Jumping the gun on Oracles imminent acquisition of Seibel Systems next week, the official Oracle users group announced Jan. 26 that the club is open to Siebel customers.
Siebel users now have an open invitation to OAUGs (Oracle Applications User Group) Community Integration Initiative, which will enable those companies recently acquired by Oracle—some 13 companies in the past year, including PeopleSoft and JD Edwards from the applications realm—to play an active role in the Oracle Applications community as soon as possible, officials said.
The Community Integration Initiative is OAUGs outreach program designed to help acquired companys user groups get situated within the Oracle community.
This is a crucial juncture for Oracle customers—whether they actually use the software giants technology or not. In the thick of its next-generation ERP (enterprise resource planning) suite development, dubbed Fusion Applications, Oracle is in the process of defining functionality that will move over from the Oracle E-Business Suite, and PeopleSoft and JD Edwards application suites.
During a Fusion-focused event in San Francisco last week, Oracle president Charles Phillips said the company has hit the halfway mark in completing Fusion Applications.
Phillips pointed to four key areas as proof points: Oracles existing applications are certified on Fusion Middleware, the "best of" application functions are defined, the Fusion architecture is defined and the Fusion Middleware tools are ready.
Basheer Khan, a member of OAUGs Fusion Council steering committee charged with funneling functionality requirements up to Oracles development group, said last weeks meeting was "a long time coming."
"We have all been anxiously awaiting some direction from Oracle," said Khan, who is also the president of Innovate Technology. "Whats happening is there are individual groups within Oracle product development that will be aligned with Fusion Council, so each module has their counterpart of Oracle on the Fusion Council side."
The Fusion steering committee, comprised of about 25 to 30 companies, has not yet reached the point where it has defined how many modules it will focus on within the overlapping suites, according to Kahn.
The steering committees goal is to make sure that there is no loss of functionality from any of the suites that will be included in Fusion.
"So if someone anywhere is using a particular feature, we would like to see that, and even better, improved upon," said Khan. "We are going to carefully monitor that, and get back to Oracle if theres [a feature thats] not going to be around."
Siebel users, however, may be in a better position to negotiate functionality. Oracle has said that it will utilize Siebels CRM (customer relationship management) technology as the basis for its Fusion CRM product.