Monday, January 28, 2008

Fusion Applications - The BEA Bounce?

Over the past several days, I've been flooded with inquiries from Oracle customers, IT professionals and various journalists over Oracle's acquisition of BEA. One particular question that repeatedly appears: "Will Oracle's acquisition of BEA impact this year's planned rollout of Fusion Applications?" I've taken to calling this scenario "The BEA Bounce". When I get a deluge of questions like this, that's a pretty good indicator of a need to blog about it...just keep in mind that all this is my own opinion and speculation, and I could be wrong. So, here we go!

First, I think it's a good sign that the question is even being asked. It's an indicator that customers are beginning to understand Oracle's strategy: Fusion Middleware drives both the middleware and the applications strategy. Even end users, who seem make applications choices based on functionality rather than technology, are coming to an understanding that middle-tier technology drives application functionality to a great degree - the applications technology stack is important to achieving business goals. More end users are coming to this realization every day, which is one reason why we're seeing an increase in their interest about the tech stack.

Second, I don't think that the BEA acquisition will impact this year's rollout of Fusion Applications. A great deal of Fusion Apps are already in the oven and baking - it's a little late in the process to be adding new ingredients. Since last fall's OpenWorld, I've had the belief that Oracle is very committed to rolling out Fusion Apps in 2008 as planned. Adding BEA technology to the Fusion Applications technology stack at this late date would represent a huge project risk - If I were the project manager, I sure wouldn't want to do so this late in the game. However, keep in mind that Fusion Apps will be an evolutionary journey - new incremental iterations will be coming out for years into the future. I do believe we'll see a significant infusion of BEA technology into Fusion Middleware in the future, which will heavily influence later increments of Fusion Applications.

Bottom line: Oracle's acquistion of BEA will not impact the 2008 delivery of Fusion Apps, but it will likely impact later releases...and the introduction of BEA technology will likely drive new apps functionality, which is a good thing.

That's my two cents on the subject. I'd be interested in hearing what you think...

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