Oracle users fear forced migration from acquired products

Although most companies using products acquired by Oracle Corp. plan to keep running them as long as support is available, many also fear that Oracle will ultimately force them to migrate to Oracle-built software, according to a survey of 449 members of the Oracle Applications Users Group.

The survey found that 61 per cent of PeopleSoft and Siebel users think that Oracle will eventually push them to Oracle-built technologies. Nonetheless, 55 per cent of users of all Oracle products called the vendor’s enterprise product road map “somewhat clear.”

The Internet survey of OAUG members, conducted last October for the user group by Chatham, N.J.-based Unisphere Media, sought to clarify end users’ attitudes about and plans for Oracle’s Fusion middleware.

Oracle touts the Fusion technology as a way to link its software to the products it gained in recent years from companies it acquired, such as J.D. Edwards, Siebel Systems Inc. and PeopleSoft Inc. Oracle has said it plans to release the first Fusion modules this year.

In the OAUG survey, 63 per cent of the respondents who are using only Oracle-developed software said they plan to install Oracle Fusion middleware within two years. Meanwhile, among respondents who use products that Oracle acquired, only half said they’re even interested in Fusion at this point.

In fact, respondents at one in four of the companies surveyed reported that they’re not sure what value the middleware would add to their IT operations, while half said that lack of expertise would force them to avoid the technology.

Users also expressed fear that Oracle’s US$8.5 billion acquisition of BEA Systems earlier this month will blunt work on updating applications, despite assurances from CEO Larry Ellison that the new technology will boost Fusion plans.

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