All Fusion Applications are available on the iPad through its Safari browser, but Oracle has also developed a native iPad interface called Fusion Tap, which was demonstrated during the keynote.
The embedded social components of Fusion are "similar to what you might see on a personal social site ... with a couple of key differences," Miranda said. For one, they are secure, and secondly, "it's not just person-to-person interaction, it's person-to-business."
For example, a salesperson could have any changes to an account they work on fed to them as updates.
Oracle ran through a number of scenarios with the social-software components, which bore some resemblance in form and function to Salesforce.com's Chatter.
Also demonstrated was Fusion Applications' extensibility layer, which anyone from business users to developers can use to make tweaks to the software.
"We pushed the envelope from customization to configuration," Miranda said.
It was especially important to have a robust configuration layer given the on-demand versions of Fusion, he added. "One of the table stakes as you move to SaaS applications is the ability to tailor."
Oracle CRM (customer relationship management) chief Anthony Lye demonstrated how users could build reports on the fly "within the browser, at runtime," and then add them to their homepages or share them with others.
"I didn't need to ask IT, it didn't need to take six months," he said. Users can do with Fusion "what I can do in my Yahoo or my iGoogle."
Some 400 early adopter Fusion customers and partners were at the show, all wearing red vests. "We couldn't have built this release without our customers. It was very customer-driven," Miranda said.
A number of customers joined Miranda onstage to share their experiences and rationale for adopting Fusion Applications.
Principal Financial Group is "very good at managing our financial resources and we wanted to apply the same level of rigor and analysis to our human resources," said Kathleen Souhrada, assistant vice president of recruiting and diversity. The company believes Fusion's HR software "could deliver a more holistic view" of metrics and data and improve the company's understanding of employee performance, she added.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is one of the world's fastest-growing companies, said CIO Jim Prevo. "It presents some really interesting challenges. We had 2,000 people last year, 5,000 this year, and we're adding about 50 a week." Green Mountain is also opening new plants and a slew of new production lines, he said.
The company had a number of CRM applications, and given its "desire to stick our toe in the Fusion waters," decided to implement Fusion CRM, Prevo said. The system will "align the sales forces and let them talk off the same database."
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com