As usual, Collaborate included roadmap sessions for EnterpriseOne (E1) and World. I sat in on the E1 session and had an associate cover the World one. The differences were fairly minor as will be obvious from the notes below so this posting will largely focus on E1. It was no surprise that not much has changed since the roadmap sessions provided last September at OpenWorld.
A mission statement for JDE was offered that laid out the goal of offering “one enterprise solution that works with your technology infrastructure, stays current, is flexible and supports your global operations.” Oracle intends to achieve this ambitious goal by investing in five areas:
- Improving the core JDE applications themselves.
- Supporting technology products (database, middleware, servers and storage).
- Upgrading BI offerings.
- Enhancing and expanding the portfolio of other applications.
- Building Fusion Applications in modules that can be added as needed.
It is safe to assume that most of the innovation will come outside of the core JDE applications. The fact that the list of core enhancements is fairly short and largely focused on niche requirements should not matter greatly if the overall experience Oracle provides us improves significantly each year.
The downside of limiting core application improvements is that it reduces the incentive for customers to stay current on releases and even to keep paying maintenance. To offset this, the presentation offered proof points to demonstrate that core product enhancements continue to be made. For example, it was pointed out that in the five years following the Oracle takeover there have been four application releases, six tool releases, seven modules added and seven product integrations.
During the fiscal year starting this coming June Update 2 of E1 9.0 will arrive and in the following year release 9.1 of E1 will become available. It will also be FY2012 before the next major release of Analytic Applications for JDE becomes available.
A new Inventory Fulfillment module will be included in the FY2011 update. It will help those that have to deal with the happy problem of having more orders than product that can be shipped. This module will offer sophisticated logic to insure that available inventory goes to the most worthy buyers.
Another industry focused module will handle some of the unique needs of apparel manufacturers involving sizes, colors, collections and the like. These two modules are examples of how the modest amount available to invest in JDE core applications will largely go to meet the unique needs of niche market that are not likely to warrant the attention of the Fusion Application developers.
A vague description was offered of plans to broaden the BI Applications portfolio for JDE customers beyond the financial analytics that are now available. At some unspecified future date Supply Chain, Procurement, Projects, and Manufacturing will all be provided.
Upcoming new tools releases (timeframes not specified) will address four areas of improvement:
- User experience (including a copy and paste capability)
- Reporting and workflow
- Systems administration
- Technology Platform choices
Internal discussions have apparently just begun regarding how and when additional support for Sun offerings will arrive. It is hard to imagine that our community will be anywhere near the front of the line since historically penetration of Sun products into our market has been very low.
Overall, no big news of consequence came out of Collaborate on the product improvement front. The next OpenWorld will include lots of product news. Not much of it will involve core JDE applications but it should still have a very positive impact on us.