GCN Insider | Oracle con-Fusion?

TRENDS & TECHNOLOGIES that affect the way government does IT

GCN hadn't really caught up with Oracle Corp. since it finished consuming PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and, most recently, Siebel Systems'companies that may have developed the business systems you're either running now or thought you were migrating to in the near future. So after getting the state of affairs from Oracle senior VP of public sector Mark Johnson, we were interested in two main things: What's up with Project Fusion, Oracle's all-encompassing, services-oriented architecture; and what should agencies expect Oracle to do with the PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel applications?

Oracle, to its credit, wants to be all things to all people, but that raises some questions. Project Fusion is a large undertaking to create an SOA and a centralized data model that works across Oracle's stable of systems. So far, the focus has been on middleware and business process management, but in a couple of years, Oracle will release individual Fusion applications. What are those, exactly? They're 'the best of the best' from Oracle's homegrown and acquired solutions, Johnson said. 'Fusion is an upgrade.'

'Upgrade from which?' we asked. Whichever you've got. Oracle last month rolled out Applications Unlimited, the company's program to continue enhancing and supporting PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Siebel and Oracle software beyond the 2008 launch of Fusion apps. In other words, Johnson said, PeopleSoft users could continue using PeopleSoft and getting updates (plus lifetime support) or they could 'upgrade' to Fusion. Over the next year, Oracle plans to release PeopleSoft Enterprise 9.0, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 8.12, Siebel 8.0 and Oracle EBS 12. The product road map even includes EnterpriseOne 9.0 a couple of years out.

Our questions: Who decides what's the 'best of the best?' And how does Oracle decide where to focus its development efforts if one app is the best and another, well, isn't? Johnson said Oracle has a Fusion strategic council that includes public-sector customers to help make these decisions, but admitted, 'there will be differing viewpoints.' Get in your two cents now.

About the Authors

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.


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