Oracle Fusion has been a pretty good mystery for me. I have not heard much concrete information until lately. While I can’t tell you where this information came from (other than it’s not from within the organization I work for), it is very reliable.
First of all, Oracle is clearly combining JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and Oracle Suite to create Fusion. This has always been well known. I have always assumed that SCM would look like JDE, HR would look like PeopleSoft, and Financials would look like Oracle. Basically, I’ve heard nothing to invalidate or substantiate this.
What is interesting is their short, mid and long term visions for each product:
Short term (2006):
PeopleSoft will release V9. This is a huge surprise as I thought the current release on 8 would be the last. However, V9 allows Oracle to hang onto PeopleSoft clients for that much longer, and it creates major upgrade revenues as V8 to V9 will probably be strenuous.
Oracle will go to R12 (release 12) while JDE One and JDE World will not have any more major upgrades.
Short term functionality:
PeopleSoft HR V9 will provide a whole new talent management dashboard with hiring, turnover, performance and skills inventories for the organization. They will also be working hard to streamline and standardize workflow and approval processes. Any simplification here would be excellent. Learning management and performance management enhancements are also scheduled for V9 in 2006.
Oracle HR R12 should be interesting as one of the major components in development is a new dashboard for senior level HR practitioners (execs). This new dashboard will provide daily insight into the HR health of the organization.
JDE future functionality focuses on supply chain, and continues Oracle’s focus on dashboards. This time it’s in a plant manager dashboard, so I won’t dwell on it.
Oracle has clearly stated that Fusion is the successor for all 3 product lines. This means that there will be upgrade paths from Oracle, PeopleSoft and JDE. The hope is that upgrades will be simplified, but I think we all know that Oracle will most likely struggle with maintaining clients unless the functionality is spectacular (which it promises to be). They have also clearly stated that Fusion will include the best functionality from all product lines. Lastly, I’ll point out that Fusion is supposed to adhere to industry open standards.
Mid Term (2007):
Oracle Fusion will deliver more dashboards, onboarding, recruitment, learning, and workforce scheduling applications in 2007. This is just the first set of apps. Their problem is that early Fusion will not bring a cohesive HRMS to the market – in fact core HRMS is totally missing. This is in fact a good marketing strategy. If their current PeopleSoft clients buy Fusion modules, then they are more likely to upgrade to Fusion HRMS when the time comes.
Long Term (2008):
Oracle Fusion will finally bring HRMS to market in 2008. This will contain a new role based use of the application which I don’t quite understand yet. It will also expand on the analytics, metrics and portal capabilities.
I’m honestly quite hopefull regarding the Oracle package. At the moment, nobody but SAP does large business enterprises well, and they desperately need a competitor. Oracle’s strategy of maintaining the next PeopleSoft release (V8) and rolling out Fusion a year earlier than I thought was planned should keep the PeopleSoft masses from looking for another software vendor too soon. We’ll have to wait and see.