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After a half-dozen years in development, Oracle Fusion Applications have quietly arrived. The company has worked with enterprises this year through its Early Adopter Program, but the first major clue that Fusion Applications was generally available came last month when Oracle published its “Oracle Fusion Applications Global Price List” with little fanfare.
Also in June, Richard Bingham's book Managing Oracle Fusion Applications was published by Oracle Press.
Many still think Oracle Fusion Applications aren't yet generally available, but according to Paul Hamerman, vice president and principal analyst of enterprise applications for Forrester Research Inc., the reality is different.
"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.
While there are quite a few different possible deployment and component deployment options, "Oracle will take anybody at this point who wants to implement it," he added.
Oracle Fusion Applications opening up at OpenWorld
Hamerman said he thinks Oracle is really gearing up to make Oracle Fusion Applications a big part of OpenWorld, its large annual conference held in the fall. He expects Oracle to be sharing customer case studies and giving previews. At this time, however, Hamerman said he’s not seeing that much interest.
“Customer interest in Fusion Apps is lukewarm at this time,” he said. “I have spoken to a few that are quite interested, but most are just curious. More interest will likely materialize when live, reference-able customers are available.
"We see a lot of interest in the market for components of Oracle's Fusion Apps," notes R. "Ray" Wang, principal analyst and CEO of Constellation Research Inc. "Only a few are looking for a full suite, but there is some interest among greenfield clients."
Floyd Teter, vice president of applications delivery at Innowave Technology Inc., as well as an Oracle ACE Director and longstanding member of the Oracle Applications User Group (OAUG) Fusion Council, said that Fusion Applications are not an either/or choice in relation to other Oracle applications. Innowave Technology is an Oracle partner and a customer and is involved in implementing Oracle Fusion Applications through the early adopter program.
"With the co-existence strategy, customers do not have to rip out and replace their existing apps," Teter said. "E-Business, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Siebel … are all still viable products, any of which can be enhanced with pieces of the Fusion Apps product line. In fact, many customers will opt to stick with those product lines and take a pass on Fusion Applications . . . which absolutely is the right choice if a customer does not see significant business value in Fusion Apps.”
Oracle Fusion Applications can be difficult to evaluate because they’re made up of many components and pricing options. For example, Fusion Financials for a single application user comes in at $4,595 with a five-user minimum. But the Oracle Fusion Customer Relationship Management Fusion CRM Base (for sales) comes in at $4,910 with a 100-user minimum. And then the Fusion Email Marketing Server is $115,000, sold on a per-server basis. There are many pieces and parts to understand, and piecemeal, it turns out, will likely be the dominant rollout strategy going forward for quite some time.
Teter said that customers are concerned about pricing, especially regarding unknowns around migrating from other Oracle products.
"While Oracle has released a basic price list, I think that's just an initial step in an evolving pricing strategy that will evolve as the market responds and as different situations are encountered,” Teter said. “I don't think we've heard the last of the story on Fusion Apps pricing."