Not quite General Availability, just a few months away, but finally Fusion Applications are amongst us. If we disregard the keynotes as I have, the Fusion Apps content at OOW was actually excellent.
There were 42 (great number) presentations during OOW on Fusion Applications and plenty of pods in the demo grounds, so if you came looking for information there was a lot to see.
Steve kicked off on the Monday with a general Applications session where he had all the applications’ General Managers on the stage together. This is a big change, Fusion Apps and Apps Unlimited being talked about together. There was a lot about how the existing systems co-exist, for example E Business Suite and GLog and then Steve went on to show how Fusion Apps could also co-exist.
I thought this was a powerful and well explained option for the deployment of Fusion Applications. Most people think it will either be an upgrade or a reimplementation. Steve clearly articulated that this option of adopting the modules that add value to your organization without all the need to move to a complete Fusion stack, or where there is not the availability of all the modules you need for a full move and yet you don’t have to wait.
So there is a choice, Stay with Applications Unlimited, your current footprint (but do think about upgrading to a supported version), Run some of Fusion Apps along side your current footprint, or move to a full Fusion Applications implementation.
This is the rub, long gone are the days you simply upgraded. The support strategy and the range of options, means that you do what is right for your organization. Easily said but how does that help people with their applications strategy? This is where partners are going to show their true value, by understanding both the customer’s needs, opportunities and constraints and the Oracle product set and being that ‘trusted partner’ who can give the right advice. Ray Wang from Altimeter talked about this being one of the big partner differentiators in his analyst preview on the Sunday. This is why Fujitsu let me do what I do, how can I help advise if I don’t really understand?
Monday evening I was invited to dinner with Steve’s team and the Fusion early adopter customers, it was really interesting to see what strategies they are adopting and why. What was common amongst all of them was the real excitement and anticipation.
Tuesday Steve had his first full Fusion session, and I was so honoured to be asked to introduce him. At the dinner I threatened to present him with a present in my intro. In the end I did it before we started. I presented him with the baseball cap I was given at the Halfway to Fusion Event on 18.01.2006. The date is actually embroidered on the cap. I don’t actually mind it has taken so long; the apps have been worth waiting for.
Steve invited me to kick off the session to explain how users have been included in the development of Fusion Apps since day one. I got to gush about this, and he publically thanked us not only when I handed over but throughout the session. I want to take the opportunity to make a point here. Being a user group member means you are included.
Steve did a brilliant job of explaining how Fusion Applications have been put together, the design principles, the patterns and the user experience. I didn’t get a chance to see all the drill down sessions but I did see the User Experience session from Jeremy Ashley. At the moment you can only replay these and all the other sessions if you have the Open World on Demand.
Immediately after Steve’s first presentation the Fusion Applications page was updated on Oracle.com and there is a lot of information. Let’s see if we can encourage Oracle to add these main sessions.
There is plenty of time to see the demos, throughout this year, I don’t think we are all queuing up to get started, although over 100 customers made enquiries at OOW. However if you are and are serious talk to your account manager, it is possible to be assessed for suitability by the early adoption team.
My advice is to understand the design principles which are well described on the oracle.com website and see more demos of the applications themselves.
Since OOW I have been asked to give my thoughts to a number of groups and my first presentation was to the Danish Oracle User Group, a favourite of mine followed by an ‘What DO We Do Next’ open question session with my own UKOUG Financials Special Interest Group. I am currently working with Steve’s development team and the ACE program to provide demo training for those interested in the ACE Director program, similar to FMW4Apps kits we had previously had. Being trained and enabled by Oracle enables us to give our own presentations but with system VMs, it allows us to get to audiences that may not get Oracle product managers or an independent view.
People have lots of questions and we still have regular question times with Steve, a commitment Oracle made right back when they first announced Fusion Applications. If you have any questions not covered by the oracle.com page then submit it here .
But the best place to find out more soon - come to UKOUG (29 Nov - 1 Dec) we have 2 days of Fusion Applications, the product, the design, the technology the choice and the experts.