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SearchOracle had a chance to sit down with Margaret Wright, president of the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG), at the Oracle OpenWorld 2013 conference in San Francisco. We asked her a few questions around Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2, which recently became generally available.
Aside from hot patching, what do you think are the most impressive features of Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) 12.2?
Margaret Wright: Mobile is probably up there -- mobile expenses for being able to enter and approve expense reports and mobile field service. A lot of our member companies have employees out in the field doing their jobs, and not having to be connected and carrying laptops -- being able to do various things from a smartphone -- is a huge benefit.
The third thing is probably the Endeca extensions to EBS. Endeca is new for EBS members and a lot of them have been looking for something that would allow better search capabilities. Many of them have businesses where they want an online cataloging touch-and-feel feature.
Wright: Most of our members are so application functionality-centric that the infrastructure and underlying technology is not a big impact to them. Our business folks are not going to be much impacted by that. On the IT side, I do not think the learning curve for WebLogic is going to be huge. I think the IT folks are more excited by something new than anything else.
What is happening with the Oracle EBS roadmap in relation to Applications Unlimited, Fusion Applications and coexistence?
Wright: What I have heard at this conference is that Oracle is still committed to the Applications Unlimited strategy, so there will continue to be point releases for Release 12 beyond point 2; so that commitment is not going away. There will be more investment into making EBS R12 even better.
I guess the other part of that strategy with respect to commitment to EBS is coexistence with Fusion. With 12.2 there will be more opportunities for EBS customers to add on Fusion Applications, and in particular Fusion HCM [human capital management]. The financial accounting hub is probably one I hear about a lot.
And what kind of adoption levels are you seeing among your users for Fusion?
Wright: Right now our members are not really asking for help around Fusion Applications. They're asking more for information around upgrading from 11i to 12 or from 12.1 to 12.2. We're continuing to reach out to members. There is a lot of interest, but we haven't seen a lot of uptake with Fusion Apps, even with the co-existence strategy.