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9/26/2012
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Oracle Open World: Key Issues On Tap

Oracle applications executive Steve Miranda, via Twitter chat, suggests Fusion, Taleo, and RightNow will be focus of attention at next week's Oracle Open World conference.

Oracle vs. Salesforce: Social Acquisition Face-off
Oracle vs. Salesforce: Social Acquisition Face-off
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Fusion, Taleo, and RightNow will get front-and-center attention at next week's Oracle Open World event in San Francisco. At least that's the impression Oracle applications executive Steve Miranda left during a half-hour #askoracleexec Tweet chat on Wednesday.

Miranda was hit with so many tweeted questions he couldn't answer them all. Will we hear from Oracle Fusion customers at Open World, and can you name names? Miranda tweeted that Fusion customer adoption and success will be a big theme. Fusion customers Conagra, Ardent Leisure, Nikon, and Red Robin will join a 1 p.m. keynote panel discussion on Tuesday, October 2, Miranda tweeted, and there are "too many other [customers] to name," he added. Fusion adoption is mostly cloud-based, with human capital management (HCM) and CRM, in that order, being the top two apps, he noted.

Given Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's many remarks discrediting multitenancy, InformationWeek asked the straightforward question: "Are Fusion apps multitenant or not?" Miranda's non-answer was this: "We have a modern virtualized/scalable cloud architecture giving us both high scalability in the cloud and security."

Miranda tweeted about blended offerings, noting that product roadmaps will be shared at Open World for combinations including Fusion and Taleo, for HCM; and RightNow, ATG, and Fusion, for customer experience management. The roadmaps will include mobile and social wrinkles as well as integrations of functionality.

[ What's Oracle's biggest cloud rival up to? Read Salesforce.com's Next Steps To Become The Next Oracle. ]

What are Oracle's plans to address workforce management, asked Forrester analyst Paul Hamerman. Miranda said he could not comment. Workforce management is an app that Oracle competitor SAP offers in the cloud.

What about cloud-based demand for Fusion Financials? That's picking up, Miranda responded. "We have a huge on-premises business, so 'significant' is relative. [But the] speed of the demand increase is good," Miranda wrote. Oracle's huge on-premises financials business is Hyperion. That's a cash cow Oracle is probably loath to replace quickly.

On the topic of cloud cannibalization, Miranda said it's just not happening where Fusion, PeopleSoft, and Oracle E-Business Suite are concerned: "[Our] on-premises business huge. So far Fusion has been additive, not cannibalizing."

Asked when and whether Oracle will release its cloud pricing, Miranda demurred, saying, "We have yet to publish cloud price list, but it's obviously a highly competitive market and our prices are competitive."

Oracle on-premises apps didn't come other than in the context of cloud progress, so we asked, "When you're done talking about cloud apps, what's the priority #1 discussion on on-prem apps?" Miranda's response? "Many product lines across many industries. We continue [to add] features and releases in ebs, psft, siebel, jde, etc.," he tweeted.

Clearly Tweet chats, with their 140-character limit, are not an ideal forum for in-depth discussion. Had analysts and reporters not led Miranda down the cloud path with so many questions about Fusion, perhaps he would have had more to say about Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Siebel, JD Edwards and other on-premises apps. We'll see how true to the Twitter chat the script turns out to be next week.

In-memory analytics offers subsecond response times and hundreds of thousands of transactions per second. Now falling costs put it in reach of more enterprises. Also in the Analytics Speed Demon special issue of InformationWeek: Louisiana State University hopes to align business and IT more closely through a master's program focused on analytics. (Free registration required.)

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