An examination of the current state of Oracle Fusion Applications
There is much discussion and controversy over the decision to adopt Oracle’s next generation of Applications products. Fusion is not just an amalgamation of Oracle’s existing applications. Oracle touts the easy and clean user interface and how that makes users more efficient and effective in their day-to-day work because the information is accessible. The embedded key performance indicators allow users to make better decisions and react more quickly to changes. Oracle claims that Fusion’s open standards architecture reduces the barriers to innovation and allows hybrid applications in hybrid environments — on-premises, SAAS (Software As A Service), or in outsourced modes — to co-exist seamlessly. That’s the hype. This is the reality.
Fusion is currently a group of point solutions and is not going to be a fully functional ERP system until 2013, and it will not be able to replace existing EBS functionality. As Fusion modules begin to provide functionality of existing EBS modules, the EBS modules will be a replacement rather than an augmentation.
There are about 100 Fusion Application modules targeted for release this year (2010), primarily in the sales and marketing and HR areas with a few financial, procurement/supply chain, and projects modules. There is very limited support for order management, distribution and logistics, or manufacturing.
The pricing and licensing model for Fusion is unclear. It is likely that Fusion licenses will cost more, and users may be required to license Essbase to utilize some of the Fusion functionality.
Resources to implement Fusion will be scarce and expensive. There will be a high level of integration work required to integrate Fusion modules into an existing portfolio of applications. There is a high cost of maintaining the integrations as well.
Fusion will be in early adopter mode for several years and will not be a stable, “production-ready” environment. Users should expect to have extended test cycles with each product that is integrated into the Fusion environment.
Fusion will really be better positioned for new customers than for those who want to integrate disparate existing platforms.
Many of the EBS features will be incorporated into the Fusion framework, including an accounting flexfield and subledger accounting from R12. Essbase is a core component of the financial analysis applications, introducing a multidimensional database architecture to the existing relational structure of EBS.
We believe that a short-term (next 3-4 years) strategy for EBS customers is to make sure that their EBS environment reflects the way they want to do business, and then upgrade to R12.