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An In-Depth Look at Oracle Fusion Applications: Page 2

By Drew Robb     Feedback
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Oracle ERP and Financials

Even without Fusion, there are plenty of advances across the Oracle Financials and ERP categories.

Paco Aubrejuan, a PeopleSoft Manager at Oracle, mentioned UI upgrades to PeopleSoft 9.1 to make it more intuitive. While version 9.2 is due next year, several feature packs from 9.2 have already been given to 9.1 users, including increased support for mobile users. PeopleSoft is also leveraging centralized R&D from Fusion to improve its own feature set. Similarly, Aubrejuan expects to see customers taking advantage of new platforms such as Oracle Exadata.

"A lot of PeopleSoft customers are running on the mainframe so it is attractive to many of them to move to Exadata," he said.

JDEdwards EnterpriseOne 9.0, too, has had some updates. It includes more functionality for contractors and a recently released module deals with multi-variant Store Keeping Units (SKUs). And like other areas of the Oracle app portfolio, it is benefiting from new technical capabilities from Fusion middleware. For instance, developers have taken mobility features for Apple's iPad and created specific gestures for ERP on that device.

For the Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS), the last major release was 12.1 back in 2001 with a couple of minor updates since.

"Easing the process of maintenance is a big focus and the 12.2 release is coming soon," said Cliff Godwin, an EBS Manager at Oracle. "Online patching will mean you can apply patches while users are still using the older versions."

Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) 11.1 developers are also working on deep integration with Fusion Financials. Fusion has analytics as one of the key features, and these business intelligence and analytics features will bleed into other Oracle apps, including Hyperion EPM.

The storm of announcements during Oracle OpenWorld continued with the company introducing Oracle Financial Management Analytics, prebuilt analytic dashboards that integrate data from Oracle Hyperion Financial Close Management and Oracle Hyperion Financial Management to deliver a unified view of financial close process and financial results. This is based on Oracle Business Intelligence and includes support for the iPad and iPhone. It is generally available as an extra option to users of the Hyperion Financial Close Suite.

"Oracle Financial Management Analytics reduces the complexity of implementing a BI solution that provides insight into the financial close process as well as monthly and quarterly financial results," said Hari Sankar, vice president of product management for Oracle Enterprise Performance Management.

CRM News

The week included plenty of announcements about CRM too. Oracle CRM On Demand Release 19 Innovation Pack was introduced at Oracle OpenWorld. It includes a hosted contact center that adds features such as chat, co-browsing, response libraries, multi-party conferencing, suggested email responses and a pre-built integration interface. Oracle CRM On Demand Marketing Release 5.4 is included as part of it. This simplifies the building and managing of campaigns, websites and customer-facing documents and includes ways to target content to specific customers.

Anthony Lye, senior vice president of Oracle CRM, covered Siebel CRM 8.2, which has the same mobile technology as Oracle CRM On Demand, including middleware to connect apps to the iPad. He added that there had been four major releases to Siebel since its acquisition five years ago.

He was happy also with the acquisition of ATG Commerce, which he termed the world's best ecommerce platform. It has been integrated with Siebel so either set of customers can easily back in to the other one.

Lye wasn't a proponent of all cloud for every app, however,

"It is never going to be all cloud," he said. "If seconds matter in orders, for instance, it is maybe not good to put that over a public internet. Cloud is a good extension but it won't take all applications."  

He countered that, though, by stating that Oracle is already the second biggest provider of cloud applications.

Lye ended with a discussion of Fusion, noting that by using Groovy (the scripting engine for Java), it has become much easier to make changes to CRM applications. He gave the example of tweaking a manager's dashboard to only show deals over $1 million. This can be accomplished in minutes, he said, as could the addition of mobile features or customization for partners to help them qualify leads.

This article was originally published on October 10, 2011
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