Tuesday Jul 28, 2015

ERP at the Speed of Intelligence: The Internet of Things Makes the Supply Chain Faster and Smarter

By Barbara Verble, Manager JD Edwards Information Development

In just a few years, the Internet of Things has exploded across the technology world and beyond. For businesses running on ERP systems, the Internet of Things is no longer just a futuristic idea, but a clear and present opportunity. It’s not the proverbial elephant in the room because the techie and business blogosphere can’t STOP talking about it.

What about the Internet of Things and ERP? Yes, we’re talking about that too – a lot! Lots of ideas, lots of use cases are being floated around and experimented with. According to a recent Forbes blog, business cases can be made, but are still waiting to be articulated and quantified by companies looking to deploy the Internet of Things in a way that benefits their business.

So perhaps it’s time to go back to the basics: What is the rationale for implementing an ERP system in the first place? Isn’t it to gain operational efficiency by doing such things as reducing cost and enhancing productivity? If that’s true, then improved operational efficiency is also a good starting point for considering an Internet of Things deployment. Yes, the business case will need to get more specific than that eventually, but for starters, making today’s ERP work better is a worthy goal.

The idea of just making ERP work better may actually be an understatement. When we start looking at the capabilities inherent in connecting operational and informational technology, the IoT-powered ERP looks more like ERP on steroids: Sensors, beacons, and other devices embedded in manufacturing, maintenance, and logistics processes can provide the data and data volume that will exploit the power of ERP systems in ways never possible before – in real time.

Internet of Things use cases are being developed for many aspects of ERP, but perhaps none more so than for manufacturing. Some examples:

  • Forecasting demand as accurately as possible is one of the holy grails of ERP, with accurate forecasts translating into profitability. Imagine a manufacturer of consumer products who is able to translate real-time data on the sale of products into immediate adjustments of production volume. On-demand manufacturing has been around for a while, but the ability to update demand constantly to avoid over-or underproduction has not. In an environment where demand might be volatile, the ability to act on real-time data could have an enormous impact on the manufacturer’s bottom line.
  • Getting immediate feedback on the purchase of consumer products would benefit not only the manufacturer but also retail and transportation. The retailer can order and manage inventory with greater accuracy, and the logistics company can adjust routes and destination based on demand.
  • Related to the framework of adjusting production to real-time demand information is the process for adjusting the component supply on the production line. As a result of demand adjustments, the required number of parts for a production can be reset and the replenishment process regulated by sensors that detect the volume or weight of parts and initiate replenishment processes accordingly.
  • Production can be maintained with minimal interruption if the machines are equipped with sensors that provided early warning of performance degradation and schedule maintenance and a shift to other production lines to avoid production disruptions at critical times.
  • Finally, there is the other holy grail of ERP – quality. An article in IndustryWeek argues that the Internet of Things offers several avenues for quality improvements beyond the production process itself. For example, sensors attached to the product could be used to keep tabs on the product after it’s sold. These sensors would provide targeted maintenance feedback and services and thus maintain customer satisfaction.

All of these scenarios are central to the ERP space. Not many would dispute the benefits of upping the game on these use cases. The main challenges revolve around the “how,” not the “why” of these applications, that is, the best way to make the collected data available to the ERP system to generate appropriate action.

Enter the Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Internet of Things Orchestrator. JD Edwards is going to market with Internet of Things technology that provides a virtually seamless, powerful integration of operational and information technology. Without limiting our customers to specific applications, such as sketched on the examples above, JD Edwards provides a tool that “hears” the vast amount of sensor “sounds,” filters out the “noise,” and creates a sound score that the ERP system understands, records, and turns into the “music” of targeted action.

Yes, ERP has been around for a while, and it’s tried and true in many ways. However, this old dog is learning some great new tricks, and you, your customers, and your employees benefit.

Find detailed information on Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Internet of Things solutions here.

Friday Oct 31, 2014

Internet of Things— Superfood for your Business

By Ward Quarles - JD Edwards Director

Popeye is depicted as capable of creating solutions to problems that everyone else thought were insurmountable. After consuming his superfood, spinach, solutions were possible because of his superhuman strength.  Will the Internet of Things become superfood to our businesses?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the next frontier in technology and business development. JD Edwards customers are exploring IoT technologies that allow them to capture, transmit and analyze an unprecedented amount of data, much of which was trapped in their ERP systems. More importantly, these customers are looking for ways to use this data to improve or even radically change their business, and to combine operations technology with information technology to learn something new. The IoT could supercharge any vertical market using JD Edwards EnterpriseOne applications.

Oracle’s JD Edwards Internet of Things platform delivers an integrated, secure, and comprehensive solution. Just as JD Edwards EnterpriseOne applications help organizations improve their business results, data collected from an organizations business process using an IoT strategy enables organizations to further extend value to their company assets, manufacturing operations, projects and services, and supply chain.

It’s easy to see how an integrated, connected JD Edwards system leveraging IoT technology will create a competitive advantage. Maybe even more compelling than the leafy greens that gave Popeye his strength.

Read Lyle Ekdahl's blog on Forbes

Watch JD Edwards IoT

Tuesday Jul 08, 2014

Part 2 of 5 By Lyle Ekdahl: JDE 5G - What Is It and Do I Even Care?

By Lyle Ekdahl - Oracle JD Edwards Sr. Vice President General Manager

In my last post on Oracle’s JD Edwards 5th Generation, I introduced a world in digital overdrive, where almost everything is connected, interacting, or embedded with digital technologies.  You don’t have to look too far into the distance to see that the lines between work and play, professional and personal life are becoming more and more blurred as a new generation of workers brings its own unique digital experience and new expectations into the work place.  I also shared the concept of the generations of JD Edwards and that we are entering an era we will call JDE 5G or 5th generation.  JDE 5G is all about making the necessary changes in how we operate and in what we deliver to address these shifts in our world so that we might seize opportunities that this change will expose.

First, what will we deliver as JDE 5G?  JD Edwards has always had a design center and corresponding architecture that allowed us – Oracle’s JD Edwards Development, our customers, and our partners – to evolve.  Just as the JD Edwards architecture has evolved from mini-computer to client server to initial web application to modern Cloud SOA/Standards, for JDE 5G we are leveraging our architectural strengths to evolve to the next-generation platform that supports this changing landscape of users, clients and enterprise system requirements.  

The JD Edwards ecosystem has benefited from all of the technologies that we have built or incorporated into our architecture during our history (e.g., enterprise class security, scalability, agile deployment, change management, etc.). Going forward, our architecture coupled with latest innovations will address the following needs: 

• Mobile access as the predominant access point. Mobile apps will be simple, context- and task-based apps that go to the point of process, virtually wherever the user may be.

• There will still be a need for desktop based applications.  And at the desktop we are increasingly enabling pervasive personalization of the software. Users will create their own apps (CYOA) on the fly. The software will be easily adaptable to maximize efficiency and effectiveness, allowing people to work the way they want and flexing for the business while still maintaining process structure.

• Full deployment options, on premise, in the cloud, and at many points in between.  I am often asked, “When will JD Edwards be in the cloud?”  I’m here to tell you–and the world– JD Edwards IS in the cloud today with dozens of partners and hundreds if not thousands of customers running JD Edwards in private, public and hybrid clouds. The go-forward requirement and responsibility for my team is to drive the complexity out of the software and therefore the costs out of operations to eliminate the friction from these choices. 

• New and emerging device types are exploding onto the scene and just as quickly are becoming mainstream.  These new “clients” must be included as first-class citizens of within the JD Edwards architecture: Most notably beacons, sensors, wearables, and other machine-to-machine devices (aka Internet of Things).

The Oracle’s JD Edwards development team cannot build every app. The JD Edwards development team is focusing, based on our differentiated vertical markets, on the application content we deliver.  Additionally we can evolve and expose the platform to enable our customers and partners to easily build, deploy, and upgrade the applications they need.  This is where the Design Time at Run Time and the Interface layers shine and make this process simple.   

So how are we going to tackle this big shift?  With passion, excitement and vision! 

. . . And by taking the lead within our own business unit, embracing emerging disruptive technologies to the extent possible, breaking the ground for you. We will incorporate our learning and experience into the solutions we bring to you and the market. 

Our vision includes an “all in” commitment to our strategy – and we are laser-focused.  There are hundreds, if not thousands of things we could think about, explore, and invest in. But if we chase every good idea, we will miss this amazing opportunity that is before us.  

 My intent is that our focus on our future strategy will be pervasive and a part of our very fiber! 

In Part 3 of the 5G series I will explore the expected results of the digital overdrive era and the impact it will have on our economy. 

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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