Initial Fusion deployments are mostly cloud based / 1,000 improvements in 6 months

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There was an interesting comment earlier today at Collaborate where a senior exec mentioned that of the 250 customers who’ve licensed Fusion already, most of them have opted for a cloud-based deployment. It’s encouraging that there is widespread adoption of the cloud, however you do wonder if some of these will move on-premise once things have settled down – as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters are intending to do.

I suspect that many of these early adopters are co-existing their Fusion modules with an existing core system, so SaaS hosting is understandable. When the time comes to replace the core system they may well move things back in-house.

It was also interesting to hear that Oracle expects to have made around 1,000 customer-driven enhancements by OpenWorld. That’s an incredible amount of improvements in such a short space of time.

See more here.

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Fusion getting some positive press

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I was heartened to see an opinion piece on ZD Net discussing the Oracle’s recent Public Cloud / Fusion Apps progress. Oliver Marks – the author – clearly has access to much more than us outsiders, but the impression that he has formed – that Oracle has made huge progress since last year and is accelerating fast – is very encouraging.

He reports Steve Miranda (Senior VP for Oracle Fusion Development) as saying that he was confident that Fusion would prove to be the fastest ramp up in enterprise computing history in terms of uptake by customers, and looking at the momentum Oracle appear to have with their vast client base [he] looks to have a point.

Oliver also says “From the client enthusiasm and rapid uptake of Oracle’s Fusion offerings it would appear that the Oracle mothership is enjoying a pretty spectacular launch which should give enterprise competitors who have had plenty of room to maneuver in the cloud until now cause for concern. … It would appear that while the competition have been moving a lot of air talking about the future, Oracle have efficiently executed on their vision in remarkably short order and are accelerating pedal to the metal into a suddenly very mature cloud era.”

It’s a good article and well worth a read.

 

Fusion Apps need a new logo

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I’ve watched some Fusion presentations and webinars over the last month or two, and a couple of things have struck me.

1) This – if you just glance at it quickly – looks like it reads ‘Oracle confusion’

Not a good message to be sending out.

2) The Fusion Apps logo is really dull:

It’s just words.

Sure, some of the competition isn’t much better. The Workday one just seems a poor copy of the Amazon one. At least the arch in Amazon has meaning (i.e. going from A to Z)

I’m not sure what the arch in Workday signifies, is it sunrise or sunset? Or does the ‘O to A’ mean something that I haven’t cottoned on to yet?

At least it’s a friendly logo though.

It doesn’t need to say Oracle in it, we all know that Fusion is an Oracle product. Make it red if you want to keep the corporate branding involved. Just spend a few thousand letting your designers riff on the words ‘Fusion Apps’ (or maybe just Fusion) and see if they come up with something more likeable.

Faces of Fusion

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Oracle have uploaded an interesting little series of videos showing some of the personalities behind Fusion Apps development. It struck me as refreshing because Oracle is such a monolithic company, and although you often get to see/hear the execs speak you don’t often get to see the other contributors to the product.

For dedicated Fusion-watchers there’s probably not a lot of new information, but some of it is worth re-iterating:

Killian Evers – The set/family of Composers allows you to change the application without needing Java skills, and regardless of whether you’ve deployed on-premise or in the cloud.

Kristin Penaskovic – The Fusion help system is a cloud based portal called – imaginatively – the Fusion Help Portal. From the description it sounds a little like the hosted versions of PeopleBooks.

Janine ErbThe first time we had a mass group of people coming in and using the applications we heard people saying “I had to keep reminding myself this was Oracle because it’s so user-centric”.

Andre Ohl – Oracle are the only vendor that can offer an ERP where there’s flexibility over the deployment model. Fusion can be on-premise, SaaS/public cloud or hosted on a private cloud (on demand).

The camera work is a bit shaky, but it’s quite nicely done. At the moment they just have CRM and HCM ‘faces’, but it’s a good start.

 

Fusion Pricing News

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It really sounds as though things are starting to take shape. We now have a published Global Pricelist for Oracle Fusion Apps.

Exciting times.

The Long and Windy Road to Oracle’s Fusion Applications

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There’s an interesting post from Thomas Wailgum on the Long and Windy Road to Oracle’s Fusion Applications.

It’s a decent summary of the feeling towards Fusion Apps – striking the balance nicely between those who’ll trumpet Fusion Apps regardless and those who’re a little more negative.

 

Oracle needs some positive PR

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Everyone likes to be on the side of the good guys, but just checking through the news today I’m starting to wonder whether Oracle cares how they come across.  Bear with me …

There’s no doubt in my mind that smart phones are a great thing and the iPhone has lead this.  I know Blackberry is tops in the US, and I don’t know what the sales figures are over here in the UK but it seems that 6 months ago everyone had an iPhone.

The tide is turning however, although iPhones are still popular, many of the early adopters are starting to become disenchanted with the Apple approach (and not just the issues with the iPhone 4, I’m thinking of the ‘walled garden’ that is the App marketplace too).  When their carrier contracts complete and they are no longer locked in, many of these early adopters are switching to Android.  To my mind it’s not going to be too long before Android phones are everywhere.

The same – I believe – will apply to tablets, although there’s a couple of years lag behind the mobile phone market.  The iPad is the one that breaks the mould.  I can imagine many people will buy a tablet in a few years time when their web browsing and email laptop breaks.  I don’t think it’ll be an iPad though.  Android tablets will be freely available and popular by then.

So, I have an idea that in the near future the mobile and tablet markets will be dominated by Android.  What does this mean for Oracle and how they’re seen in the market?

Most people in the IT Industry have an awareness of how ‘good’ a company is.  And by this I don’t mean their technical skill or the quality of their products.  I mean how positively they are viewed by the public.  Whether they do the right thing, whether they are ethically sound, their karma, if you like.

At one end you have Microsoft, they are (or maybe ‘were’) the ‘evil empire’.  I like a lot of MS products, but this is definitely how they’re perceived in the marketplace.  The other end – the ‘overwhelmingly positive’ end – is probably empty, the nearest incumbent being the open source movement.  Apple were viewed positively, but there’s been a definite shift towards the evil end of the spectrum over the last 12 months.  Steve Jobs doesn’t have the lustre that he had 12 months ago.  Google and their “don’t be evil” is to the right of centre (although they too have committed the odd dubious move recently – Streetview, Buzz, Verizon/Net Neutrality – they’re still positive thanks to the brand goodwill from Search, Android and their free tools).

So where is Oracle?  They took a hit when they acquired PeopleSoft (a hostile takeover of a very positively viewed company is always going to leave you painted as the bad guy!).  They were probably perceived to be somewhere between MS and Apple.

But now we have the lawsuit to extract money from Google for Java.  This is a patent that Sun hadn’t enforced (maybe they were just sneakily waiting for it to become prevalent enough before making their move?) but Oracle can smell the blood in the water.  According to this post in The Register, James Gosling (the father of Java) was grilled about the patent situation between Sun and Google during the Sun acquisition and “could see the Oracle lawyer’s eyes sparkle.”

“And yes, Oracle isn’t just after money, it’s after blood. In its complaint, Oracle doesn’t just demand monetary infringement damages, it’s seeking to have any code that is found to infringe upon Oracle’s copyrights “impounded and destroyed.”” (Daniel Eran Dilger – link to full article below)

They have to be careful that it’s seen as claiming what is rightfully theirs, rather than an aggressive attack on Google and the Open Source community.  That would be a dent to the Oracle image.

Even worse though, if the move negatively impacts Android then it’s going to clearly cement Oracle’s reputation as a doer of evil.

Further comment here:

http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2010/08/14/how-oracle-might-kill-googles-android-and-software-patents-all-at-once/

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/howlett/is-oracle-becoming-an-evil-empire/2389

Image Credits:

Apple/Android: MediaPost

Steve Jobs/Anakin: Casey Fleeser/SomeGeekIntn