Key Findings for OOW #3 — The Fusion Edition

Posted: October 15, 2009 in CRM, Technology
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Fusion is big, potentially powerful, based on new technology, backward compatible and not available yet.

Larry Ellison began taking the wraps off Fusion at his Open World keynote on Wednesday.  His appearance on Sunday with Sun CEO Scott McNealy was just for poking some fun at IBM, this was the real deal.  Fusion is a big idea and this post will leave something out – that’s a given – but here are some important impressions.

There are ten applications and I don’t write fast enough to have copied them all down from Larry’s slide.  For sure there was CRM but also GL, Deal Management, Territory and Talent Management too.

The applications are based on SOA architecture, the UIs have embedded BI.  There are six thousand database tables, 6,500 objects, 20,000 views, 10,000 task flows and the applications are code complete and being tested by customers.

Fusion is based on industry standards like JAVA Fusion middleware which Larry said is the first such deployment.

Fusion applications are scheduled to debut next year and while that is a little disappointing it is entirely in keeping with the purpose of a keynote – forward looking statements right?  Ok.

I saw some demos but as I said in a previous post, I want to see a birth certificate.

Fusion applications are modular and they are designed to be deployed as full replacements for other older Oracle products.  Modularity enables them to also work side by side with existing applications so that there is no need for a wholesale replacement.  There are also new applications that have no analogs with the older product suites so it is good that Fusion and legacy applications can work together.

Like a lot of CRM products coming out these days, the Fusion applications, based on a SOA architecture are intended to operate behind your firewall in a single tenant manner or at some other data center in either single or multi-tenant mode.  This approach neatly straddles the diverse deployment options that some people feel they need today and gives a company like Oracle the flexibility to support all of them with one code set.  This neatly solves the problem of how to convert Oracle’s product set from premise-bound to cloud resident by leaving the decision to the customer.  That’s good, fine even and it does a lot to close the discussion about on-premise vs. on-demand, or does it?

The trouble with running a private cloud is that as soon as I make a modification to the system I might be making the product unique and unsupportable putting me back into the same version conundrum that many hope to avoid.  I need to know more about this.

Interestingly, in no demo did anyone talk about Fusion code or coding beyond Larry’s statement about JAVA.  I suspect that is not because you can’t get into coding some arcane part of your application but I hope coding is infrequent and at a level of abstraction sufficiently removed from the guts of the operation to make it possible to have one version of code for the whole planet.

The Fusion applications, specifically the CRM stuff, are compatible with Oracle’s Social CRM gadgets and widgets and I expect that it will offer fairly robust support for enterprise computing when the applications hit the street.

The UI looks nice.  I don’t know what the technology is that supports it but it has an Adobe Flex look.  Nice job on that – it will give all those Gen Y people coming into sales and other front office disciplines a feeling that they are using something as modern as the games they play on the home computer.

That’s about all I feel qualified to say.  We need to see more but for now it is very good to see Oracle redeeming a promise it made a few years ago when it went on a buying spree in the front office market.

So, what did you think?

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