Oracle to rebrand Fusion Apps as Oracle Cloud Services, analyst charges

A Forrester analyst says that slow uptake on Fusion Apps software has caused Oracle to rebrand the product line, but Oracle denies it.

Oracle Corp. is changing the name of its Oracle Fusion Applications product line to Oracle Cloud Services due to slower than expected sales, a well-known IT industry analyst has charged.

Paul Hamerman, vice president and principal analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc., said that even though Fusion Applications were initially developed as on-premises software, Oracle is now pushing them in the cloud computing arena. Hence the rebranding.

But in a statement yesterday, Oracle said it is not rebranding Fusion Applications. It declined to discuss Fusion Applications uptake until after it announces earnings this month.

"What we've seen recently is Oracle moving away from the Fusion branding," Hamerman said Wednesday during a webinar on Fusion Apps. "What they're calling them now is Oracle Cloud Services."

Hamerman added that he thinks the Redwood City, Calif.-based database and business applications giant is pushing Oracle Cloud Services because "the Fusion brand is damaged by a poor track record."

An Oracle contract document dated March 28 and titled "Oracle Fusion Service Descriptions" does include the idea of Oracle Cloud Service, but it doesn't eliminate the Fusion brand. Each Oracle cloud service description includes the word Fusion, with some examples being "Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management Base Cloud Service" and "Oracle Fusion Financials Cloud Service."

In February, Hamerman and other Forrester analysts wrote a report entitled "Oracle's Dilemma: Applications Unlimited Versus Oracle Fusion Applications." The report stated that few Oracle customers were interested in a Fusion Applications implementation. According to the Forrester report, 65% of Oracle applications customers surveyed had no plans to implement Fusion Apps. Another 24% were unsure if they would.

During an interview in December, Oracle executive vice president Steve Miranda said his company boasts "over 100 live customers" and is averaging one go-live per day. Fusion Applications became generally available in the fall of 2011. Oracle responded to the Forrester report, saying among other things that the sample size of those surveyed -- 139 clients -- was too small, and that market conditions have changed significantly since the survey was conducted in June 2012. Other Oracle applications experts such as Floyd Teter said that adoption of new enterprise applications usually takes more than five years, and that Forrester's report was premature.

Hamerman's comments this week came during a webinar hosted by Rimini Street, a Las Vegas-based third-party Oracle support provider. Rimini Street and Oracle are currently embroiled in a lawsuit over whether Rimini Street stole Oracle's software and support materials on behalf of its clients.

Frank Reneke, group vice president of corporate strategy at Rimini Street, said that Oracle customers essentially have three main choices: stay with their current applications, upgrade to the next version of their existing application or transition to something new, such as Fusion Applications.

Reneke argued that staying with your current applications improves your return on investment. He added that upgrading is a strategy often employed to extend vendor support, but that "it's a neverending treadmill that never stops going and going."

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