R12 vs Fusion Applications is a question often asked but never answered quite to the satisfaction of all. In fact, there really is no objective answer that would help one decide on the course of action to take. Typically, a dispassionate assessment effort is required that understands the business and technological needs of an organization and analyzes how those needs can be met by each solution. That being said, however, there are a number of parameters that can be considered to arrive at a decision that best suits your organization:
1. Business/Functional Processes or Modules implemented – Obviously, one of the first questions to ask is whether the new Fusion Applications can even meet the needs of the business as they exist today. Currently, Fusion Apps is limited to only a few modules and a very careful thought needs to be put into answering this question.
2. New Features or Long Term business needs – Which of the 2 provides better features or is better suited to adapt to the organization’s long term business goals all the while maintaining current processes
3. Direct Cost – How much would it cost to purchase and implement Fusion vs. R12
4. Indirect Cost – How much would it cost to purchase and implement the infrastructure that is necessary to support it. Fusion applications is built on cutting edge technology and consequently, the hardware required to support it needs to be that much bigger – big enough that it might pinch when combined with all other costs.
5. Internal Staff/Long term support – As mentioned above, fusion applications is built on cutting edge technology and requires the right expertise to be able to support it long term. Does that expertise already exist? If not, how long would it take and how much would it cost to build that support.
6. Data retention – What are the goals of the company in terms of the retention of the current 11i data? Does all that data need to be maintained in the new system or will this data be archived or will there be a cut-off that will determine what data gets archived and what data gets migrated? This might seem to be a very innocuous question to ask at this stage, but it should be understood that Fusion is a completely new architecture & way of working. This means that a straight-forward migration of data will not be available and one does not want to get caught unawares half-way into an implementation and realize that it is not possible to migrate some critical elements of data.
7. Early Adoption – While Fusion is generally available, it is still in a very early stage and only organizations that have the capability and bandwidth to provide extensive support are willing to act as early adopters. If you are not on R12 already then it is very unlikely your organization has the appetite to be an early adopter and so there is no real choice for you, the answer is to go R12. Fusion is a completely new architecture and way of working, it is not a straight forward either or choice.