Wednesday Aug 03, 2011

"Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday." ~Don Marquis

By Bob Monahan,  Sr. Director Oracle JD Edwards Applications Strategy and Product Management

In the last several months I have met with many customers who ask the same question regarding upgrading their current JD Edwards World or EnterpriseOne release: should I upgrade to the current release or wait for the next release. This is a very key question as it begins to form the basis of a larger overall upgrade planning strategy looking many years into the future.

Clearly there is no single answer that applies to every customer. Many factors outside of specific software functionality need to be considered as part of the upgrade and timing decision such as plans around hardware and infrastructure, current release support timelines, the business culture of being an early release adopter, financial budgets and availability of funds, cyclical busy times of the business, and other strategic business projects competing for the same resources just to name a few.

Many customers considering upgrading today have asked why move now since Premier Support for JDE World A9.2 and JDE EnterpriseOne 9.0 are already more than halfway through their respective Premier Support timelines. The thought was to just wait until the next release comes out to get the most time out of a new Premier Support timeline starting with the GA of the next major releases. However, the problem with waiting is that business conditions or factors mentioned above could change from today and prevent an upgrade when the new releases are available, plus many of the features available in the now current releases can provide significant and immediate benefits now. Both World and JDE EnterpriseOne are PLANNING major releases in calendar year 2012. Procrastination can sometimes be very hard to overcome.

To address this timing dilemma, JD Edwards listened to our customers and announced in April at the Collaborate User Conference that we are designating major release status to JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Release 9.0, Update 2 and JD Edwards World Release A9.2, Update 1. The result of this designation is that JDE EnterpriseOne 9.0 Update 2 is covered under Premier Support through November 2015, with an optional 3 years through November 2018 for Extended Support. World A9.2, Update 1 is covered under Premier Support through May 2015, with an optional 3 years of Extended Support through May 2015. This change removes the barrier to upgrading now due to a short Premier Support timeline and then having to consider another upgrade maybe two years after going live. Customers now have plenty of time to upgrade to the current and proven releases and then plan evaluate their strategic upgrade plans going forward.

Some customers may view the new capability coming in the next major releases (available on-line through My Oracle Support via the Electronic Upgrade Value Proposition Tool) as key business value drivers and decide to upgrade directly to the next major release. However, these customers should still consider starting with upgrade planning (net change evaluation, the need to forward fit custom modifications, end user training, technology stack upgrades…) with the current releases. This is all work that needs to be done so why not start now. Then applying the update to go from the current releases of World and EnterpriseOne to the next major releases will be a much smaller part of an overall upgrade project. Bottom line: there is much you can be doing now even in a test environment so don’t put all of the work off waiting for the next releases.

World customers have one additional consideration- stay on World and upgrade to the next major release, or migrate to JDE EnterpriseOne. Again, this your choice based on what you believe best meets the needs of your business. We have published a World To EnterpriseOne Upgrade Advisor on My Oracle Support to help with this evaluation as well.

We can also work with you or your implementation partner to answer questions on this important decision. Please let us know if we can help. And thanks for being an Oracle customer. 

Sunday Jul 10, 2011

To Be or Not To Be.....Of Course You Should Be!

By Kem Butler - Oracle JD Edwards, Communications Director 

In all my years of experience in business (and they are considerable at this point!) there is one constant and predominate thing I have noticed, regardless of industry, product or service in question. This “thing” is the fact that nearly every prospective customer wants and demands that the vendors provide pre-purchase references. I don’t blame them. Given the magnitude and high risk/reward equation tied to the purchase of ERP and other Enterprise software it’s perfectly logical to companies require references.

What is not logical is that often the very companies that have the most strident reference requirements are the least willing to act as a reference once the time comes. It’s my opinion that customers that have requested and/or demanded references as a prerequisite for purchase have an obligation to reciprocate, assuming the implementation has resulted in business benefits.

But looking beyond any “obligation” factor, acting as a reference has benefits that you may not have considered……

1. Software vendors constantly need to invest in on-going maintenance and development. One key element in our investment decision making process is an evaluation of which products are generating a healthy return on investment. Assuming that the product(s) you use are serving you well, acting as a reference helps to ensure the products continues to be successful in the market and are profitable for the vendor, thus increasing the likelihood of additional vendor enhancement and innovation, and an extended product lifecycle.

2. Oracle has a long standing policy that we do not provide monetary compensation for our customers that act as product references. But the compensation comes in the form of relationships and influence, two elements that are often invaluable in the world of business. And while Oracle values each and every customer and honors the investments that our customer make in licenses and maintenance dollars, there are times when influence and relationships can and do have an impact on which customer requested enhancements make it to the top of the list.

3. Collaborate for mutually beneficial marketing, promoting your business and brand. It’s always good to have your company’s name and your business promoted publically in positive light. Reference customers may work with Oracle to release joint press release(s) and to publish customer snapshots and/or videos highlighting the benefits of their implementation, partner support, products, etc. These materials are widely used by the Oracle and/or partner sales organizations and are available for the public’s viewing www.oracle-DOT-com.  See examples here.

4. Customers that participate in the reference program may be nominated into various award programs, sponsored Oracle and others by which also can also result in positive name and brand exposure for winning companies company.

5. Reference customers are often given preference when product and strategic customer councils are formed. These councils are consist of a limited number of key and strategic customers that have opportunities to interact directly with Oracle’s business and development organizations, providing a great opportunity to share your needs, insights and visions that are driving your business and industry today and in the future.

So take a moment and consider becoming a JD Edwards reference account. After all, it’s only logical. If you would like to explore the customer reference program(s) and opportunities, please email either anna.matthews-AT-oracle.com or Ioana.Roseanu-AT-oracle.com, or fill out this short registration form to have someone form Oracle references contact you. Thanks in advance for your interest!

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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