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February 2, 2007

Oracle Announces Applications Releases

Oracle announced the simultaneous release of several business applications upgrades on January 31, 2007 in New York and across the globe. In fine style, the president, Charles Philips, and senior managers from development reviewed a wide variety of new features in all of the Business Applications Suites under the marketing banner 'Applications Unlimited'.

The event was simulcast in Europe and South America, and a second round for Asia-Pacific later in the day. As a participant, the hype certainly made for good television. The ensuing months will confirm if Oracle really has managed to stitch the applications together to provide users with a choice.

Some key highlights that I heard included:
A. All the Suites have incorporated aspects of the new Fusion middleware platform, most notably the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) components. Along with these new components, a repository of well documented pre-built integration points are ready use, which helps to sell the 'Best of Breed' solution approach, and support existing customers.

i. Existing customers can upgrade and eliminate a lot of integration customizations that may exist in a 'Best of Breed' environment.
ii. New customers can lower their Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) simply by not having to invest in complex inter-applications integrations amongst the five Suites since many come pre-built 'out of the box'.

B. Oracle OnDemand will fully support all Suites and some 1000 customers have signed up to-date.

C. There is an active ISV program and SOA/BPEL has become one of the key means of integrating ISV applications offerings into the Suites.

The afternoon sessions were dedicated to the individual Suites Overviews. I attended the Oracle E-Business Suite R12, presented Steve Miranda, using the mantra Think Globally, Work Globally, Manage Globally. The key areas that changed, over and above the technical updates above, include:

A. A new Accounting Engine, that supports multiple accounting representations, and a comprehensive audit trail.
B. A new Tax engine, E-Business Tax, that replaces several point solutions embedded in various products, and formalizes a tax line audit repository.
C. A new Legal Entity structure along with Ledger Sets, now supports compliance documentation and reporting requirements while ensuring full managerial reporting.

I will be looking into these new features and offering my views on their application to business and compliance problems.

Posted by alexfiteni at February 2, 2007 1:03 PM


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