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. 

Thursday Nov 03, 2011

Snow skiing & ERP upgrade....same diff don't ya know

An Analogous Rational of Upgrading Ski Gear and JD Edwards Software

Rudy Lukez - JD Edwards Director

One of Colorado’s largest ski resorts, Copper Mountain, opens tomorrow (November 4) for the winter season and I will be there with my nine year old daughter for some fresh tracks, a party or two, and swag. Over the past few weeks, as she has been upgrading her alpine gear to get ready for her competitive development training next month, I thought about some of the similarities between skiing and JD Edwards upgrades.



- Growth - My daughter needed new gear simply because she is physically growing. Just like JD Edwards customers who are experiencing their own growth, there is a time when new and upgraded equipment is not just nice to have but a necessity to handle growth.

-     Performance - She also needs to upgrade her equipment to ski better. She could certainly ski in her program with older style single tip, one width skis and I know she would ski well (including beating me down to the bottom of a black diamond bump run). However, last week we upgraded her gear to twin tip shape skis which will give her the ability to make faster turns in a wider variety of conditions. Likewise, there are customers who run their business today with older versions of our software, but with all the enhancements and additions we have delivered in each new release, these customers could do more, better and faster.

-    Functionality – With her upgraded equipment, my daughter will not only better cruise the terrain parks but gain the ability to ski backwards in powder. When customers upgrade JD Edwards they use new out-of-the-box functionality to improve their operations.

 -    Complete - The vernacular of the outdoor products industry has an interesting alignment with information technology (soft goods (i.e., clothing) as software, hard goods (i.e., skis, poles and boots) as hardware), I realized how we paralleled (pun intended) Oracle’s “software – hardware – complete” message as we assembled our collective gear for our first day on the slopes.

-    Buy or rent – To minimize my capital outlay – which is likewise a concern for any company – I did a season rental for my daughter’s skis and boots. Likewise, JD Edwards’ customers have many options today regarding how they want to deploy our ERP software.

-    Clouds – With skiing at 12,000 feet above sea level, we will certainly experience days in the clouds. Likewise, JD Edwards’ customers can upgrade to a complete cloud experience.

It is going to be a great day between this week’s Rocky Mountain snow storms, especially as this season shapes up to be another record year for snowfall. And while I am out in the powder tomorrow, take a moment to check out all of the resources and upgrade workshops we have added this week at our upgraded www.upgradeJDE.com web site

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.

Monday Oct 03, 2011

Got Angry Birds in your enterprise?

By Dawn Baker, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne VP Development 

The recent announcement of support for EnterpriseOne on an iPad probably triggered some on-going debates about the role of tablets in your business. Beyond Angry Birds, Facebook, and email…do they really have a place in an enterprise systems environment?

For those in IT over the past several years, the invasion of the tablet has been a bit of a love-hate relationship at times. We accepted laptops as the next generation PC, acquiesced on the infusion of smart phones into our world (cause “you gotta have a phone anyway”), but then were overrun with users’ demands for tablets, in some cases before we could catch our breath long enough to figure out why we needed them. Does this still feel like a solution looking for a problem to solve?

Maybe we were closer than we all thought back in 1994 when the prototype tablet newspaper was showcased. Fast forward to 2011 and many still agree that the tablet is probably closer to a replacement for paper than PC’s. For those of us (now converted) paper-holics, that’s a reluctant acknowledgement….but swapping a legal pad for an iPad seems to be short-selling its value too…what about all those unique design points, multi-media, and computing capabilities?

In reality, tablets are simply a new class of device; “tethering” them to existing technology options is not necessarily helping tablets find their optimized role in an enterprise systems world. By capitalizing on their unique capabilities, we can find ways to create new access points for existing systems, or brand-new synergies between business and technology. 

Let’s start with the paper vs. PC debate. No question that tablets are great for consuming information. It’s no wonder that some industries have snapped up these new devices and transformed their paper intensive businesses. Your cue…look for those “paper bombs” on clipboards; find places you can bring information to the point of process, electronically. And while you’re at it, optimize on the multi-media capabilities that no legal pad can match…you’ve got web, video, and a camera available at the source of the business transaction.

But while the content-consuming vs. content-creating debate rages on, few users will be content to remain passive readers only. These devices will beguile even the most technology-resistant with their siren song of features:

· The simple, natural interface seems approachable even to the most computer-resistant…the next operating system upgrade for iPad even cuts the dependency on a PC to manage the device.

· Long battery life and instant-on wins over the casual user who needs occasional access to information.

· And for those who don’t live behind a desk, the size promotes better interaction and opens up computing to places in the business where a PC was not practical.

Your cue …look for new access points into your systems where PC’s could not previously go, that need simple interfaces for casual intermittent users who will warm up to a device that looks like a clipboard (sans the pen on a string).

Not that you need reminders, but yes, the challenges are real – security, connectivity, support, management, etc. But technology tends to drive change to meet new challenges and will continue to attack these obstacles with solutions as the tablet world matures….more on that in a future post.

I’m not trying sell a bunch of iPads here (or promote any more addiction to shooting birds at pigs)…but whether you’re leading the charge or forced kicking and screaming into the tablet-mania, here’s just a bit of encouragement to go beyond the obvious to enable new access points into your enterprise systems and find some real business opportunities. And we’ll continue working alongside to deliver products and technology that help enable more capabilities….beyond Angry Birds. 

Tuesday Aug 16, 2011

Browsers are ‘more than just a pretty face’ – a new look at client-side performance tuning

By Chris Papineau, JD Edwards Senior Principal Engineer

 I recently discovered what appears to be an excellent tool for collecting browser metrics while researching methods of JD Edwards performance analysis for the “client side”. By “client side”, of course, we no longer mean the “fat client”, but rather the so-called “thin client” or web-browser. Current JD Edwards trending methodologies do not measure any browser side metrics; they merely blast html traffic at a JAS server and measure the response times.

This, however, leaves an opportunity in the “thin client” part of the JD Edwards ecosystem. The browser includes the following very significant items which are arguably the cause of performance challenges just as often as server-side items.

1. Number of server roundtrips

2. Payload (size of data)

3. JScript runtimes

4. Network latency

5. Browser renderings

6. DOM related measurements

We can no longer think of the browser as merely some sort of “façade to a western town” which doesn’t do anything except look pretty. We cannot simply focus on the server side of interactive transactions, under the dated assumption that business functions are where the time is really spent, and the user interface layer is insignificant.

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”

The browser has become less and less a “thin” part of the architecture as it may have been in the fledgling days of web browsers (NCSA Mosaic, anyone??). Today the browser is a complex piece of machinery in which business logic has crept its way in via JavaScript, where the rendering of large graphics is the norm, and very long grids spanning dozens of screens and hundreds of rows are commonplace.

In any case – the tool in question is called dynaTrace, and appears to be a one-stop shopping for answering the fundamental performance question on the web browser side: “Where is the code spending its time?” It is freeware, works on both IE and Firefox, is easy to use and install, has a very intuitive interface, and appears to provide data for all six critical performance metrics cited above. The premium version, which is available for a fee, is even capable of “Comparing Different Test Runs” per the claims on their website.

This appears to be right in the wheelhouse of what we need for client-side performance trending efforts. I will keep readers of this blog up to date on further developments. It may be a significant difference maker not only for client-side trending, but in our ability to resolve challenging performance problems more efficiently. Stay tuned…..

Friday Aug 12, 2011

Ovum Publishes Note on Oracle Continued Investment to its Application Suites

By Denise Grills - Sr. Director, Oracle JD Edwards Strategy 

Ovum just published a research note that discusses Oracle’s continued commitment to its Applications Suites – “Oracle has a credible story on continued enterprise applications investment”.  You can find more information about this and other related notes on the Applications AR Blog.

As I talk to customers and prospects around the world, we often get asked how Oracle can continue to invest in our product line.   I encourage you to read the research note from Ovum for an analyst opinion on the issue. 

In the research note, Ovum challenges IT Executives to continue a dialogue with Oracle applications executives about roadmaps and plans. Keeping in touch and engaging in a dialog as prescribe by Ovum can be a challenge.  But if you subscribe to this blog (Attitude@Altitude) you are on the right track as we continue to share new information about our ongoing plans and investments here, and in a variety of other venues.  I also encourage you to attend Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, Oct. 2-6 for the most up to date, consolidated Oracle and JD Edwards news, and roadmap information available.  For those of you not attending, we have several recorded webinars on our roadmap and strategy available here (click on the locations link lower left, then Resource Library and then JD Edwards).  Lyle Ekdahl, Group VP and General Manager of JD Edwards, and our management team are always happy to host conference calls or Denver visits in the spirit of open dialog with our customers. 

I’d love to hear or read what you think of the research note…. 

Regards,

Denise 

Tuesday Aug 02, 2011

The Second Annual Special JD Edwards Edition of Profit Magazine is here!

By Denise Grills, Sr. Director JD Edwards Strategy

If you are a subscriber to Profit Magazine, the second annual special edition with be arriving soon in your mailbox. If you aren’t a subscriber, go to the following link to view online.

http://www.profitmagazine-digital.com/profitmagazine/201108?sub_id=DVv3cNO2Hw6oT&u1=002#pg2

We in the JD Edwards organization are thrilled that Profit chose JD Edwards not only as the first product line to focus on but to continue to work with us on what is becoming an annual issue. We hope you will find this issue enjoyable with case studies and profiles on varied JD Edwards customers and partners.

We are particularly proud of our cover story on United Streetcar, a JD Edwards customer who has reignited light rail manufacturing in the United States. Chandra Brown, president of United Streetcar, is committed to establishing a U.S.-based supply chain that sources at least 60 percent of manufacturing materials from domestic suppliers. “Streetcars, like light rail, are 100 percent electric, so it’s zero emissions. They are incredibly green,” stated Brown.

Another interesting read is an interview with editor in chief of Profit, Aaron Lazenby, and our group vice president and general manager of Oracle’s JD Edwards, Lyle Ekdahl. Lyle discusses his concept of a “New Era of ERP” reflecting the pace at which market volatility and technological advances are transforming business.

The issue is filled with other case studies detailing the growth in our product line and community. Thank you to the team at Profit, our wonderful customers who participated and the advertising partners that made this issue possible.

We have heard from our customers and partners that you like to see JD Edwards specific stories and advertising – well here you are for the second year and counting. I’d love to hear your reaction to the issue, and your ideas for the next.

Tuesday Jun 21, 2011

Herding Cats - That's My Job....

I remember seeing a super bowl commercial several years ago showing some well dressed people on the African savanna herding cats. I remember turning to the people I was watching the game with and telling them, “You just watched my job description”......   

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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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