What Oracle's next-gen technology has to do with icebergs and the Volkswagen Beetle...
Sounds like another industry buzzword to me...
You could say that but Fusion is Oracle's name for its next-generation business applications and the middleware to stitch it all together. It's a key part of the company's strategy.
Tell me more.
About six years ago, Oracle decided it wanted to develop a next generation of business apps incorporating the best elements of emerging technology and those it had acquired.
Oracle also wanted to build a middleware platform from scratch to support these new applications and make them as attractive and useful as possible to customers.
Not sure I quite get it...
OK, well let's start with the middleware.
Oracle has acquired lots of different technology companies over the years, such as Hyperion, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and Siebel.
The arrival of these technologies, which have been developed separately by different companies, meant Oracle had a huge range of technology that was fragmented in terms of how it worked separately and collectively.
Fusion middleware - or applications infrastructure foundation - was intended to bring together these different technologies to create a unified technology portfolio that can easily be integrated, provide the latest functionality and be cost efficient for businesses to implement and run.
So how does that work exactly?
Oracle EMEA SVP for middleware Andrew Sutherland explained to silicon.com how the Fusion concept was born using the analogy of icebergs.
At the beginning of the Fusion programme, Sutherland said the Oracle technology resembled a series of disconnected icebergs. Users only saw the front end of the technology they used while the code supporting this user experience was hidden.
"What we discovered was that as we looked at our customers' organisations, they weren't running their applications as a single stack. They were running multiple icebergs. What they weren't seeing was that eight-ninths of the costs were sitting below the waterline," Sutherland said.
These below-the-waterline costs were the technology supporting the applications such as...