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Innovators & Influencers: Big Software Ambitions

Oracle's Fusion next-gen app project is a dream come true of John Wookey
By a twist of fate, John Wookey, a straight-talking, intensely driven software development exec at Oracle, has found himself in his dream job, and it's one of the hardest jobs in Silicon Valley: delivering on the vendor's ambitious application road map.

"Market leadership in applications is my dream," Wookey said after Oracle acquired PeopleSoft last year and he was tapped to head development of that software. The visibility of the position didn't give him pretensions. As he ascended the podium to follow Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, he said the Armani part of the presentation was over and the Men's Warehouse part was about to begin.

Now that Wookey is overseeing Fusion, a set of Java applications that combines the best of PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Siebel, his market leadership aspirations might be within sight. But with Oracle trailing SAP by a wide margin, well, you know what they say about wishes: Be careful.

Wookey's reputation hangs on whether he can deliver the apps on schedule in 2008 and with enough functionality to satisfy each customer base. Everything's on track, he assured an Oracle OpenWorld audience in October.

That's either a dream about to come true or wishful thinking.

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