Friday, August 18, 2006

The Importance of Being 12

With apologies to Oscar Wilde for the title of this post, may I take a moment to consider the importance of Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12? R12 is due for release in the last quarter of 2006. As more information becomes available, each Oracle customer will have to decide for themselves whether or not a move to R12 has value for them. Some of us may opt to stick with what we have until the Fusion Applications picture becomes clear. Some will see value in R12 and make the leap in relatively short order. Others may move to another product line (or apps vendor) altogether. Irregardless of our individual choices, R12 is important to everyone in the applications market space (including those who are not Oracle customers) because it's an important step in the progress to achieving Oracle’s ambitious vision for Fusion Applications.

Please don’t misconstrue my meaning: R12 has importance, at least for Oracle E-Business customers, for reasons other than Fusion. R12 has 12 new application modules and over 2,300 new features, including the SWAN user interface, sub ledger accounting, new HRMS localizations, improved support for APAC manufacturing practices, Retek integration, and several new industry-specific business flows. Discounting R12 without seriously considering whether it holds significant value for your organization would be foolish, and I don’t mean to do so here. But my contention is that Release 12 represents a significant proof-point in the Fusion Applications evolution, and that the importance to Fusion is R12's most essential feature.

R12 will be the first complete E-Business Suite release on Fusion middleware. This is the next step in a series of iterations toward Fusion applications technology that started with the Early Adopter Program for integration of 11i with the 9i Applications Server. While R12 is definitely not a Fusion Applications release, delivery of a high-quality E-Business Suite release on Fusion middleware will constitute a major milestone on the road to Fusion Applications.

E-Business Suite customers are about to find out just how well and reliably Fusion technology works with our apps environment, and the entire applications space is about to discover just how much progress Oracle has made in integrating all the moving pieces of this giant and complex technical puzzle. In other words, the rubber is about to meet the should be an interesting drive!

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