by Aaron Lazenby and Margaret Terry Lindquist; additional editing by Marta Bright, May 2007
With the announcement, earlier this year, of major upgrades to all five of Oracle's applications product lines, some customers might be wondering if Oracle still has a strong commitment to Oracle Fusion. But any doubting customers haven't listened to Jesper Andersen lately. Tasked with plotting strategy for Oracle Fusion, the senior vice president is adamant that the level of focus, effort, and intelligence being exerted on Oracle Fusion has, if anything, redoubled as the company moves toward the product's release.
PROFIT: Can you define Oracle Fusion and update us on what's been happening during the past six months?
ANDERSEN: Oracle Fusion is the next generation of Oracle's business applications. We are committed to delivering an industry-leading next-generation applications suite and we're re-emphasizing why we think there is a need for a natively built next-generation suite and educating the market on the key concepts behind it. We are showing customers tangible aspects of the product, such as the user interface experience. We're in the functional design stage, we've rolled out the standardized development environmentwe're executing well against our plans.
PROFIT: How will Web 2.0 impact Oracle's applications?
ANDERSEN: Web 2.0 emphasizes collaborationit really takes a lot of concepts from Web sites like Google and MySpace, and from instant messaging and things like that, and incorporates those into applications. It's more of a consumer phenomenon today, but we believe it will have a significant impact on the enterprise. Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle technology provide a lot of those capabilities for our existing applications, and Oracle Fusion applications will go further to natively incorporate Web 2.0 concepts.
We have a great search engine. We have good collaboration technology. We have everything we need around those things. And some of that we can bring to the applications incrementally, but other things require more of a fresh approach. That's why we are doing Oracle Fusion, to make sure we take advantage of all of those things and offer our customers the productivity and business process gains that that new technology base can help deliver. We want to ensure that we get a service-oriented architecture-based application suite. Architecting specifically with that in mind is a key concept and a key focus point in Oracle Fusion.
PROFIT: What role are standards playing in the development planning?
ANDERSEN: When we think of Oracle Fusion, we think of what we call the superior ownership experience. The superior ownership experience includes user experience, partner experience, application management, and total cost of ownership. We believe that standards are a requirement to providing a superior ownership experience because standards reduce the cost of ownership by providing access to greater resources and ensuring commonalities that facilitate integration and extensions.