The report, "Oracle's Dilemma: Applications Unlimited Versus Oracle Fusion Applications," cites survey results that hint that too many Oracle customers are standing pat with E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Siebel and other legacy apps, shortchanging the chances of success for Oracle Fusion Applications. This competition sets up the dilemma in which, Forrester says, Oracle will either have to move away from Apps Unlimited -- a policy guaranteeing continued updates for Oracle legacy apps -- or go the other way and continue to update older apps while treating Fusion as just another option rather than the application suite of the future.
In a three-page statement, Oracle said Forrester's report misrepresents, ignoring its "co-existence" strategy, whereby Applications Unlimited customers can adopt modules of Oracle Fusion Applications "incrementally and at their own pace." Oracle pointedly added, "Never have we forced existing customers to move/migrate out of Oracle Applications Unlimited to adopt Oracle Fusion Applications."
[ Want more on the Forrester report in question? Read Oracle Legacy Apps Holding Fusion Back, Says Forrester. ]
Oracle also countered Forrester's analysis that the highest degree of software innovation is being delivered in Fusion Applications while older apps are seeing only incremental change. To the contrary, Oracle said upgrades such as Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2 and PeopleSoft 9.2 "are not just the minimum required to meet legislative regulations but [offer] features (including mobile and social) requested by customers and that continue to drive the product capabilities forward."
Questioning the survey Forrester used as the springboard for much of its analysis, Oracle noted that it was completed in June 2012, well before last year's Oracle Open World event, where the company detailed its applications strategy. The survey was also skewed in that it sampled U.S. customers only, with more than a quarter being manufacturers and 45% being Oracle Hyperion users. Hyperion is a performance management application that "doesn’t really have anything to do" with the ERP- and CRM-oriented report, Oracle stated.
Forrester isn't the only observer that has pointed out the potential for conflict between Applications Unlimited and Fusion Applications. If anything, Oracle's strong defense of Applications Unlimited and its E-Business Suite and PeopleSoft updates hints that maybe Fusion is, for now, just one more upgrade option along with others including RightNow and Taleo.
It takes time for applications to gain traction, so it's hard to envision Fusion, two years out of the gate with 400 customers thus far, as the heir apparent to E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft and other applications still in use among tens of thousands of customers.
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