I've been negligent in my writing duties the past couple of days (resulting in a few too many posts regarding the Ariba Supplier network and network alternatives, which I apologize for) because of the procurement fire-hose I've been drinking from at Oracle OpenWorld. In the past 48 hours, I've had the chance to talk with nearly all of the product managers and lead developers at Oracle in the area I cover. I've also been able to see demonstrations across the entire Oracle procurement suite of products (including E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and, drum roll please, Fusion). In addition, I've spoken to dozens of partners, customers and others close to the over 25 procurement-related modules that Oracle offers. To say this is information overload would be an understatement.
In the coming weeks, I'll plan to feature the highlights from my three days here, including an in-depth look at Oracle's Fusion procurement suite, which features a number of innovative platform capabilities that truly make it a next generation procurement product, even if some initial functional capabilities/modules in the forthcoming first release aren't fully embedded. I'll also plan to share updates and analysis on a range of other solutions as well as details on the announcement and the functional implications of D&B's continuing partnership with Oracle and what this means for data enrichment, supply risk content, etc. In particular, there are a lot of exciting and innovative developments happening with e-Business suite, some of which I've covered on Spend Matters in the past year (see previous stories here, here, here, and here.
My quick reaction to Oracle's progress in the procurement area is that in a few years time, as Fusion matures, they will offer a completely different class of solution that rivals apps vendor SAP. If Oracle can succeed in further growing the V1 Fusion vision and functional capabilities based on an already strong platform core that truly embeds analytics, collaboration, access and workflow at the foundational level (vs. as a modular extension or focus) across the entire suite, I don't see SAP being able to offer a functional, integrated equivalent unless they have a new platform up their sleeve that I'm not aware of. But that's a topic requiring significant further examination, so be sure to check back soon as we investigate Fusion and other Oracle procurement developments in more detail.