Oracle Says Fusion Convergence Is Near

Addressing a packed house Wednesday night in San Francisco, Oracle Co-president Charles Phillips said the work to incorporate elements of applications from PeopleSoft and JD Edwards has reached the midway point.

“Oracle is halfway to Fusion, and that&'s the toughest half,” Phillips said. Oracle plans to deliver Fusion components on the various application releases beginning this year.

The plan is to move users—as painlessly as possible—from brand-specific tools such as PeopleTools and Oracle Forms to a converged set of tools and middleware that will cover all the applications. Oracle has promised that the road to Fusion will be incremental rather than disruptive. But observers say it&'s tough make big code changes without some seams.

“Oracle&'s biggest difficulty is integrating all this stuff together,” said Dan Mori, vice president of Oracle partner FusionStorm, San Francisco.

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Mick Gallagher, CEO of LS Technologies, a solution provider in Fallbrook, Calif., said Fusion creates service opportunities for Oracle partners. Through Fusion, Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle will set an application standard and bring systems together seamlessly, he said.

“That&'s huge, especially for JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and Siebel customers that have any reservations about transitioning,” Gallagher said.

Still, one Oracle partner, who requested anonymity, said while the vision is sound, so far “it&'s vapor.”

Madhu Madhavan, managing director of Premier Consulting Group, a PeopleSoft integrator in Secaucus, N.J., was more upbeat. “I think there is some truth to [Oracle&'s] claim, but they still don&'t have their act all the way together.”

Madhavan said Oracle&'s decision last fall to extend support—indefinitely—for even older apps was well-received by customers.

Chris Rapp, vice president of business development at PeopleSoft partner Apex Consulting in Minneapolis, lauded Oracle&'s slow-but-easy convergence of the code bases.

“The next Oracle E-business Suite and PeopleSoft will include these new services, so they&'re moving current products [forward], but as they build brand-new things, they&'ll integrate with existing products. It&'s not seamless, but nothing is.”