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JD Edwards

Setting the Pace

The state of IT affairs for the JD Edwards community

By Aaron Lazenby

Fall 2017

Eight years. That’s a sizable chunk of my nearly 18 years as an Oracle employee. But that’s how long I’ve been producing this special issue of Profit, dedicated to Oracle’s JD Edwards technology and the JD Edwards community.

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It’s also an interesting span for the enterprise software business, basically the dawning of the era of enterprise cloud. Looking back at the past eight years with that shift in mind, it’s been fascinating to track the evolution of JD Edwards technology toward that same era.

With this JD Edwards special issue, we set out to share compelling examples of JD Edwards technology in a modern cloud environment. We found two great examples with architectures based on either an Oracle-managed cloud instance (see “Glory”) or a hybrid design built via integrations (see “Soma Bay”). Along the way, a few themes emerged that, I think, do a pretty good job summarizing the state of IT affairs for the JD Edwards community:

Change is inevitable. The technology industry often amplifies the “revolutionary” aspects of the products we’re making and selling, but that can distract from the significance of an actual political revolution. Our cover story about Soma Bay (see “Destination: Cloud”) has upheaval as its backdrop, detailing the IT strategy of an Egyptian resort that operated through the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Along with Rob Preston’s look at the shift toward a service-based economy, these stories remind us that change is a reality we must consider in all our endeavors.

A few themes emerged that, I think, do a pretty good job summarizing the state of IT affairs for the JD Edwards community.”

Incremental is OK. But my interview with Lyle Ekdahl, senior vice president of product development at Oracle (see “Get the Balance Right”), revealed a tension: the pace of change in the market is significantly faster than the typical enterprise resource planning (ERP) upgrade timetable. The idea of swapping out a well-seasoned ERP system for a modern cloud platform is simply not the approach many businesses will take, especially if they have built a mission-critical system that took time to create and performs well. So, the prospect of introducing cloud technology when and where it makes sense is a boon for executives who want to be strategic about their IT investments.

The prospect of introducing cloud technology when and where it makes sense is a boon for executives who want to be strategic about their IT investments.”

Integration is key. To make that incremental approach possible, you have to be able to connect JD Edwards applications to other Oracle Cloud applications. Soma Bay did this very well, and Glory used a managed cloud instance of JD Edwards applications to connect to a number of Oracle Cloud products in short order. Ekdahl expands on that example, detailing how JD Edwards applications have APIs and services that can connect ERP functionality to other systems (or objects) inside or outside the business.

As always, I want to thank Oracle’s amazing JD Edwards team for their support of this special issue. I always appreciate the opportunity to work with such a great team within such a great community—especially for this issue, which was designed and created as the Profit team initiated our move to digital publishing (see “Disrupted!” Profit, Summer 2017). We’re excited to see what we can do with this ninth edition!

Photography by Bob Morris, iStock.com/Chernikov_Images