There's no doubt that Oracle's Fusion strategy is bold and exciting. There's also no doubt that, as a CIO, I was a little worried when I first heard about it. Oracle's Fusion Applications strategy is about the future— if Oracle can merge the best functionality from each set of products using an open and standards-based platform, we'll get great functionality down the road. But I also have to think about whether we'll continue to get a good return on our existing IT investments. There was fear among many customers that if Oracle focused all of its efforts on Fusion, current implementations could have become lame ducks. Applications Unlimited has eased that worry.
For example, the City of Orlando uses Oracle's JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Version 8.10 for our financial systems. The announcement of Oracle Fusion Applications made me wonder whether we were going to get the support and enhancements we need to meet our expectations for our current implementation. We were evaluating an upgrade to 8.11 or 8.12, but the clock was ticking—if I wasn't going to get enhanced features or functionality or the legal and regulatory updates that affect our business, we would have to make a decision whether to move to a different product or stay in the same product line and evaluate the value proposition for having a third-party vendor provide support and maintenance. But the city's preference is to keep the application and service with one provider, to reduce costs and eliminate the finger-pointing that comes along with having separate applications and support vendors. I prefer to have "one throat to choke" when problems arise.
That's why Oracle's Applications Unlimited announcement came as a reassuring sign that our current applications will not be left to twist in the wind. (In fact, if you listened closely you could hear a gentle breeze as CIOs and CFOs everywhere breathed a collective sigh of relief.)