Oracle Releases Two Packs for Enterprise Project Integration

Oracle announces two new "packs" for integrating project management with enterprise resource planning (ERP). The packs will allow users of Oracle Project Portfolio Management, Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne to more seamlessly synchronize data such as project structures, resource details, actual costs, budgets and costs to complete between various projects.

Oracle announced on Dec. 16 that its new Oracle Application Integration Architecture Release 2.5 PPM Process Integration Packs will integrate project management with enterprise resource planning.

The Oracle Project Portfolio Management Integration Pack for Primavera P6 and the Oracle E-Business Suite will connect Primavera P6 with the Oracle E-Business Suite, merging project management and financial information tools. This functionality will exist whether the IT pro is creating a project in Oracle Project Portfolio Management or Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management, and allows synchronization of activities and resource assignments between the two.

Oracle is also releasing the Oracle Project Portfolio Management Integration Pack for Primavera P6 and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, which will synchronize information between Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, regardless of which of the platforms were used to create the original project.

With both packs, information capable of being synced includes project structures, resource details, actual costs, budgets, progress and cost to complete. That will theoretically help IT pros, administrators and project managers gain a cohesive look into various projects within a company, in turn allowing project and business objectives to be more closely synchronized.

"Organizations that rely on successfully completed projects to create value for their business need an enterprise-wide solution that connects key project-based business processes that are currently fragmented across their ERP and PPM systems," Joel Koppelman, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle's Primavera Global Business Unit, wrote in a Dec. 16 statement. "The Oracle PPM Integration Packs bridge the gap between ERP and project management to deliver true enterprise PPM for the first time, helping ensure projects adhere to committed budgets and timeframes."

Oracle has rolled out a number of new releases and upgrades to its platforms as 2009 reaches it close. On Dec. 7, the company announced the release of Oracle Enterprise Governance, Risk and Compliance Manager (Oracle Enterprise GRC Manager) and a new version of Oracle Enterprise Governance, Risk, and Compliance Controls (Oracle Enterprise GRC Controls). In theory, both releases provide an end-to-end solution for organizations' GRC needs.

Oracle's stated perspective is that its end-to-end solutions allow managers and IT administrators to perform functions within a single system with less overlap between tasks. As its competition against other enterprise IT companies only gets fiercer, however, providing closed-loop solutions and end-to-end platforms also allows Oracle to introduce more of its ecosystem into enterprise IT infrastructure.

During the summer, Oracle introduced its Fusion Middleware 11g, an upgrade to its middleware platform that incorporates social networking, as well as increased operational insight and automation. In addition to "big gestures" such as that one, the company has been releasing new capabilities for offerings such as its Oracle Accelerate program.

In a further boost to its intention to create end-to-end systems, Oracle moved in April to acquire Sun Microsystems in a deal worth roughly $7.4 billion. That deal would allow Oracle to more fully integrate Java and Solaris into its products, and is currently under antitrust scrutiny.

One of Oracle's primary goals, as professed in September by CEO Larry Ellison, is to eventually challenge IBM in the systems arena.

"We have a deep interest in the systems business," Ellison told an audience at the Churchill Club in San Jose, Calif. "We've already beaten IBM in software. Now we want to beat them in systems."