Payne: We're seeing a comprehensive list of products. Many people characterized release 12.0 as a Financials-only release, and even though the other products were there, there are major improvements in projects and that whole area, almost so much so that you can call those new products. That's absolutely a big thing. In the administration area, in particular, some of the improvements that they've done, taking advantage of the middleware stack that we're sitting on, are going to help tremendously in things such as configuration management, patching and maintenance of the E-Business Suite. That's a big cost saver and time saver for us.
SearchOracle.com: It doesn't seem as though Oracle has been saying much about Fusion apps lately – do you know the latest news on that?
Payne: They're still out there; they're still coming. They're positioning things. I think that getting the Fusion middleware out there and getting it established has been a big part of their strategy, encouraging our membership and their customers for some time to install Fusion middleware, get used to it, understand how it is. I think we're going to see that continue to grow, hear more and more about it at OpenWorld later this year, and I think it's progressing nicely. There's a lot of interest in it (among users).
SearchOracle.com: What kind of adoption of AIA are you seeing among your users?
Payne: That in particular is very popular in our user base. AIA had some fits and starts, as any new product does, but as the rest of the technology stack is continuing to mature, it is part of that Fusion middleware stack. I know that there are many customers and many of our members who are looking at AIA as a bridge for them to leverage and build an approach to Fusion when Fusion comes out. So that's a key part and, yes, there's a lot of interest in what's going on with AIA. I think if you looked at the catalog of sessions here, there are quite a few sessions around that.
SearchOracle.com: Have you heard from users about obstacles or problems they are having when adopting AIA?
Payne: No -- the only thing is that it's like any other new piece of technology. There's some ramp-up time. OAUG has a lot of partner members that are partners with Oracle and are helping our membership understand that, and that's a tremendous service that our partners provide.
SearchOracle.com: What reactions have you heard from users about the new technologies that will result from the Oracle-Sun deal?
Payne: The user community is obviously very interested, and the thing I remind everybody is that anything we say about that is pure speculation. We're not talking about that.
SearchOracle.com: What has been your overall impression of the show so far? How has attendance been among OAUG members?
Payne: That's actually a good question. We knew that we were going to be down in attendance. I have traveled over the country in the past four months and attended several other events, saw what was happening, and we were planning for it. The good news is that we saw a last-minute up-tick. I don't have the final numbers, but we actually had, from my understanding, a good number of walk-ons. So we were pleasantly surprised. All the OAUG members that I've talked to are recognizing that the value definitely is here -- it's still here even in this down economic time -- and they're all glad they got here. We're working with them to enhance services and provide new services, and they're all very excited to hear about that.