Thursday, August 03, 2006

Fusion to build on Oracle's E-Business Suite

It's now clear that Oracle's next generation application suite, dubbed Fusion, will be built on Oracle's flagship E-Business Suite (EBS) data model and business rules. Where Oracle does not have functionality that exists in JDE or PeopleSoft, Oracle will treat these as new requirements for Fusion. But in satisfying those requirements, there is no guarantee that the business process flow of Fusion will match that of today's JDE or PeopleSoft.

Oracle is not saying any of this publicly, not wanting to commit to this direction, but in response to questions along this line it is pointing to a Gartner report that says basically what I've stated in the first paragraph.

The implications for J.D. Edwards and PeopleSoft users are important. While Oracle has promised "lifetime support" for JDE and PeopleSoft products, it is not promising to continue to enhance these products as the rate it is doing so today. Essentially, this means that if JDE or PeopleSoft customers want to upgrade, at some point, they will be looking at a migration to Fusion. The fact that there will not be a merging of code from JDE and PeopleSoft into Fusion means that customers will need to evaluate Fusion just as they would a completely new ERP system.

In other words, for Oracle users, a move to Fusion will be like a major upgrade. For JDE and PeopleSoft users, it will be a completely new package.

The implications for prospects considering a new ERP system are also clear. In my opinion, there are very few, if any, cases where a company should consider JDE or PeopleSoft, knowing that these products are slated for retirement. Lifetime support is a good insurance policy for existing JDE and PeopleSoft customers--those that have already made their investment in these systems. But why would a company, not yet committed, make an investment in products that are not the basis for Fusion? As one CIO told me recently, it would be like making a strategic decision today to buy IBM's Informix database. Sure, IBM still supports Informix, but that's not where it's making its major investments.

The JDE resellers may argue. But the fact is that many of them are already selling EBS along with JDE or are planning to do so. There will be a lot of work going forward to support JDE customers--even more work, perhaps, to support those that want to migrate to Fusion. But I expect that new sales for JDE are already tapering off and the resellers know this.

Do you have a different opinion? Leave a comment on this post or email me.

Related posts
Oracle's new reseller strategy and speculation on the future of JDE

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the "Buying Informix" and "Buying PeopleSoft" comparison is a little off target. In my opinion, PeopleSoft is probably the most advanced ERP system out there at the moment and has continued to benefit from the developments that PeopleSoft had in the pipeline before the acquistion by Oracle. It'll be some years before there's something comparable. I don't remember Informix ever being in that position.