Eye on Oracle

May 5 2010   2:21AM GMT

Will Oracle’s new data center mean a wait for Fusion Applications?

Shayna Garlick Shayna Garlick Profile: Shayna Garlick

While we now know that Oracle’s planned data center in Utah is not a home for aliens, Oracle never publicly announced why the center was put on hold over a year ago. The software giant has revealed that “Project Sequoia” would focus on the latest advances in virtualization, Linux and grid computing to power products like Oracle On Demand. No surprise there.

But now, after the approval of Oracle’s $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun, construction of the 240,000-square-foot, $285 million data center is back on, an Oracle spokeswoman said last week.  Many have speculated that Oracle suspended construction of the data center when making the decision to buy Sun Microsystems, which has its own data centers, including one in Colorado.

Since the building of the facility has resumed, what does that mean for Oracle?

IDG’s Chris Kanaracus calls the resumption “a telling indicator of the scope of Oracle’s plans for on-demand software.” While Oracle only currently has a limited number of on-demand and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, its offerings will greatly expand with the release of its Fusion applications this year.

If the release of Fusion applications stays on track, that is. Delivery of the next generation applications has been long-awaited, and many users are wondering when it will actually occur. At the recent Collaborate user conference in Last Vegas, one Oracle customer was quoted as saying:  “When you mention the word Fusion at my company, there’s laughter in the room. Hopefully, the time they’re taking means they’re being prudent.”

There is much to be prudent about with Fusion apps, however, As Kanaracus points out, many Oracle users are on legacy applications such as Siebel and PeopleSoft and don’t want to switch over to Fusion, at least not right away. In an attempt not to alienate these users, Oracle can use SaaS to allow these customers to “consume Fusion a little at a time.”

It should be interesting to see how long it takes to build the data center – and finally deliver Fusion applications – as the year goes on. Do you have any big plans for SaaS or on-demand software? How will this affect them?

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