Because enterprise systems are mission-critical systems, it can be very difficult for companies to contemplate implementing new applications—even when they hold the promise of new features and huge performance improvements like Oracle Fusion Applications. As with any complex endeavor, careful planning is one of the most important keys to success.
Based on our work with Oracle customers, we’ve identified three steps to becoming “Fusion-ready.” The first is to develop a road map, starting with a detailed assessment of what’s in place today at the application level.. It’s important to align your application plans with business needs. By understanding which components of Fusion Applications can be valuable enablers, your organizations will be in a better position to map out an effective adoption strategy. Moving to Fusion Applications opens up opportunities to fine-tune the application portfolio more generally—streamlining processes, and rationalizing and standardizing applications by retiring customized or obsolete applications.
The second step is to implement Oracle Fusion Middleware, which plays a pivotal, and perhaps underappreciated, role in Oracle Fusion Applications.
For example, it’s important for Oracle PeopleSoft users to understand that Oracle Fusion Middleware replaces the technologies used today to develop applications, such as PeopleTools. Oracle’s Fusion Middleware is licensed with Fusion Applications. Oracle’s SOA Suite, Business Intelligence, Security, Portal and other components of the middleware stack are essentially pre-requisites for any on-premise implementation. This not only changes the delivery model for today’s Systems Integrators, but introduces either new or upgraded technology to our clients. The challenge is how do enterprises implement this component? How do they turn it on? Oracle Fusion Middleware is really the unifying thread in all Oracle applications.
In fact, even customers that are doing a non-Fusion applications upgrade, such as moving to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12, forget about the tech stack. They realize midway through the implementation that they have to do a middleware upgrade—and now! E-Business Suite puts great demands on the Oracle Fusion Middleware stack, so it is critical for enterprises to focus on the Oracle Fusion Middleware stack—both for today, and for the future of Oracle Fusion Applications.
There are a multitude of business cases to encourage enterprises to move forward with Oracle’s Fusion Middleware, so the sooner they start, the better. Don’t wait so long that you have to endure preventable issues and unexpected costs. And most importantly, don’t fall behind schedule, because this is where projects always overrun deadlines and budget. Customers also have to consider the opportunity cost of not taking action—because a middleware upgrade will ultimately lower overall IT costs in terms of future development.
From our work with Oracle customers, we’ve come up with three steps to becoming “Fusion-ready.” The first is to build a detailed assessment to examine what’s in place today at the application level. For example, if an enterprise is running an eight-year-old version of PeopleSoft, it’s going to cause issues. The goal of this first step is to understand what an enterprise has and what has to be updated to get Fusion-ready. The second step is to implement Fusion Middleware. While many current ERP projects are still focused on non-Fusion applications, such as moving to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12, it is very common for E-Business Suite customers to realize, “Oh we forgot about the tech stack. We’ve got to do upgrade that, and we’ve got to do it now.” In fact, E-Business Suite is very demanding of the Oracle Fusion Middleware stack, so it is critical for enterprises to focus on this Middleware 11g portion. It’s only after enterprises address these first two steps that they should consider the third step: implementing Oracle Fusion Applications.
By taking a methodical approach, customers can understand the specifics of what’s available today, gain valuable insight about what’s coming in the future and create an effective Fusion strategy—so that ultimately, they are prepared to use Oracle Fusion Applications to retain their competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Pat Sullivan works in Accenture’s Oracle practice focused on Oracle’s technology stack with clients and manages the Accenture Foundation Platform for Oracle offering, an accelerator to deploying Oracle’s Fusion Middleware products in today’s enterprise. More information can be found at www.accenture.com/afpo.