy to intergrate, Oracle claims.
Oracle has provided more detail on its Fusion Application suite of CRM, ERP and HR packages, saying even though the ambitious project to build the software is coming to an end, the company won't be rushing customers into implementing it.
It's taken a while: "We've been focusing on building Fusion Applications for a very long time – more than five years," Oracle CEO Larry Ellison told the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco last month.
Ellison has high expectations of Fusion, claiming that the business intelligence embedded into the suite will help organisations make better decisions – making it more than software to automate some basic business processes.
"There had to be a better payoff [for Fusion] than doing a better job of automation. We thought better information and making better decisions was a bigger payoff than simply eliminating a bunch of clerks," Ellison said.
According to Oracle, Fusion could assist with decision-making such as helping a sales manager to answer the question: 'If I approve this product discount will I still make money?'.
And by offering customers the option of running the software on their own hardware, behind their firewall, or hosted in Oracle's datacentres, the company hopes to head off the increasing challenge coming from software-as-a-service companies such as Salesforce.com.
But despite the length of the project so far, Oracle isn't going to hurry the software out into the market.
But it could be a slow revolution – with Oracle continuing to support its existing range of software as well, customers will need a compelling reason to go through the pain of moving to the new suite, especially given the scale and complexity of ERP projects.
Indeed, Ellison predicts that it will be over the next five years that customers will be looking to move to Fusion, and he even recommended this caution himself, saying: "For most customers the right thing to do is watch and see how the early deployments go."
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