Yesterday Oracle has a major set of presentations around its new Fusion platform to help celebrate the Fusion project’s one year anniversary.  The headline for the event was “Oracle is halfway to Fusion.”  This is a huge deal as it’s the base for Oracle’s integration of a number of disparate products and technologies from the acquisitions they’ve done in the past two years (PeopleSoft / JD Edwards and Siebel being the most notable.)

Niel Robertson – the CTO at Newmerix – watches this closely as the consolidation in the ERP / packaged application market is a key driver of the opportunity for Newmerix.  I asked Niel what he thought and his quick response was:

Imagine if Microsoft came to you and said the following: “We know you like MS-Office. It has some great features. But we really think next gen of OpenOffice is the way to go. Hey, its standards based. And you can extend it with your own functionality. And look, we have this totally cool OpenDoc format. And, we took the best features of word, wordperfect, framemaker, PDF, and anything else you have and we sort of merged it all together. Well, some of the features won’t be there. Like sub-bullet points. They didn’t make it. And track changes will work totally differently. And folders in outlook won’t be able to be organized the same – but pretty close. But hey, its open. And oh yeah, we’ll give you some tools to convert all your word, PPT, outlook, excel, etc.. over. But you can’t bring anything based on a template (like PPT slides) or any custom formatting you have done in your documents and tables of contents in PDFs won’t work anymore. But don’t worry, all word processors and office tools go through a 7 year evolution – it’s totally normal.”  Now take this conversation and consider how many word, ppt, pdf, excel docs you have alone. Then consider rolling this out to 45,000 people in your organization. Ahhh! It’s a total mess.

It kind of reminds me of Microsoft’s Project Green.  Expect more on this from Niel on his blog.

  • Hey Brad:

    the link to Microsoft’s Project Green doesn’t work… any chance you can republish the blog with the correct link? Did you mean this one:



  • Link updated – yes – that’s the correct one. That was a weird problem – the link is case sensitive (the HN had to be capitalized) and Blogjet apparently automatically lowercases all links when it publishes to MT. I guess I should report that bug to someone over at Blogjet.

  • Hi Brad,

    I was just on the prowl for new news, clicked on your link in Technorati, came to your site and thought “Dang, that’s gotta be the Flatirons.” (I’m in Lafayette.)

    I’m not up on the Fusion developments unfortunately but I’m a bit confused by the hypothetical you quote from Niel. He’s got a lot of inaccurate comments; granted it’s you quoting him giving a hypothetical from MS ;> but one of my big goals in life is to help people use and understand, so I wanted to state the following. (Cred: I’ve written a few StarOffice/ books and am an instructor.)

    – should not be viewed as a substitute for Framemaker. Nor should Word.
    – Subbullets work great. Just use the Tab key or the indent icons on the View > Toolbars > Bullets and Numbering toolbar to indent a subitem.
    – You can go to and still use Outlook–they’re unrelated.
    – Track changes works pretty much the same in OOo and Microsoft Office in my experience. I’ve opened Word files in OOo, done changes, sent the document back to the Word user, and everything worked fine.
    – MS templates open fine in OOo.
    – MS doesn’t have built-in PDF conversion so just being able to make a PDF in OOo is great, even though hyperlinked TOCs don’t end up as links in the PDF.

    In another coincidence, I used to work for Doug Burgum quoted in the Project Green article, back when it was just Great Plains Software.

    ~ Solveig

  • Actually, I don’t think Niel was taking shots at in any way. He was using that as the base example and then stripping out functionality as a way to make the analogous point (e.g. here’s our new platform – we’ve mushed together a bunch of stuff – oh – and a bunch of things that used to work don’t work anymore, but that’ll be ok.)

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