If you believe in magic,
don't bother to choose
If it's jug band music or rhythm and blues
Just go and listen, it'll start with a smile
It won't wipe off your face, no matter how hard you try
Your feet start tapping and you can't seem to find
How you got there, so just blow your mind
--From the Lovin' Spoonful's Do You Believe In Magic?
Since Oracle confirmed that Fusion Apps will eventually include SaaS offerings, I've been noodling quite a bit on the next opportunity I see: Extending those apps on SaaS. I'm not talking so much about extending Fusion Apps within themselves (the ever-growing Composer products will take care of that). I'm talking more about that little touch of magic that can come by combining 3rd-party applications with Fusion Apps on SaaS. For example, combining elements of Fusion Financials with Salesforce.com data and rendering a custom transactional or BI report (or even an app).
The obvious answer here is that mashups will become an even bigger deal in Oracle's enterprise software world. From my worm's-eye point of view, I see the not-so-new ideas of Service Mashups and Dashboard Mashups really coming into their own as Fusion Apps on SaaS starts to gain traction with customers.
More specifically, for those involved in building products, it seems like a good idea to sharpen up your skills with Web APIs (JSON, XML, and/or REST vocabulary…that sort of thing).
The German-based chemical company BASF once had an advertising campaign centered around the idea that "we don't make the bowling ball (or the music or the jet or whatever), we make it better". With Fusion Apps on SaaS, I suspect we'll see a strong niche for companies that don't make Fusion Applications…but make them even better.
Could be really great stuff for the enterprise if those with the mashup visions get the freedom to be creative…but that's another subject altogether. Do you believe in magic?