Oracle's cloud strategy: Does it trump Fusion?

Oracle's Fusion storyline is still muddled and may wind up taking a back seat. Why would you go through a Fusion implementation where Oracle's apps are all in the cloud?

SAN FRANCISCO---Oracle's move to offer its various applications in the cloud along with infrastructure and platform as a service could ultimately wind up usurping years of talking about Fusion.

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Fusion, a modern application stack designed to give customers a migration path from older implementations Oracle acquired, has been touted for years. The problem: The Fusion storyline is still muddled. For instance, Gurudatt Mudlapur, head of the Oracle practice at Tech Mahindra, said the uptake in Fusion applications hasn't been rapid. He noted that Fusion isn't "functionally rich" yet and customers still have questions.

Here's a key question: If you're an on-premise Oracle customer and loyal to the software stack why would you deal with an on-premise Fusion implementation when you could simply use the company's cloud stack?

At Oracle's OpenWorld conference, the Fusion talk is clearly taking a back seat to the cloud pitch. And why not? The cloud is simply a better story to tell.

In the years to come, it will be interesting to see how Fusion develops, but don't be surprised if it becomes more of a footnote for a customer base that may stick with Oracle but go the cloud computing route. Oracle's master plan is to offer anything and everything customers will buy so the commitment to Fusion will remain.

And why not? There will be enterprise tech buyers who prefer to pay for software up front, but I'll wager that the Fusion story is only going to become harder to tell as Oracle makes its cloud turn.

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