Fusion's features, such as the embedded BI (business intelligence), are very appealing to IT Convergence, Gonzalez said. "Things that were taking a long time for us in terms of reporting were covered inside the Fusion product."
However, the complex underlying technology stack for Fusion Applications presented a two-fold issue, serving as "a challenge for our resources and an opportunity for our business to connect with other systems," he said.
Prerequisites for Fusion Applications include SOA Suite, WebCenter Portal for Oracle Applications, BI Foundation Suite, Oracle's identity and access management software, GoldenGate, Fusion Transactional Business Intelligence and WebLogic Server, according to Gonzalez's presentation.
Stitching all of that together has been a tall order, Gonzalez said.
By going to SaaS for Fusion, "you're still going to be purchasing [the technology] in some hidden way, but you're removing the installation challenges," he said.
In an interview after his talk, Gonzalez said that IT Convergence decided to take on the burden of an on-premises deployment in part because it plans to develop a consulting practice around Fusion Applications and wanted to give staffers a chance to gain the needed expertise.
One prospective Fusion Applications customer said her only interest is in the SaaS deployment model, given the hassles of running Fusion in-house.
The latter option is "out of the question," said Albina Shekhtman, director of business application services and programs at Abt Associates, a public policy and business consulting company, in an interview. "Our direction is: Let somebody else have the headaches."
For example, Abt Associates currently has an E-Business Suite implementation that lacks high-availability functions, she said. "In the cloud, I don't have this issue."
The sole initial reason Shekhtman began looking into Fusion was because she heard it was an online offering, she said.
Shekhtman is hoping to first roll out Fusion HCM software for recruitment, applicant tracking and employee onboarding, if she's able to convince Abt's human resources officials that it's the right move.
Right now, Abt Associates' HR department has "a very complicated situation" with its software portfolio involving E-Business Suite "and a lot of bolt-ons," which has resulted in many inaccuracies and inefficiencies, she said.
"My dream is, we're going to start going to Fusion," Shekhtman said. "They just need to see that the functionality will meet their needs."
That notion echoes IT Convergence's plans for Fusion Applications. While it committed to E-Business Suite for the immediate future, the hope is to move entirely to Fusion Applications within two years, depending on whether the software becomes mature enough, Gonzalez said.