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With Oracle's focus on cloud-based applications, Oracle Fusion Applications have a somewhat uncertain future. Some believe that cloud applications have taken the wind out of Fusion's sails. Others see the ability of Oracle Fusion Applications to coexist and integrate with the cloud, making it more relevant than ever. In this Q&A session, Alyssa Johnson, president of OAUG, one of the largest Oracle user groups in the country, provides insight into the future of Oracle Fusion Applications.
What do you see for the future of Oracle Fusion Applications?
Alyssa Johnson: Oracle has invested in its Fusion Applications and they will continue to support those applications. Over the past several years, they've worked to devise the best ways to deliver those applications to their customer base and we're seeing that in their cloud-based strategy. A lot of their cloud-based strategy is used for the Fusion Applications. I think we'll see a lot more of that in the future. We'll see a lot of coexistence strategies for Fusion and other established enterprise resource planning systems.
I've been reading a lot about Fusion versus cloud, rather than the two working together.
Johnson: One of Oracle's strategies is to deliver Software as a Service (SaaS). But specifically with Fusion and some of the technically complex things that are necessary to implement Fusion Applications, it makes sense to have it as Software as a Service. Cloud applications are a broader set of applications. Fusion Applications would be one of the things that Oracle is offering as part of their cloud application services.
I think that it really makes sense to have Fusion in the cloud. But you really don't have to. It's not a requirement. You can actually have Fusion Applications on-premises, meaning the hardware, the software, everything is on-premises. But I think for a lot of companies, it makes sense to have Fusion Applications out in the cloud.
Are Oracle Fusion Applications moving to the cloud?
Johnson: I think that's the message we're hearing from Oracle. It makes sense for a lot of companies to have Fusion Applications delivered in the cloud.
What is Oracle saying about Fusion Applications?
Johnson: I think Oracle is focusing on several areas. From an application perspective, there [are] myriad applications that you can implement. As a company, you're not required to implement all of them. So, I've seen a lot of activity in human capital management. That's an area where there's a lot of strength in these Fusion Applications. Another area is customer relationship management. Those are really the two areas that Oracle Fusion Applications have a broader customer base.
You also have a smaller number of companies that have actually done a complete ERP system in Fusion Applications. Other companies use Fusion Applications in addition to the ERP the user already has implemented. So, it would really be more of a coexistence strategy. I think that you'll hear a lot about using the Fusion Applications in a coexistence strategy.
With a coexistence strategy, you could look at your business requirements and the capabilities that are provided by Fusion Applications and you could say, "Those really match. That's going to meet the requirements that I have." So you take and implement those things that make sense for you, keeping the ERP that you already have and implementing only those Fusion Applications that make sense for your business.
What kind of user interest are you seeing?
Johnson: When you go to OpenWorld or Collaborate or any of the regional user groups, there are typically sessions on Fusion. At OpenWorld, I went to Chris Leone's session on the Fusion roadmap and the room was completely full and it was a big room. So, I think that there is still a lot of interest in the user community in hearing what Fusion has to offer.
At Collaborate this year we have quite a few Fusion Applications sessions and continued interest in the user community in learning more. We've come to the point in the lifecycle of Fusion Applications that we actually have users that are live in Fusion Applications who can share the customer case studies. You're going to see even more of that as the uptake of Fusion Applications increases. We're going to have those customer case studies and those are always a big draw for our users.
Is the uptake increasing?
Johnson: Yes. I think each year you're seeing an increase. You're seeing an increase in implementation especially in the coexistence kind of scenarios.
This is the first part of a two-part interview. To read the second part, click here.