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User Groups Fuse Over Oracle

Two software user groups say they will work with each other and Oracle on integrating PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards products.

The Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) and the Quest International Users Group announced the formation of the Fusion Council this week. The groups are currently seeking an inaugural board and general membership.

OAUG is the largest user support group for Oracle applications and consists of more than 2,000 member companies around the world. Quest International is an independent, not-for-profit association with more than 8,000 members serving the PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards user community.

The two groups have been in close contact since December when Oracle's 18-month quest for PeopleSoft seemed all but immanent.

Members representing Oracle, J.D. Edwards and PeopleSoft users will comprise the Fusion Council. They will be required to have a minimum of one year's experience with enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, above-average knowledge of ERP requirements and experience in dealing with ERP development teams and the current supportable release of ERP applications.

The name Fusion refers to Oracle's Project Fusion, which is the company's promise to support current PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards products while they work on a next-generation merged product.

Executives with the council said the group's responsibilities will be to work with Oracle to educate users about the product and its modules, assist in user feedback in the product's development phase, help users during the installation of Fusion, collaborate with Oracle in divulging product-specific information and conducting quality testing for Oracle as needed.

"The council is a benefit to both users and Oracle Corp. because it provides users with advanced educational opportunities and offers Oracle the ability to gain feedback from the company's customers," Patricia Dues, OAUG president, said in a statement.

Once members of the Fusion Council have been selected, they are scheduled to hold their first meeting during a joint OAUG and Quest conference the week of June 13 in Grapevine, Texas.

Separate from its integration plans, Oracle re-branded some of its software as Oracle Fusion Middleware last month. The initiative differs from Project Fusion in that Fusion Middleware focuses on letting customers connect or "fuse" their Oracle and non-Oracle business applications together.

Eventually, however, Oracle said it would certify its Fusion Middleware for both PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards products.

The Middleware software line includes those found in Oracle Application Server 10g. The new suite also includes security products from Oracle's recent acquisition of Oblix, as well as its Oracle Data Hubs and Collaboration technology.