Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Most Frequent Question About Fusion Apps

I know I am privileged, I have had unrivalled access to Oracle during the entire Fusion Apps development, and when I have a question I have always been given the answer. I wrote recently about why I thought people weren’t all listening to the Oracle apps message, but now I am even more worried.

I am not sure of all the support timings but most of the Apps Unlimited products have their -1 version either in or about what to go into extended support, and a very frequent question is ‘Do I upgrade or do I wait for Fusion apps?’

This is such an open question, and unfortunately the answer is very dependant on your organization, there is no simple yes or no. Again I have said it before but this is where partners and user groups will add value to the debate, by helping people to understand.

I know Oracle have a campaign this year that will again explain their Applications Strategy, both for existing products and for Fusion, and how it isn’t just the either / or question. In the US there was the Oracle Applications Customer Value Summit on 3rd February which had a lot of answers to individual product roadmaps, co-existence and Fusion apps themselves. I know this content will be presented or made available in other regions over the next few months. This approach of telling the stories together is very important.

But I want to share with you, and Oracle part of an email trail I had last week, which shows just how frustrated some customers are. I have edited a little bit just to make it remain anonymous. 
I've read a few articles about Fusion Apps written by you on the web. 

Wasn't sure about how Fusion Financials differ from R12.1 Financials - do you have an 'insiders' guide? Or are they effectively the same? Can you point me to some papers/presentations? There's a lot of conFUSION about FUSION!

Fusion Apps are a completely different project, however they are not launched yet a few more months to go so little information out there. I attach a white paper I wrote a while ago that might help.

Where you based and what is your current use of Oracle Apps? I can then point you to the right user group who can help

Many thanks for your prompt reply - I am based in the UK and we are on Financials.

Reason I sent email to you is because you have been working with Oracle and know what's in Fusion. I know what's in FMW but am not sure if R12 Financials is the same as Fusion Financials - I expect they are but nobody says yes or no! Makes me wonder if it's Oracle Marketing's gimmick i.e. apps are the same but with FMW embedded in the techStack.

Someone I know in Oracle told me earlier today that even they do not know - demo's are only to invited oracle staff which I find strange!

Your comments will be appreciated.

Because the product is not yet generally available (GA) and Oracle have very strict revenue recognition rules, they cannot make too much information available yet.

In a nut shell, R12 is the original EBS product, enhanced and is starting to use newer technology. Fusion incl Fusion Financials is a completely different product built entirely in FMW.

Fusion apps are awesome but it is not a simple upgrade, there are lots of technology changes as well. Over the next year or so Oracle will roll out the product giving more information and then you will learn more.

UKOUG (.org) is the UK user group and we had lots of demos of Fusion Apps in our Birmingham conference in December.

This is hot off the press, but the main UK event will be 31st March so look out for details.

Is your organisation a member of UKOUG?

Many thanks Debra - no we are not members. Looks like Oracle have once again announced a product years before it's ready. Even people working for Oracle don't know what's in it, not sure how customers who have a decision to make on whether to upgrade to R12 or wait for a product which may be released later this year and which initially won't ( I suspect ) be very stable.

You are talking to the wrong people in Oracle. The product is ready but not GA for a few months while they work with early adopters to ensure there are no bugs.

If you are not on R12 already then it is very unlikely your organization has the appetite to be an early adopter and so there is no real choice for you, the answer is to go R12. Fusion is a completely new architecture and way of working, it is not a straight forward either or choice.

People in Oracle should not be telling you they know nothing about it, they should be referring you to someone who does.
Oracle consulting are part of the ramp up program so your contact should be able to find you someone.  I represent UKOUG and to ensure I have the right answer we have invested time in being part of the process. My employer sees this as a benefit so that we have the right information too, and therefore gives me the time.

Oracle did not rewrite all the products. They announced back in 2005 that they would write a new generation of apps based on new technology which is what Fusion Applications are. It is not a replacement. They did originally intend that but feedback from users and groups like UKOUG was that this was not what customers wanted, so they announced in 2006 Applications Unlimited where they would continue to develop each of the product lines. In fact after Fusion Apps v1 is released there will be R12.3 so this stands by what they said.

Fusion is ready and the amount of testing has been unprecedented, but IT is complex and there are as many deployment options as there are customers. There is also the opportunity to co-exist, e.g run Fusion Talent Management alongside R12 EBS, so Oracle are working with early adopters to have as many as possible case studies.

I find it a bit unbelievable that Oracle would re-write the whole of R12 Financials/PeopleSoft/Siebel etc for Fusion. I would expect certain changes like BPEL for Workflow, etc but not a complete rewrite of R12 so soon after R12 was released but I guess you know more because you have the inside story.

Ok that clears things up a little bit but I'll wait and see.

I can honestly say that I have spoken to many people who work with Oracle (Oracle and non-Oracle people) and no-one understands what Fusion is about - this is fact which just shows that all Oracle have managed to do is cause confusion!

Many thanks for your time in replying to my emails - you are obviously very dedicated to the Fusion cause.

This is a typical conversation and I think that if you feel the same you need to start engaging, and start by being active with your user group and be part of the debate.


Greg said...

Revenue generation Guidelines. Yes these strick guidlines are the reason everything in oracle's marketing pertaining to fusion and its early adopters programs are all goofed up. Oracle Wants early adopters of the software because they need the DATA and the different scenario's IE architectures and operating systems. They have very little development experience with doing upgrades -- and gettign data into the new fusion system from existing R11 or even R12 systems. Fusion at this point especially pertaining to upgrades is weak. Oracle doesn't even have the scripts written to help customers migrate their existing data into the new system. Sure you can Key in new information -- but Oracle is not really ready to do upgrades and if they are it won't be for the entire business suite it -- will be for select/individual modules at a time. They surely can find new installs and clients to take the software for free just to get the name out -- but existing customers are gettign dumped on -- becuase the company is so big and greedy they want to charge folks millions of dollars just to perform an upgrade -- in addition to what they are already paying maintenance fee's on. Good luck finding early adopters at Oracle on IBM or HP systems.

Debra Lilley said...

Apologies for the delay, blogspot detected this as spam so it didn't come to me immediatley.

Like most comments there is some truth in what you say, but lets think about it, bit by bit.

Upgrades, Oracle have made it clear that early adopters are fresh instals. they have also said that upgrades would always be data migrations scripts, made available for certain versions.

Most people who move to Fusion Apps will do so in the co-exisitance methodology, so the migration is not actually relevant.

Fusion Apps are new, so yes there is very little experience, but the same as when release 12 of EBS appeared, or any other new release Why would Fusion Apps be any different?

Charging customers millions of dollars, is a pretty sweeping statement, and I am sure you can find an example but it will depend on who does the work, how big the scope and how much the organization does themselves.

Oracle applications strategy is all about choice, I think it is quite obvious that Fusion apps isnt your choice as it appears you simply want to be very negative and attack Oracle without even seeing or assessing the product in detail.

Only time will tell how sucessful it is, but I like what I have seen from a feature, function and experience perspective