Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Rethinking R12 On The Road To Fusion

I spent some time over the holidays reviewing and reflecting on my notes and impressions from OpenWorld. One result of all this pondering is that I'm rethinking my plan of skipping EBS R12 and moving directly from 11i to Fusion Apps. My rethinking is due to the following considerations:
1) During the Fusion Council Panel at OOW, I thought I heard Steve Miranda specifically state that the initial integrated suite of Fusion Apps will not be a full-functionality replacement for EBS (or any other apps suite under the Applications Unlimited umbrella). My shop has a pretty compelling need move from 11i to something (preferably something relatively stable) by November 2010. As the IOUC's Debra Lilley astutely pointed out upon seeing my roadmap for JPL, there's no guarantee that Fusion Apps will be able to completely fill that need by that time.

2) I also got the impression (not necessarily entirely from Steve, so don't blame him for this one) that Fusion Apps would be rolled out incrementally and implemented incrementally (unless you're willing to wait until sometime around the end of the decade before taking on the move to Fusion Apps). An incremental approach would require integration with the applications that a customer already has in place. As an EBS customer, Occam's Razor ("All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best") tells me that I'm better off integrating with R12 (which runs on the same Fusion Middleware that Fusion Apps will use) than with 11i (which does not run on a Fusion Middleware techstack).

3) That fact that Oracle Corp. itself is in the process of going live on R12 gives the new EBS suite much more traction and reliability from my perspective. Once Oracle begins to "eat their own dog food", I suspect many customers will begin the uptake of R12, which will in turn accelerate the maturity of that apps suite.
I'm not saying that all EBS users should upgrade to R12 before migrating to Fusion Apps. In fact, I'm not even saying that all EBS users should migrate to either R12 or Fusion Apps at least, not in the near future. Each customer will need to make those decisions based on the needs and constraints of their specific enterprise. What I am saying is that, now that I have a better feel for the scope of the initial release of an integrated Fusion Apps Suite, it probably makes sense for my shop to move to R12 and use it as the jump-off point for a subsequent migration to Fusion Apps...after giving Fusion Apps some time to mature.

So, I'm working up a new version of JPL's Roadmap to Fusion Apps based on the recent things I've learned and these thoughts I've had about the things I've learned. This is what an iterative (or incremental or iterative) approach is all about: you plan based on what you know, you learn more, then you tweak the plan for accomodate what you've learned, then you lear more, then you... well, you get the idea. Once I have a new version of the Roadmap worked up, I'll post it here and look for comments from ya'all.

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