Monday, April 30, 2007

Update - 10 Things You Can Do To Prepare For Fusion Applications

It's no big secret by now that I enjoy hearing Oracle's Nadia Bendjedou speak. Her enthusiasm for apps technology, as wellas the information content in her presentations, makes attendance worthwhile. At Collaborate 07, Nadia provided E-Business customers with an updated "10 Things You Can Do Now To Prepare For Fusion Applications." In an earlier post, I promised to review the updates in detail. Although it's still essentially the same presentation I reviewed last October, there are some changes worth noting. What follows are my perspectives on the update highlights:
  • Master Data Management (formerly known as Oracle Data Hubs) seems to have become a more critical component of the Fusion Applications stack. My own opinion is that the new emphasis makes perfect sense in light of the need to consolidate standardize business object data (Oracle's strategy for this is called "Enterprise Business Objects") in order to ease integration.
  • The recommendation to move in the direction of native web services (HTTP over SOAP) for hub-and-spoke integration is a wrinkle I just noticed; it was in the presentation before, but I don't recall hearing much on this point. I'm still contemplating why this is important.
  • The Applications Integration Architecture is not an alternative to Fusion Applications as much as it is an integration strategy or all Oracle Applications product lines, including Fusion Applications. Enterprise Business Objects and Process Integration Packs (pre-designed business processes that integrate across application stacks) are both important components of the Fusion Applications solution set.
  • Oracle Applications Teams are using the Business Process Analysis Suite (part of Fusion Middleware) to deliver business process models for Fusion Applications.
  • Fusion Intelligence is a new component in the business intelligence layer of the Fusion Applications stack. This product leverages Oracle Business Intelligence - Enterprise Edition to provide role-based dashboards with pre-configured analytics. It also integrates with the E-Business Suite's Daily Business Intelligence (DBI). Now, before somebody drops me a line asking about the differences between Fusion Intelligence and DBI, let me make one thing very clear: I'm not intelligent enough to have figured out all the branding differences in Oracle's intelligence products yet. I'll let you know what I think I know as soon as I figure it out.
Overall, I came away with a new appreciation for both the functionality and the technical complexity presented by Fusion Applications. Fusion Applications will offer some great value, but will require some significant planning and preparation in order to realize that value.

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