Demantra


Last week, we offered four of our top takeaways from Oracle’s OpenWorld 2008 user conference. This week, we’re back to offer more, and with a special emphasis on JD Edwards applications to boot. So join with me as we share not only what we learned from the sessions we attended, but also what we picked up from private talks with the JD Edwards team. To maintain continuity with our previous article and its four takeaways, we’ll start with…

Takeaway #5 — The EnterpriseOne and World development teams are adopting a more collaborative approach to how they enhance the two product suites. At OpenWorld sessions and casual meetings, managers and developers from both teams stated that they are working more closely with each other to roll out the same technologies on both products. In most cases, these projects involve the World team taking technologies from the EnterpriseOne team and adapting them to World’s unique architecture. A good example of such collaboration is the recently announced integration between World A9.1 and Demantra Demand Planning. This offering appeared first for EnterpriseOne 8.11 SP1 and 8.12, then was reworked for the World A9.1 environment.

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With Oracle’s OpenWorld 2008 conference behind us, it’s time to share our insights from this annual mother of all software meetings. Because of the sheer size and scope of OpenWorld, it is best to start any analysis of it from the proverbial 40,000-foot level, then drill down on the more interesting features. With that in mind, this article offers four of our high-level takeaways from the show. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Takeaway #1 — Oracle’s roadmap for JD Edwards applications remains clear and promising. During the conference, Oracle took great pains to demonstrate its commitment to enhancing and evolving both EnterpriseOne and World for years to come. It announced EnterpriseOne 9.0 and EnterpriseOne Tools 8.98. It also unveiled an integration between World A9.1 and Demantra Demand Planning as well as the first User Productivity Kits for World.

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I’m writing from the floor of Oracle OpenWorld and as you can imagine, the news is flying fast and furious here. Since I only have a few minutes before I dash off to my next meeting, here are the hottest stories I wanted to share with you.

  • Earlier this afternoon, Oracle Group VP Lenley Hensarling announced to a packed session that EnterpriseOne 9.0 and EnterpriseOne Tools 8.98 are generally available this month. EnterpriseOne 9.0 features a new module for Project and Government Contracting, while Tools 8.98 offers features such as Oracle Enterprise Linux support.
  • At the same session, World General Manager John Schiff announced the availability of an integration between World A9.1 and Demantra Demand Management. In addition, User Productivity Kits for 15 World A9.1 modules are also being shipped.
  • During the morning keynote sessions, Oracle’s top brass unveiled Oracle Beehive, a unified collaboration and communications platform that works with (but also competes with) Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Domino/Notes.

Of course, we’ll be offering further coverage on these and other hot OpenWorld topics in future posts, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, I gotta run!

Over the last several months, Oracle has provided significant evidence that it will continue to enhance JD Edwards World well after it rolls out the first release of its Fusion Applications. This is an encouraging sign that the software giant is living up to its Applications Unlimited pledge to invest in JD Edwards software rather than orchestrate a forced march to new products.

The latest evidence of Oracle’s commitment to World surfaced at the COLLABORATE 08 user conference last month. Here is a summary of what we learned from the sessions we attended and the executives we interviewed at the event.

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Late last week, many of us from Andrews Consulting Group came stumbling back to our offices under heavy loads of information from the COLLABORATE user conference. Now that I’ve sorted through my pile of data, I’m ready to share insights from the annual IT gala.

Let’s begin with an event that is a natural starting point for any COLLABORATE review. That is the keynote speech by Lenley Hensarling (Group VP and General Manager for JD Edwards) and John Schiff (VP and General Manager for JD Edwards World) that sets the stage for the rest of the JD Edwards presentations at the conference.

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In yesterday’s column about Oracle’s new integration between JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and Demantra Trade Promotions Management, I mentioned that I was asking Oracle for additional details on the offering. Little did I know that I would receive those details today.

As I mentioned yesterday, the integration supports EnterpriseOne 8.12 and Demantra 7.2. Naturally, that left me wondering whether users of EnterpriseOne 8.11 and earlier are left out in the cold when it comes to using the new offering. As it turns out, many such users may be able to deploy the integration with a little help from Oracle or a skilled systems integrator. Here is what Bob Monahan, Director of Product Strategy at Oracle, wrote to me about the matter:

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Yesterday, Oracle took a big step toward integrating its Demantra applications more tightly with JD Edwards EnterpriseOne. The software giant announced an integration between EnterpriseOne and Demantra Trade Promotions Management. The new offering will make it easier for consumer goods companies and retailers to manage trade promotions and forecast their impact on demand levels.

The latest announcement marks the second time that Oracle has forged links between EnterpriseOne and Demantra. Last year, the company shipped an integration between EnterpriseOne and Demantra Demand Management. That offering tied the demand forecasting tools in Demantra to the Material Requirements Planning (MRP) and financial modules in EnterpriseOne. While the Demand Management integration was a welcome offering, it did not deliver everything that Oracle’s retail and consumer goods customers needed. With their heavy reliance on promotions to move products, these companies require additional tools to predict how promotions will affect demand forecasts.

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After months of waiting, JD Edwards World users can celebrate an important milestone in the transformation of their applications. This morning, World General Manager John Schiff officially unwrapped World A9.1, a new version of the enterprise application suite, to a packed room of customers. World A9.1 features about 1,300 enhancements in three major categories.

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Ever since Oracle announced its Applications Unlimited strategy last year, it has made it clear that it plans to enhance JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and World for years to come. However, the vendor has been less clear about the specific enhancements it will make to the applications and the timelines for those enhancements. That appears to be changing, as Oracle executives are becoming increasingly open with us about their product road map through the rest of this decade. What they are saying leads us to conclude that EnterpriseOne will continue to be a viable solution well beyond 2010. That should reassure current users who are concerned about the impact that Oracle’s Fusion Applications will have on their software.

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