Project Partners Blog


Archive for the ‘Fusion’ Category

By David McNeil and Jose Bastidas, MBA, PMP

Fusion is the Oracle brand of products grouped in two categories; Oracle Fusion Middleware (OFM) and Oracle Fusion Applications (OFA). The Oracle Fusion suite was created by Oracle to answer the need for more user oriented tools and applications to simplify day to day activities and provide a more robust integration capability enabling users the ability to retrieve useful reports and information in real time from multiple sources like an ERP, OBIEE, the Web, third party applications, and even social media sites. The products grouped under the OFM category are oriented to provide an integration platform between different applications leveraging the concept of Service Oriented Architecture. The products grouped under the OFA category are the Oracle applications, with a new and improved User Interface, that allows end users to process real time ERP transactions more easily.  Since most of the new features that are available today are part of the OFM group, we will try to focus this article on those.

Oracle Fusion Middleware is made up of many Oracle software products and tools that can be leveraged in many different ways. The OFM products and tools include  Enterprise Application Server, Integration and Process-Management tools (BPEL, BAM, etc.), Application Development Tools (SOA), Business Intelligence, Systems Management tools, User interaction and Portal Tools, Content Management capability, Identity Management applications, Grid Infrastructure, and Performance Management.

Let me highlight some of the key features that we have found to be most beneficial to our customers. As shown in Figure 1, the pillars that anchor the Oracle Fusion Model are; Oracle SOA Suite (Service Oriented Architecture), AIA (Application Integration Architecture) and Oracle Business Intelligence.

Figure 1

Figure 1



The Oracle SOA Suite and the AIA enable access to “plug-ins” that connect or integrate Fusion Middle Ware with Oracle and Non-Oracle applications such as PeopleSoft, Siebel CRM, E-Business Suite, JD Edwards or other Industry specific applications.  This is done using Application Management packs as shown in Figure 2. Oracle Business Intelligence then provides access to easy to use reporting tools that users can use to create their own reports from data residing across all these applications.

Figure 2

Figure 2



OFM also provides a state of the art development framework called Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF). ADF is an end-to-end Java EE framework that simplifies application development by providing out-of-the-box infrastructure services and a visual and declarative development experience. ADF allows creating customizations by providing a metadata layer that describes the behavior of the application. The behavior of the application is defined using definitions such as the inherent business logic, the user interface, the business rules, and the business processes. Changes to applications using ADF are made to the metadata layer which is built based on graphical flows, dragging and dropping tables, functions and rules and not directly in the code. This enables developers to create/change customizations more quickly and, easily as they are integrated to the database and protected during an upgrade. Another advantage of using ADF for developing customizations is that these can be displayed by mobile devices thanks to the use of ADF Mobile. ADF Mobile uses HTML5, Java and other components for reach enterprise applications like Java Server Faces (JSF) allowing developers to create iOS and Android compatible applications for regular browsers and tablet based ones.

Oracle Application Server Enterprise Edition with Oracle Grid Computing technology allows users to manage new hardware based on applications and storage needs, avoiding to have dedicated servers for each specific application. This allows multiple applications to share computing infrastructure, resulting in much greater flexibility, cost, power, efficiency, performance, scalability and availability.

Oracle Master Data Management allows consolidating Master Data avoiding data redundancy, allowing easily maintenance of the information, and providing integrity and consistency across multiple applications.

We can see that when Oracle named this technology suite, Fusion, they were thinking of a platform that allows the fusion of the best Oracle technology available in the market, an easy to use configuration tool, and a much sought-after easy to use and flexible end user layer.

Although Fusion has been on the market for the last 7 years, it has only been just the last 5 years that it has reached the level of maturity that companies are looking for when considering a middleware application. This technology becomes a critical cog as companies look to integrate their existing applications with new mobile applications and as they look to upgrade to the latest release of Oracle Applications.

As you embark on your specific project, you will soon find out, as with many new technologies, that there are not many implementation partners like Project Partners that have the experience required for a Fusion implementation. Project Partners has the resources and experience across industries to help you achieve the full potential of Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Fusion Applications and Oracle E Business Suite R12 to enable you to exceed the desired ROI of your project.

By Randy Egger
President, Project Partners LLC
Former chief architect of Oracle E-Business Suite Projects applications

Over 20 years ago, Finance and IT organizations (under the direction of the Chief Financial Officer), were in control of systems and desperately wanted to instill some financial controls and measures into the Delivery organizations that ran projects. The battle was always that the Project Managers (PMs) didn’t want to be controlled by departments they felt had no understanding of the world of project management, they wanted complete flexibility to best deliver their projects, and they were not concerned with the CFO’s desire for visibility into projects. Most PMs managed projects using personal systems based on Microsoft® Excel or Microsoft Access. The more sophisticated project managers used Microsoft Project, and the most advanced firms used Primavera, Cascade, Mantix, Artemis, and Cobra. BUT, the project systems used by PMs seldom could reflect accurate cost data which then made it difficult to really know the financial health of the project. Therefore, many PMs simply managed to effort and schedule.

In the “old days” a job code equating to a project was part of the general ledger chart of accounts – and most PMs were not strongly concerned about financials. So, how could you let accountants manage financials and project managers manage projects? You needed a system that allows both worlds to obtain the information that they wanted in the format that they wanted. To meet this need, in the early 1990’s Oracle released its first Project Accounting (PA) system: a true project based sub-ledger.

When the initial implementations of PA started, it was the Finance group that was imposing controls onto the Project Managers. Finance wanted visibility into ongoing projects, hence Finance was making most of the decisions, which generated friction between the organizations. To meet the requirements driven by Finance, PMs needed to change the way they were managing projects and that introduced a large opportunity for Change Management.

Getting structure into a non-structured environment was the primary challenge. When companies have been doing things a certain way for decades, it is VERY hard to change that culture… so compromises are made in an attempt to balance the needs of both organizations. Some folks would create a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) to map to a Cost Structure simply so that they could track and control costs. Other companies placed intelligence into both the Project number as well as the WBS … because that was the way it was always done in the past. Some would claim that it made controlling charges easier while others would claim that it made reporting easier. But, in both cases, Project/Task naming was mirroring the way a General Ledger chart of accounts is structured, and not the way a project manager manages a project.

As time progressed, operations and project-based delivery organizations matured and developed a better understanding of what is needed to facilitate harmony between Finance and Project based Operations. At the same time, Oracle developed a Project Management system that was closely linked to its Project Accounting application. When Oracle released its Oracle Project Management (PJT) application and companies began to implement it, it became clear that Oracle had taken one step closer to really bridging the Accounting world to the Project Management world. But that still was not enough. PMs wanted and needed an EASY tool to assist them with their Project Management needs. Then, Oracle made the smart decision to purchase Primavera.

For those companies that implemented Oracle Project Costing and Project Billing only, without a futuristic vision of having a truly integrated Project Management system in place, trying to implement any form of integration of Project Accounting to a Project Management system became a horrible mess. When that happens, the only real thing that can be done is to update the implementation of Project Costing and Project Billing with a clear understanding of how it would integrate with either Oracle Project Management or Primavera. If there are other major issues that also need to be addressed, then a complete reimplementation of these modules should be considered.

Any company that is upgrading to E-Business Suite Release 12, or implementing R12 for the first time, will have the opportunity to rethink or redefine how they will move to become a truly project centric organization. Whether you are implementing for the first time, updating your implementation or re-implementing, thinking through the business needs that address both Project Accounting and Project Management will be paramount for your future long term success.

This issue applies to more firms than one might initially expect. I have always stated that “every company is a project company … they just don’t know it yet.” As more and more organizations decide to operate their firm or certain divisions on a project basis to better understand costs and level of effort and to develop repeatable processes using a structured Project Management methodology they will look to Oracle’s Enterprise Project Portfolio Management solutions, which remain the most complete in the market. And they will benefit from the significant evolution of these applications that enable Finance and Project Management to work together in harmony.

The Southwest Regional Oracle Applications User Group will be hosting a conference on Friday, February 24 in Los Angeles, CA.  If you’d like to attend, visit their website here and click on “Conferences.”

At the SROAUG conference, Project Partners’ Neeraj Garg will be presenting Contract Based Project Billing with Fusion Project Portfolio Management

Neeraj will be presenting this content in his presentation:
Oracle Fusion Project Portfolio Management offers Project Contracts features that are part of the Fusion Enterprise Contracts model. Fusion Project Contracts offers sell side contracts functionality that helps to drive revenue and billing independent of project setup and execution. This presentation highlights the core features including a flexible approach to billing by contract lines, contract level summaries, consolidated bill plans, billing controls, improved user interface and improved process efficiencies.

If you can’t attend the conference in person, that’s not a problem!  You can view this presentation online here.

Businesses of various shapes and sizes across the globe continue to invest in and expand the footprint of their ERP applications. Much of this increased spend includes mission critical projects such as

1) Upgrades

2) Deploying new applications and

3) Migrating new businesses, acquired companies, countries and/or re-engineered processes into an existing “corporate” ERP.

So how do these companies begin the process? What are the key considerations in play to complete these daunting tasks within an Oracle ERP environment?

Oracle E-Business Suite Applications Releases 11i and R12, and Oracle Fusion Applications – the significant majority of existing Oracle ERP customers use these 3 applications suites.
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Neeraj Garg will be delivering an Encore presentation of his Collaborate 11 paper: Contract Based Project Billing in Oracle Fusion Project Portfolio Management on September 8th. This webinar will be recorded so if you can’t attend the live webinar, be sure to view the recording after the event.

Why is This Webinar Important?

Oracle Fusion Project Portfolio Management offers Project Contracts features that are part of the Fusion Enterprise Contracts model. Fusion Project Contracts offers sell side contracts functionality that helps to drive revenue and billing independent of project setup and execution. This presentation highlights the core features including a flexible approach to billing by contract lines, contract level summaries, consolidated bill plans, billing controls, improved user interface and improved process efficiencies.

To Register or View the Recording: http://www.projectp.com/resources/webinars.php

By Kimberly McDonald Baker

Project Partners is pleased to announce that we will be presenting six papers at the Collaborate 11 conference in Orlando, Florida in April.  While at the conference, be sure to visit us in Booth 953 in the Exhibit Hall, and enter to win a Kindle. Read the rest of this entry »

Since January, Project Partners consultants, both in the US and in India, have had the privilege of working on-site with Oracle to test the Fusion Applications. An absolute win-win situation for everyone involved. It is our chance to see the live product in action, to test, test and test again to insure quality and to get hands-on experience and training using the best-of-the-best in Projects Applications. In exchange, Oracle receives a tremendous amount of feature validation, field expertise, and knowledge from those of us who live and breathe the world of Projects every day. This early look at the product before all the code is frozen helps guarantee the quality release we have all been waiting for.

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