So I attended the OAUG E-Business Suite SIG session today at Collaborate 2012 in Las Vegas, NV. One of the guest speakers was Cliff Godwin, Oracle's Sr. VP of Applications Development. During this session, he was answering a lot of questions about E-Business Suite to Fusion Applications upgrade.
One of the more interesting things that he indicated was that upgrading from E-Business Suite R12.1 to Fusion Applications will be more along the lines of what you do during an implementation from a Legacy system into E-Business Suite (than a traditional "upgrade").
What this means is that you will have to ETL data from E-Business Suite into a fresh Fusion Applications install. So, for all intents and purposes, you will be performing many of the same tasks that you performed when you first IMPLEMENTED E-Business Suite. Or, if you were going from E-Business Suite to SAP (for example).
If you think about it, this makes plenty of sense. Fusion Applications is NOT an upgrade of E-Business Suite. It is an entirely different product. Perhaps part of the problem that I've been having with the whole "E-Business Suite to Fusion Applications" discussion has been semantics? Maybe they (Oracle) should stop referring to the process as an "upgrade" and instead a "migration"?
Unlike moving from a legacy system, Oracle is developing templates to aid the ETL process so that you can convert your legacy data. This is a big difference. When you're converting data from a legacy system into E-Business Suite (or any other application), a significant part of the effort revolves around the need to "roll your own" data conversion scripts. In this case, Oracle will be providing this logic for you.
One of the selling points about moving to Fusion Applications has always been that you could migrate one module at a time. That would be particularly difficult if the process was similar to an E-Business Suite upgrade. But it makes perfect sense if you're doing a migration more akin to moving off a legacy system.
According to Cliff, initial focus is on the HCM modules and initial release of the upgrade templates is currently planned for some time "later this year".