Finally, and with no fanfare, Oracle Fusion Applications are available.
My great friend Floyd Teter announced you could download them last week from Oracle E-Delivery and I responded that it was 'controlled availability' and now we have the inside track on what that actually means.
I have blogged here many times that yes, we didn't expect it to take so long, but that it didn't really matter as long as what is released is a working product. But once Larry announced a time frame for availability it became important that they got on with it. I personally am fed up listening to snipes about it in the media, both social and mainstream, and it all being about the availability. I want the debate to be about the content. (In the same way, I am equally fed up of cloud talks being 90% about 'what is the cloud?' I want to hear about what it can do for organisations).
We know the Early Adopter Program was launched in the fall of last year and there have been press releases about the first to sign up, and the first company to go live will be presenting soon on their experience.
The front page of Oracle.com has had as a headline Fusion HCM for a few weeks and if you click through there is some really good content.
I run the Product Development Committee of the International Oracle Usergroups Community, and we have worked with Oracle Development throughout the entire life cycle for Fusion Apps. I spoke to them on Friday and asked if they would clarify the situation on our regular call today, and they delivered.
The EAP program is basically full, they have a great number of customers ranging from live to just starting CRP, and they are confident that the product is ready for the market. Controlled Availability means the product can be sold but before the contract is signed development need to assess that the customer has the best chance of success. They want to make sure they have the skills, or a trained Systems Integrator that gives them the best opportunity for success. If a small IT shop comes along, never implemented EBS, no FMW skills and says, 'we want Fusion Apps and we want to do it ourselves', it is unlikely they will be approved. However if a large organisation with great inhouse skills and track record comes along, or with a partner already trained then they probably will be approved.
Controlled availability is not unique to Fusion Apps, it is a standard policy used in many products.
When asked how many customers have been turned down in either EAP or Controlled Availability, the response was that no one had actually been refused point blank, but after working together several organisations had reached the same conclusion as Oracle that it was not right for them at this time.
I think this is positive news, a bit like me wanting the latest fashion, it is good when I am told it won't suit me, rather than a sales person just desperate for a sale and me ending up looking stupid.
So the wait is over, well for availability. Lets hear from these Early Adopters at OOW and beyond, and start to hear about the functionality, the value to customers and the success of the applications.
And don't forget for most Fusion is not tomorrows project, they still have a long life in their existing application choice, and perhaps some co-existence. Fusion is not a replacement you must take today.