OAUG President Mark Clark talks Fusion, R12, cloud computing

Oracle Applications Users Group President Mark Clark riffs on Fusion Applications, R12 upgrades, the economic slowdown, cloud computing and virtualization.

SAN FRANCISCO - The Oracle Applications Users Group is one of many user groups at Oracle OpenWorld this week. The OAUG is sponsoring dozens of sessions at the show on Fusion Applications, E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards, and more. On Monday OAUG President Mark Clark took some time to talk about trends within his group.

On Fusion Applications: I think folks are going to wait to see how things shake out. People are still in the process of doing upgrades to R12. Undergoing another big project right now might be too much.

Most people are looking at a point solution, something they could augment into their existing applications. We’re still at the very, very beginning.

I like the point solution because it gives people the opportunity to dip their toes in the water. They’re going to have to build their staff up, and this is a way for them to undertake it without overtaking their entire enterprise. It also allows Oracle to shake out the bugs and increase educational offerings.

On Oracle E-Business Suite R12 upgrades and the economy: Upgrades to 12 are big. Even in our own business, there seems to be activity every two weeks where an existing company wants to upgrade.

Another thing you hear going on is that companies are coming out of the economic slowdown and they’re able to start maintenance projects. They’re rolling out software to new countries, to new plants, and they’re rolling out software they hadn’t been able to implement before.

We are also seeing a lot of merger and acquisition activity and so there is systems-related work there. It is also a factor of the economy improving a bit and there being money available to borrow.

On OAUG members’ adoption of cloud computing: We haven’t yet. We might have some OAUG members that have cloud-based applications but there isn’t a big push to move there it. I think it’s still a new concept, there are security concerns. Integration is tough, when you have your own homegrown systems and then try to integrate them with information that’s in the cloud.

On OAUG members’ use of virtualization: I think we are seeing a little bit more of that, especially when it comes to test, development, and training. IT’s nice to have extra instances without all that extra hardware. I think IT staffs in general are becoming a little more up to speed on how to do virtualization the right way – potential licensing impacts and things like that.

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