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Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before Moving to Oracle Fusion


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When Oracle bought PeopleSoft—which had already purchased J.D. Edwards—in 2005, thousands of customers wondered what was coming next. Must we migrate? If so, where to? Would it make the most sense to wait for general availability of Oracle E-Business Suite R12? And if not, should we simply wait for Oracle to release a combined version of all the platforms it has incorporated?

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Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before Moving to Oracle Fusion

  1. 1. Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before Moving to Oracle FusionINTRODUCTION: GETTING TO KNOW ORACLE FUSIONWondering whether to migrate to Oracle Fusion? You’re not alone. This is an important question—and,as you’ll see, a complex one. By way of answering it, let’s take a look back at the past few years.When Oracle bought PeopleSoft—which had already purchased J.D. Edwards—in 2005, thousands of customers wonderedwhat was coming next. Must we migrate? If so, where to? Would it make the most sense to wait for general availability ofOracle E-Business Suite R12? And if not, should we simply wait for Oracle to release a combined version of all the platformsit has incorporated?Perhaps aware that PeopleSoft customers typically loved their intuitive, “pure-internet” front-end and would be hesitant togive it up, Oracle announced a massive development project. Project Fusion sought to develop an offering that wouldleverage the strengths of Oracle platform technology, PeopleSoft applications, Oracle E-Business Suite, and Oracle’spowerful middleware solutions. Around the same time, Oracle purchased Siebel Systems, giving it more potentialfunctionality to incorporate into Fusion.Interestingly enough, the Oracle Fusion project led to middleware becoming Oracle’s fastest growing business by 2009.Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g is designed to let enterprises create and run agile, intelligent business applications whilemaximizing IT efficiency through full utilization of modern hardware and software architectures. As Oracle FusionMiddleware has steadily gained market share, the development of Oracle Fusion applications has continued, with generalavailability scheduled for some time in 2012.In its current form, the Oracle Fusion platform consists of a back-end component, middle-tier technology, and front-endapplications. The back-end technology closely resembles that of Oracle E-Business Suite. The middle layer is based onBEA WebLogic. And the front-end interface will give many users a bit of PeopleSoft nostalgia.There are two Oracle Fusion capabilities that should jump off the page to CIOs who are evaluating the platform. First of all,Fusion is available as a SaaS solution—probably in response to competitors like Workday and, who havetaken a bite out of Oracle’s market share. Second, Fusion integrates seamlessly with today’s increasingly popular socialnetworks—a capability lacking in Oracle E-Business Suite and PeopleSoft.That’s the skinny on Oracle Fusion. The question remains: is now the right time to move to Oracle Fusion?
  2. 2. FIVE QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR UPGRADEShould your company start planning its upgrade path to Oracle Fusion? Assuming you’ve gotthe IT budget to devote to the project, it may be tempting to launch a “big bang” migration tothe software platform that has promised to be the new standard for application architecture,design, and deployment.But before you decide to make that leap, there are a few questions you should ask yourself:1 - Are you on the latest version of your current 2 - Does your company do any manufacturing? ERP software? If so, you won’t find the functionality you need in Everything we’re hearing from Oracle executives Oracle Fusion—at least, not yet. Oracle Fusion indicates that to ensure the smoothest Oracle Fusion doesn’t offer modules for discrete or process upgrade path possible, it’s best to start from the most manufacturing, nor for wholesale or retail recent version of Oracle E-Business Suite, distribution. If you upgrade now, you’ll need to PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards, or Siebel. As you sketch integrate your existing manufacturing or distribution out a possible upgrade path, factor in the time and functionality with Oracle Fusion as you wait to see cost of getting your current applications up to the what comes next on the Fusion roadmap. latest version. Will Oracle eventually release Oracle Fusion apps that Keep in mind that even if you don’t decide to upgrade address manufacturing? Will they continue to develop to Oracle Fusion right away, you can begin to sample the functionality in the manufacturing modules in Fusion technology by staying current with the latest Oracle E-Business Suite, J.D. Edwards, and releases of your current ERP software. For example, PeopleSoft? Or both? Only time will tell—but your pieces of Oracle Fusion technology are already business can’t stand still in the meantime. You’ll need available in the PeopleSoft Enterprise 9.1 release, to develop a long-range technology plan that covers and Oracle plans to add more Fusion into future both possibilities. PeopleSoft releases. Staying current, then, gives your organization the chance to try out Oracle Fusion technology before committing all the way. You may find that the hands- on experience you gain helps you determine the right time and right way to make a full transition to Oracle Fusion.2 - (408) 400-0680 -
  3. 3. 3 - Are you willing to expand your current These choices give you greater control over the timing hardware footprint? and speed of your implementation and may help you avoid having to build out your hardware footprint more If you move to Oracle Fusion, you’ll almost certainly aggressively than you would have liked. Will have to buy more servers. That’s because Oracle virtualization now be a viable option for your company? Fusion Architecture (OFA) demands more computing Should you consider running applications on Linux? power. Why? More components and more complexity. With Oracle Fusion, you’ll have many unexpected One of OFA’s main components is the decisions to make as you plan your rollout. aforementioned Oracle Fusion Middleware. Components within Oracle Fusion Middleware include 4 - How heavily have you customized the back Oracle WebLogic Suite, Oracle WebCenter, Oracle SOA end of your current ERP software? Suite, Oracle Identity Management, Oracle JDeveloper, and a whole host of development tools for creating If you answered “very heavily,” then you’ll probably rich enterprise applications. Oracle Fusion Middleware need to plan an entirely new implementation of Oracle also provides certified integrations with Oracle Database Fusion rather than a mere upgrade to Fusion. Then and Oracle Applications to increase reliability. again, it’s possible that many of your previous customizations are now obsolete because they exist Of course, one of the strengths of Oracle Fusion is as new features in Oracle Fusion. its flexible deployment options. You may deploy Oracle Fusion: Before you can upgrade, you’ll need to devote significant man-hours to assessing your current  On your premises, hosted by your company. customizations and deciding whether they’re still  In a public cloud that’s accessible over the necessary. Once you’ve finalized your list of still- internet and hosted by Oracle or an Oracle relevant customizations, you’ll need to determine how business partner. many of these features are offered in Oracle Fusion—  In a private cloud that lives behind your or, alternatively, Oracle E-Business Suite R12. company’s firewall.  In a hybrid model that combines on-premise installation with public and/or private cloud offerings to give your users the full functionality they need.2 - (408) 400-0680 -
  4. 4. 5 - Are you willing to retrain your IT staff? Even if you’re still unsure about moving to Oracle Fusion, it’s probably wise to start training your IT staff to work Fusion Applications run on the Oracle Fusion with the components of the Oracle Fusion technology technology stack, which is more complex and contains stack. In addition to the Oracle Fusion Middleware more components than what Oracle E-Business Suite components we’ve already mentioned, Fusion includes required. As a result, companies that move to Fusion Oracle Business Intelligence, Hyperion Essbase, Oracle will have to retrain their IT support staff on at least a Image Process Management, and Oracle Forms few new technology components. If you’re moving Recognition. These technologies will most likely play an from Oracle E-Business Suite, the list of new increasingly large part in the upgrades Oracle releases components will be shorter than if you were moving for existing Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, J.D. from, say, J.D. Edwards. But in any case, the new Edwards, and Siebel applications. technology stack will increase the complexity and risk of your upgrade or implementation project.The bottom line? Your IT staff is going to need to adapt and learn. The question is how much—and how soon? X Crafting Your Plan? Estuate Can Help At Oracle Open World 2011, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison demoed some Oracle Fusion ERP apps for an enthusiastic crowd, and announced that Oracle Fusion general availability would come sometime in Q1 of 2012. The release is scheduled to contain more than 100 applications. Ellison billed this as Oracle’s largest software product release ever—and joked wryly that he hoped Oracle would never do this sort of thing again. As you watch this massive release hit the market and no doubt hear some initial success stories from early adopters, you may be tempted to accelerate your migration plan. We at Estuate advise a more cautious approach, characterized by meticulous planning. Because of the many “asterisks” associated with Oracle Fusion at this point—several of which we’ve laid out above—there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all upgrade path to Fusion. Even Oracle hasn’t laid out a precise path from PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards, or Oracle E-Business Suite to Oracle Fusion. And you won’t likely find a white paper or book that can chart such a course for your exact situation. To ensure you make the right decision for your unique technology infrastructure—not to mention, your business users—work with an experienced implementation partner. Estuate offers a free Oracle Upgrade Roadmap Assessment that helps companies on J.D. Edwards, PeopleSoft, Siebel, or older versions of Oracle decide exactly what their next move should be. We work closely with companies to assess their needs, answer their questions, and sketch out their migration plan. To find out more about this free service and schedule your consultation, call Estuate today at 800 555-1212 or email - (408) 400-0680 -