After several years of anticipation the curtain has finally been lifted on Oracle Fusion Apps yesterday during Larry Ellison's keynote. During the keynote the announcement was very upstaged by a lengthly (and repetitive) look at Exadata v2 and the IBM performance challenge but at least the embargo is lifted and I can now talk about what I've learned about the apps during several detailed reviews of the software over the last 6 months. Frankly I think the apps should have gotten higher billing during the keynote based on what I've seen of them, as they are quite good but I guess that's left up to the analysts that have been a part of the pre-launch reviews. The apps are code complete and in testing with an expected general release next year.
The underlying design principal was to use the best of breed processes from all of the brands but to keep backward compatibility for ease of upgrade by rationalizing the data model from EBS, JDE, PeopleSoft and Siebel. That decision was critical as it prevents having to change the data structure of any of the Apps Unlimited customers as they upgrade to Fusion Apps. In general Fusion has:
- Modern user interface based on Web 2.0ish design concepts
- Embedded analytics
- Native SOA built in Java completely on Fusion Middleware
- Event driven architecture for automating decision making where practical
- Role based use
Here's an example of the UI:
Fusion Apps are architected to be deployed in three models, on premise, single tenant SaaS and multi-tenant SaaS to allow customers to choose their licensing and deployment approach. At release Fusion will have all modules available as SaaS. For current CRM On Demand customers Oracle will initially offer customer choice but gradually migrate all customers to Fusion.So what's in the suite? The release includes 43 modules across 7 product families (including 6000 database tables, 6,500 objects, 20,000 views, and 10,000 task flows). The Pillars are:
- Fusion Customer Relationship Management
- Fusion Governance Risk and Compliance
- Fusion Enterprise Project and Portfolio Management
- Fusion Financial Management
- Fusion Human Capital Management
- Fusion Supply Chain Management
- Fusion Procurement
In the initial release there is no support for manufacturing (discreet or process) and public sector.
Here are a few screen shots from the release:
When available next year, Oracle believes that customers will consume the apps in 3 models:
- Add 1 or several biz processes to their current deployment of EBS, PeopleSoft, JDE and/or Siebel (or SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, etc.)
- PIllar level upgrade, replacing an entire module like HCM or CRM
- Single instance migration to the complete suite
The Fusion Apps also add quite a bit of embedded social software functionality throughout many of the modules. This is the start of what I believe will be a rapidly growing trend to make social concepts scaleable for the enterprise by providing tools inside the enterprise software solutions.
Overall from what I've seen, the Fusion Apps are very well designed, extremely usable, modern and offer significant value for customers throughout the different modules. They also support Oracle's strategy (articulated clearly for the last 3 years) by offering interoperability with existing brands and the chance for customers to choose what and when they want to move to Fusion while continuing to get value out of previous purchases with Oracle still investing in existing brands for the foreseeable future.