Thursday Apr 17, 2014

Get The Goods From The Source – Fast, Efficient, Accurate.

Lyle Ekdahl
Senior Vice President General Manager, Oracle’s JD Edwards

Oracle’s JD Edwards has a vibrant, thriving eco-system, and for that we are thankful! This eco-system is a community of passionate, energized people and organizations that are eager to share their knowledge, resources, ideas and solutions with the market. We believe our community is unique and we truly consider ourselves a family. We hope you have experienced the benefits of being part of this family.

Thanks to each of you who contribute to the community in so many ways. We recognize there is an extraordinary power and value that comes from the networking and sharing that occurs between so many of you. We want to do our part to ensure the community has the most up to date news, information and resources available directly from the source – Oracle JD Edwards.

It is with great please that I announce the launch of Oracle’s JD Edwards Resource Library.

The JD Edwards Resource Library organizes content, gives users access to training, documentation, and information on JD Edwards’s products, and provides links to relevant information on www.oracle.com, www.runjde.com, www.upgradejde.com, and the Oracle University site.  By providing content in this fashion, we aim to improve your efficiency and minimize the risk associated with using 3rd party sites to find functional and technical information that may or may not be accurate and current. We invite you to use the source you can trust, Oracle’s JD Edwards Resource Library.

The content is well organized and users will enjoy a new level of ease in locating just what they need. I encourage each and every one of you to spend a few minutes exploring the JD Edwards Resource Library so that when the need for information arises, you will know where to go and how to find what you need.

Be sure to note that we now provide our current product data schemes for our latest releases, free net change training videos, release net change reporting, product documentation that is easily searchable, and much more.

This truly is a one stop for those resources that fall outside the realm of the powerful My Oracle Support web site. When used in combination with My Oracle Support’s website, the JD Edwards community can rest assured that they have the information, resources and tools required to gain the highest value from Oracle’s JD Edwards solutions.

Monday May 20, 2013

On Economics and Enterprise Software - Comparing Apples to Asparagus

Lyle Ekdahl, Group Vice President General Manager, Oracle’s JD Edwards

“Substitute your lies for fact I can see right through your plastic mac…” The Who

In recent discussions in the board rooms of some of my customers and as discussed in various media outlets from current age Twitter posts to classic WSJ articles, there seems to be a common discussion based on a fundamentally flawed premise. OK you ask, “What the devil are you talking about?” Well, maybe I should start with the basic proposition. “Why would anyone in their right mind pay a vendor $X for a good or service when they can get the exact same thing for $½X?” Why indeed? If people are handing out bowls of free money why would you not want to belly up and drink deep?

Unfortunately that is where the discussion goes awry. As your dad used to tell you, “Money does not grow on trees.” At least I hope that is what he told you. In fact, the reason why the other good or service is cheaper really falls into just a few categories – there a cost advantage, a technology applied, etc. The first category that always needs to be explored is the economic concept of substitutes. Specifically meaning, do two compared products or services have a positive cross elasticity of demand. Classic economic examples are margarine and butter or petroleum and natural gas. Now the substitutability of any two compared goods is always a matter of degrees but if one is really trying to get to the heart of the matter, again why would I pay a premium for one offer over another, you need to start with the concept of the “perfect substitute”. To define the “perfect substitute” is to say that utility is perfectly equal such that the marginal rate of substitution is constant and I would add without any loss in value or increase in risk.

“Why go through that trouble of comparison?” your CFO may say. “Cheaper is good.” That is when you pull out another old adage, “You can have cheap or you can have good, but seldom can you have both.” To put a finer point on it, try this comparison, “ A personal auto and a bus ticket are both transportation and a bus ticket is a lot less than half the price of a car, so why are there so many dang cars on the road?”

The answer of course is utility, or the total satisfaction and or value received in consuming the good or service. Now the classically trained economists are going to jump on this one as they see I equated utility with value. Please keep your Menger, Wieser and Bohm-Bawerk out of this discussion for now. We can address the higher order of mans’ needs and desires in future blog posts.

So now the beef or perhaps the chicken of the matter, let’s take for example the fees associated with Oracle’s JD Edwards maintenance. For theory sake, let’s just say that there were “agents” in the market that make a claim they have a perfect substitute that costs you 50% less. Again intriguing until you break down the actual offer and the utility or value received.

So what do Oracle’s JD Edwards maintenance fees buy you anyway? Well, there are actually multiple categories and layers of valuable deliverables in the offer. The most succinct list of value categories that I can find includes ten as delivered by Oracle’s JD Edwards Development and Support:

1) Future rights to product & technology releases
2) Technical Support (Trouble shooting, issue identification & resolution)
3) Knowledge Base Access (Exposure to the issues and resolution across a broad community – 1000’s of customers)
4) Updates, patches/fixes (Both new features and fixes to bugs)
5) Proactive security, data integrity, performance and scalability testing & resolutions (Yes we are watching what the “hacksters” are attempting and we have your back)
6) Tax, legal and regulatory updates (Yes we are watching what governments are attempting and we have your back)
7) Upgrade Scripts (So that you can exercise your rights)
8) Certifications with New Oracle Products (Oracle buys lots of stuff)
9) Certifications for existing third party products and versions (Have you noticed the rate of change in browsers?)
10) Certifications for new third party products and versions (Yes technology marches on)

A pretty impressive list if I do say so. However, there is one additional factor that needs to get on the table. To oversimplify a bit, JD Edwards’ products come in two chunks– that which is non-compiled and that which is compiled. I bring this up to make sure you are aware that certain functions in the list of ten can ONLY be performed at the factory, so when assessing value and making a comparison be aware of what is and is not possible.

For example, if you are willing to take the 50% off pitch you should be prepared to freeze your technical infrastructure. So to paraphrase Seinfeld’s infamous Soup Nazi, “No new browser for you,” even if it becomes the corporate standard or plugs a security hole.

More later, but for now I will leave you with this thought: have you ever asked yourself what is the difference between a can of chicken purchased at your local grocer conveniently located down the canned meat aisle and that which you can find five rows over in the cat food section? Looks to me like a can of chicken designed for your family’s cacciatore is about two times more expensive then the chicken you put on the floor for Fluffy - Caveat Emptor or perhaps I should say, Bon Appétit.


Thursday May 09, 2013

Unprecedented Speed and Business Agility: Introducing Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne In-Memory Applications

By Lyle Ekdahl, Group Vice President General Manager, Oracle’s JD Edwards

Imagine that you could, in a moment’s notice, access your entire portfolio of projects or products in one view, including cost and profitability. Now imagine that your customer service representatives had real-time access to your customers’ historical order information and profitability while taking orders. That kind of speed and agility changes the game. Imagine new growth opportunities, smarter decisions, reduced costs, and all the benefits that come with being able to outsmart and outmaneuver your competition.

But this isn’t about imagining. We’ve made it a reality with the new Oracle In-Memory Applications for Oracle Engineered Systems.

As announced at COLLABORATE 13 last month, our new in-memory applications make older computing approaches obsolete and can take runtime out of the equation. Now you can have instant access to scads of information and perform complex data analysis in near real time on live data sets. The result is better context and insights to solve your critical business problems.

Here’s the really good news! We have released Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne In-Memory Applications – specifically, Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne In-Memory Project Portfolio Management and Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne In-Memory Sales Advisor.

Oracle’s Engineered Systems make it possible for us to provide functionality in these applications that we couldn’t deliver before. For example, in the past, a team of data analysts would use the Extract, Transfer and Load (ETL) methodology, plus spreadsheets, to pull data. The information you would receive was stale, the manual process was error prone, and the conclusions could be questionable. Today, with JD Edwards EnterpriseOne In-Memory Applications, you get immediate access to massive sets of near real-time transactional information that is broad and deep. Your data is fresher, richer, and more accurate. Which would you rather use to base your business decisions on?

We are very excited about what these In-Memory Applications mean for our JD Edwards customers. We’ve seen the increased speed and improved visibility translate directly to increased revenue and profitability.

And just so you know, we are in the process of making In-Memory Apps available for the other Oracle Applications business lines. As we roll these high-performance solutions out and as the technology continues to evolve, you can trust that Oracle will be a leader to meet your performance and agility needs – even those you can’t imagine today. In the meantime, let’s focus on the exciting possibilities that these In-Memory Applications bring to us and the dawn of a new era in enterprise applications.

Wednesday Apr 10, 2013

It's what we do - taking care of our customers! Get To The 9s!

Announcement of Waiver of Extended Support Fees for JD Edwards “9” Releases 

To ensure Oracle’s JD Edwards applications customers continue to receive world class, high value maintenance and support from Oracle and have ample opportunity to maximize return on their JD Edwards assets, Oracle recently announced the following changes to Oracle’s Lifetime Support:

  • Waiver of Extended Support Fee uplifts on JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Releases 9.0 and 9.1
  • Waiver of Extended Support Fee uplifts on JD Edwards World Releases A9.1, A9.2 and A9.3.

These fee waivers cover the entire three years or remaining Extended Support period for the above releases. By upgrading to the “9’s” JD Edwards customers receive the extended support commitment at a predictable cost.

The description of Oracle’s Support Policy and definition of Extended Support for JD Edwards applications are documented in the “Oracle Lifetime Support Policy” for Oracle Applications found here.

This announcement supports Oracle’s commitment to help customers take advantage of the latest innovation packed releases on a schedule that works with their business goals.

Tuesday Jan 24, 2012

12 for 12 – a Flag, a Gun and a Duck (REDACTED*)


By Lyle Ekdahl, Oracle JD Edwards Group Vice President General Manager

Well it is that time of year for predictions. Ok maybe I am a few weeks late but frankly I like to read all the other prediction posts before I stick my neck out. Here are my 12 predictions for 2012:

#12 In late January, early February the biggest ever (bigger than the first two) Oracle JD Edwards Summit will occur with over 500 in the JD Edwards ecosystem converging on Broomfield, Colorado. With  80% confidence, over 90% of the people attending will be interested in getting product updates and building business, not the skiing. Good news since the real snow won’t start till mid-February this year.

#11 Absolutely no one will make a net new ERP acquisition decision based on whether the underlying architecture is OMG model driven. However over 5 0% of all ERP purchase decisions will be made based on mobile device access, UI and or TCO.

#10 Technology acquisitions in the mobile, collaboration and social networking spaces will occur both before and after the US Presidential Election in November.

#9 EnterpriseOne Tools 9.1 will be one of the most successful tools release in the history of JD Edwards with >50% of the customer base updating to this release in the next 12 to 18 months.

#8 Riding on the heels of JD Edwards on iPad and Tools 9.1 release, in calendar 2012 you will see continued major developments and innovation for JD Edwards, of course I cannot tell you what or when given rules of revenue recognition. But by Oracle OpenWorld plus or minus half of the JD Edwards community will recognize the unfolding brilliance of our six year plans.

#7 The Ramones will not do a reunion tour for various reasons, including the fact that several members are no longer with us, but The Conference Room Pilots will cover one of their songs at Collaborate 2012.

#6 More ERP deployments will feature use of tablet devices led by the iPad. This will cause the proponents of the, “it’s only about the business and not technology” school to begin taking anti-depressants.

#5 Moore’s law will not be broken, but several vendors will be cited for attempting it in a cheap marketing stunt.

#4 There will be a growing number, approaching 12%, of new JD Edwards private cloud deployments in every region of the world.

#3 I will be involved in cheap marketing stunts at both Collaborate and Oracle OpenWorld potentially involving a flag, a duck and a gun.

#2 The world WILL NOT end on December 22, 2012 – however an increasing number of World customers citing a lesser known vision of Quetzalcoatl, will begin to move off A7.3 to the 9’s.

#1 The 2012 lists of colossal ERP failures and related lawsuits will continue to feature (>70% of the list) the same vendor that those lists have featured for the last decade. Maybe someday selection committees will do their homework and “zombie” CIO’s will wake up but unfortunately it won’t be in 2012.

So there you have it – my 12 for 12. In 2013 let’s revisit and see if I have a career option in prognostication.

*- Oracle blog policy prohibits executives from making specific forward-looking statements. The Editor.

Tuesday Jan 17, 2012

Lyle's New Year’s Resolution

By Lyle Ekdahl, Oracle JD Edwards Group Vice President General Manager

My New Year’s resolution is to post more short blog entries.

Wednesday Nov 23, 2011

Sea Monkey Sales & Marketing, and what does that have to do with ERP?

Tier One Defined

By Lyle Ekdahl, Oracle JD Edwards Group Vice President and General Manager 

I recently became aware of the latest Sea Monkey Sales & Marketing tactic. Wait now, what is Sea Monkey Sales & Marketing and what does that have to do with ERP? Well if you grew up in USA during the 50’s, 60’s and maybe a bit in the early 70’s there was a unifying media of culture known as the comic book. I was a big Iron Man fan. I always liked the troubled hero aspect of Tony Start and hey he was a technologist. This is going somewhere, just hold on. Of course comic books like most media contained advertisements. Ninety pound weakling transformed by Charles Atlas in just 15 minutes per day. Baby Ruth, Juicy Fruit Gum and all assortments of Hostess goodies were on display. The best ad was for the “Amazing Live Sea-Monkeys – The real live fun-pets you grow yourself!” These ads set the standard for exaggeration and half-truth; “…they love attention…so eager to please, they can even be trained…” The cartoon picture on the ad is of a family of royal looking sea creatures – daddy, mommy, son and little sis – sea monkey? There was a disclaimer at the bottom in fine print, “Caricatures shown not intended to depict Artemia.” Ok what ten years old knows what the heck artemia is? Well you grow up fast once you’ve been separated from your buck twenty five plus postage just to discover that it is brine shrimp. Really dumb brine shrimp that don’t take commands or do tricks.

Unfortunately the technology industry is full of sea monkey sales and marketing. Yes believe it or not in some cases there is subterfuge and obfuscation used to secure contracts. Hey I get it; the picture on the box might not be the actual size. Make up what you want about your product, but here is what I don’t like, could you leave out the obvious falsity when it comes to my product, especially the negative stuff. So here is the latest one – “Oracle’s JD Edwards is NOT tier one”. Really? Definition please!

Well a whole host of googleable and reputable sources confirm that a tier one vendor is large, well known, and enjoys national and international recognition. Let me see large, so thousands of customers? Oh and part of the world’s largest business software and hardware corporation? Check and check JD Edwards has that and that. Well known, enjoying national and international recognition? Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne is available in 21 languages and is directly localized in 33 countries that support some of the world’s largest multinationals and many midsized domestic market companies. Something on the order of half the JD Edwards customer base is outside North America. My passport is on its third insert after 2 years and not from vacations. So if you don’t mind I am going to mark national and international recognition in the got it column. So what else is there? Well let me offer a few criteria.

Longevity – The JD Edwards products benefit from 35+ years of intellectual property development; through booms, busts, mergers and acquisitions, we are still here

Vision & innovation – JD Edwards is the first full suite ERP to run on the iPad as just one example

Proven track record of execution – Since becoming part of Oracle, JD Edwards has released to the market over 20 deliverables including major release, point releases, new apps modules, tool releases, integrations….

Solid, focused functionality with a flexible, interoperable, extensible underlying architecture – JD Edwards offers solid core ERP with specialty modules for verticals all delivered on a well defined independent tools layer that helps enable you to scale your business without an ERP reimplementation

A continuation plan – Oracle’s JD Edwards offers our customers a 6 year roadmap as well as interoperability with Oracle’s next generation of applications

Oh I almost forgot that the expert sources agree on one additional thing, tier one may be a preferred vendor that offers product and services to you with appealing value. You should check out the TCO studies of JD Edwards. I think you will see what the thousands of customers that rely on these products to run their businesses enjoy – that is the tier one solution with the lowest TCO. Oh and if you get an offer to buy an ERP for no license charge, remember the picture on the box might not be the actual size. 

Tuesday Nov 01, 2011

Dawn of the Dead or Zombieland…A thought on ERP competition and Halloween.

By Lyle Ekdahl, JD Edwards Group Vice President and General Manager

It’s a tired line repeated by countless competitive sales representatives in the market. They utter the words to long time Oracle’s JD Edwards customers and prospects alike, “Oh JD Edwards, that product is dead.”

Really? Dead, like in deprived of life, dead? Or is it that they are implying JD Edwards no longer has commercial relevance, or technical significance? Hmmmm, last time I checked there were thousands of customers successfully running their businesses every day on JD Edwards products. And they are joined every year by hundreds more. That seems to define commercial relevance.

The strategy? Repeat something often enough and maybe, just maybe it becomes reality or at least convince enough to believe so that there is a perceived reality. Willful deceit, perhaps but hey who needs facts when you have the mantra. Besides facts can just lead to logical decision making and who does that benefit? Like a line from the 1978 version of Dawn of the Dead,

Dr. Millard Rausch, Scientist: We must think logically. We must deal with his crisis logically. With a calm and unemotional response! We have to remain rational. We have to remain logical.
TV Commentator: Scientists like you always think that way. That's not how people think.
Dr. Millard Rausch, Scientist: We've got to! We've got to remain logical. There's no choice. It has to be that. It's that or the end.

What about these facts? Let’s talk about over 20 releases of software including major releases, minor releases, technical releases, new modules and integrations all from JD Edwards in the last six and a half years. Does that sound deprived of life? How about last month’s announced support for Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne on iPad along with newly developed gestures specifically for ERP navigation – does that sound technically irrelevant? Also note that there is a full roadmap shared on My Oracle Support and at major conferences that shows years of continuing investment. Oracle’s JD Edwards dead? We are thriving, thank you very much!

Ever notice how in zombie movies at some point in the plot the living are pointed at by a member of the undead as that creature makes some hideous screeching noise. This is the clarion call for all zombies to attack. But who are the zombies in this reenactment of a horror film classic, those that continue to produce innovation and satisfied customers or those who mindlessly repeat a mantra without basis in fact?

Zombies by all accounts are brain dead. No longer able to think, they point, shriek and attack those who are actually living. On the other hand, we are the living. Yes there are more of them constantly trying to feast on the flesh that is the IT budget – taking many of their victims down in a veritable gore-fest of cost overrun, failed implementation and lost economic productivity. But we are the protectors of the living. We have been to the mall. We have stocked up on the ammunition of innovation, low TCO and complete flexible solutions. Remember the words from Zombieland,

Tallahassee: My mama always told me someday I'd be good at something. Who'd a guessed that something'd be zombie-killing?
Columbus: Probably nobody.

Don’t forget to double tap!

Oh and Happy Halloween.
About

Welcome to the JD Edwards Blog. Post are contributed by the JD Edwards strategy and development teams, covering a broad range of topics. The goal of the blog is to create opportunities for information and idea sharing, to engage JD Edwards customers/users, partners, and Oracle employees in conversation, the spirit of improving the experience and effectiveness of all that participate in the community. Both EnterpriseOne & World products are fair game for blog topics. Topics will cover functional, technical, business topics,but it is not the intent of this blog to provide "support" activities and those discussions will be best served via My Oracle Support or Oracle Mix. We invite your comments and feedback, and look forward to lively conversation.

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