Confused over Oracle Fusion

Confused over Oracle Fusion

Summary: Is Fusion generally available? That's in the eye of the beholder. In the meantime, Oracle does itself no favors by muddying the waters.

TOPICS: Oracle

A report from Search titled: Oracle Fusion Applications move toward widespread release got tongues wagging and from Oracle's perspective - for all the wrong reasons. Paul Hamerman, analyst at Forrester is way too frothy in being quoted as saying:

"Oracle Fusion Applications is generally available, and anyone who wants to buy Fusion can buy it right now; Oracle has just kind of had a soft launch," he said. Hamerman added that there are several deployment options -- including hosted, Software as a Service (SaaS) and on-premises -- as well as migrations from other platforms.

Don't get me wrong. I have a lot of respect for Paul but he is ahead of the public curve on this one. Here are the facts as relayed to me by an Oracle spokesperson:

  • Fusion is generally available but in controlled release. This is standard Oracle practice.
  • There is a price book for each deployment method. The only one that has so far been put into the public domain is that upon which I have picked up before and which Search clearly riffed.

Ok - those are the facts. Here is the reality on the ground as recorded by Debra Lilley, UKOUG President, Oracle ACE and all around good person:

What I do want to comment on are the thoughts on the price list, yes it is very confusing and I have seen a few other reports on that. I urge Oracle, and I am very pro the product (just in case you were in doubt), to make the price list simpler. To me one the best features of the product is the User Experience, the ability to do everything from one place with a superior User Experience, yet the experience of reading, let alone understanding the price list is anything but. I have asked on behalf of all users to have this explained to us.

Debra also works for Fujitsu, one of Oracle's top partners. If she is saying this as a representative of users then what does this also say about the relationship with partners?

In the interests of full disclosure, Debra also serves as a board advisor to Constellation Research. I hold a similar position. Ray Wang, who is CEO Constellation lists Oracle as a client but has not shared any information on this topic. Debra and I have not spoken directly on the topic though her post and tone are consistent with what I have heard elsewhere and in past email, phone and Twitter conversations.

The problem is simple: is Oracle on general release as understood by those who would wish to engage/express interest or isn't it? Paul Hamerman says that Oracle will sell Fusion to anyone who expresses an interest. That's not the same thing and is unhelpful because as Debra also says:

Whoever buys a new product and doesn't have a conversation with the vendor to ensure they have the right skills does not deserve to have a successful project.

Amen to that!!

Oracle's official answer to me doesn't help either because if Fusion is on general availability/release then where are the price lists for the alternative deployment options? I'm betting the gagged anal-ysts know but have been sworn to secrecy under Oracle's anal-yst arrangements. Why should this tiny detail matter?

What we have today is confusing and having information that is either concealed behind Redwood Shores Pr/legal control or in the gagged minds of a captive analyst crew sends all the wrong messages to buyers. How can they know the best way of approaching Oracle on this topic?

Some have speculated that Oracle wants to save its energy for making a Fusion splash at the upcoming Oracle Open World. That's great. It is something that was sorely missed last year and will be welcome. In the meantime, I'd encourage Oracle to be more open. It does a better job than most on publishing price lists. This omission leaves suspicious monkeys like me wondering what 'general availability' really means. Right now it is not a term that makes too much sense.

Endnote: I use the term anal-yst to describe firm level behaviour that reflects the way certain firms derive the bulk of their income from vendors on terms that mean they are engaged in an unhealthy and lopsided relationship that brings into question their ability to truly act in the interests of buyers. It is not an indictment of any  individual analyst who, at the end of the day, is an employee and does as they are told.

Topic: Oracle

Dennis Howlett

About Dennis Howlett

Dennis Howlett is a 40 year veteran in enterprise IT, working with companies large and small across many industries. He endeavors to inform buyers in a no-nonsense manner and spares no vendor that comes under his microscope.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Confused over Oracle Fusion

    "anal-yst firm level behaviour" You're being too kind. I call it racketeering.
  • RE: Confused over Oracle Fusion

    Soft launch from software vendor?? I don't understand why s/w vendors underestimate the complexity of s/w, get aggressive with delivery date, miss it and then create chaos. Don't (will probably never) understand it. Definitely not because of ignorance. They know a lot more about s/w development but still the competition "blindsides" them. Is getting blindsided a sign of another level of ignorance? Just wondering...
    Bala Prabahar
  • Not many customers want Fusion

    I would go for Oracle's DBMS if it weren't for the fact that I would soon have the Java Witnesses knocking on my door asking me "have you heard about Java? Are you ready to let Java into your life?"<br><br>Given that I want reasonable productivity and reliability I have to keep telling them to go away. The last thing I want in my life is a language that has null object pointers - nulls are a mistake, objects are dubious (especially when ORM is involved) and pointers are a piece of industrial archeology. But this is just scratching the surface of Java's many, many faults.
  • RE: Confused over Oracle Fusion

    Thanks for keeping the flame burning over the hoax known as Fusion. Five years ago I told a high level Oracle directors audience that Fusion was the last name and the first name was Con. After that (with no relation to my comments of course) they unloaded the estimable John Wookey who has since brought development glory to SAP. In 2007, I ran a survey of Oracle clients and found that they were collectively yawning over all news about Fusion. Four years have passed and the "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" has grown rotty on the vine.
    Michael Doane
    • The unenviable mess created by Charles Philips

      @Michael Doane

      As I understand it Wookey had to try and sort out the mess created by Philips's acquisition strategy.

      Fusion seems to be the result of swallowing the wild promises of the SOAers whole. System integration is very difficult, if you go for SOA you arrive at a situation where everything is integration - a very bad place to be.

      It would have made more sense to provide a clear migration strategy for the Siebel, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards customers onto Oracle E-Business Suite. In fact as far as I can tell this is now the current strategy. Fusion Applications is basically the E-Business Suite database (80s vintage design warts and all) with a Fusion middleware front end. The drawback of this approach is of course the Fusion Middleware is fiendishly complicated with huge question marks about performance and productivity.