EnterpriseOne


Two weeks ago, I published an article about the state of corporate IT budgets during these economically tough times. At the same time, I gave all of you the chance to tell us whether your JD Edwards software spending is increasing, decreasing, or remaining the same. Here are some early results from the poll.

Will your spending on JD Edwards software increase, decrease, or remain the same during the 4th quarter of 2008 compared to the 3rd quarter of 2008?

Our spending will increase                                                 20%   (8 votes)
Our spending will decrease                                                25%   (10 votes)
Our spending will remain the same                                     55%   (22 votes)

As you can see, most companies are keeping their JD Edwards spending steady from the third to the fourth quarter. This is not unusual because during any six-month period, most companies simply pay their support contracts and do not purchase additional users or modules. It is interesting to note, however, that 20 percent of the companies are increasing their JD Edwards spending while 25 percent are reining costs in.

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If you or a business colleague want to know more about Oracle’s plans for JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, I would encourage you to attend an important webcast on December 3. The title of the webcast is “Is JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Right for Your Business?” It will feature a talk by Lenley Hensarling, Oracle’s Group Vice President and General Manager for JD Edwards.

Before Hensarling speaks, I will kick off the webcast with our company’s assessment of EnterpriseOne and Oracle’s strategy for the product. I’m also inviting Wayne Travis, one of our senior project managers, to discuss his latest deployment of EnterpriseOne at a Fortune 100 company. While we have the microphone, we will tell listeners how they can get a free copy of our book on effectively managing IT projects. Speaking of freebies, everyone who attends the webcast will receive a complimentary copy of our widely read white paper, “The Transformation of JD Edwards Applications.”

This a great opportunity to learn more about EnterpriseOne and pose questions to the experts about where the product is heading. So don’t wait…sign up today.

Click on this image to take our survey!

Take our survey at the end of this article!

I’ve been poring over the latest studies of information technology spending from the big research firms and, while I hate to say it, the numbers are looking increasingly ugly. For weeks, analysts have been slashing their forecasts faster than Wal-Mart’s “smiley face” can slap lower prices on underwear and cheap TVs.

Take Gartner Group, for instance. Earlier this year, the Connecticut-based firm forecasted that 2009 IT spending would increase by 5.8 percent over 2008 levels. In October, the company lowered that figure to 2.3 percent. Last week, Gartner confessed that its 2009 forecast now hovers between 0 and 2.3 percent. It also said that if recession strikes the major economies hard, spending could go into reverse and shrink by up to 2.5 percent.

By contrast, International Data Corporation (IDC) is a little more optimistic, if a meager 2.6 percent growth rate could be called good news. The bad news is that IDC expects 2009 spending to grow by less than 1 percent in the developed parts of the world, with most of the forecasted increase coming from developing countries.

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Back in September, Oracle used its OpenWorld user conference to pledge that it would deliver more training via the web and other virtual channels. Over the last several weeks, the software giant has begun to deliver on its promise. New training resources are coming on line that will make it easier and less expensive to get up to speed on JD Edwards products. That’s welcome news in these tough economic times.

If you have ever traveled hundreds of miles to attend an Oracle University workshop, you know that such training can burn a hole in the pockets of your corporate budget. Acknowledging this problem, Oracle University used OpenWorld to announce a new Live Virtual Class format. In this format, instructors teach the same content provided in off-site workshops, but do so over the web. Participants are able to ask questions, get answers, and perform exercises in much the same way as they would in a traditional classroom. The Live Virtual format lets JD Edwards professionals enhance their skills no matter where they may live, eliminate expensive travel, and minimize productivity losses.

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For months, Oracle has been telling JD Edwards customers that someday, it would move our support resources from the current Customer Connection website to the MetaLink site created for users of other Oracle products. I am here to tell you that someday has finally arrived. However, Customer Connection is not moving to the MetaLink portal that its current users know and love. Instead, we’re all moving to MetaLink 3, a new version of the portal that enhances the support experience. The switchover is scheduled to take place during the weekend of November 7 to 9.

After doing a walkthrough of MetaLink 3, we think that most customers will embrace the new portal once they get through the initial learning experience. MetaLink 3 should make it much easier for JD Edwards professionals to find the documentation they need, submit and manage Service Requests, and download updates and fixes. Besides streamlining these tasks, the revamped portal enables users to personalize the portal to meet their unique needs. Moreover, it offers new tools, such as HealthChecks, that can diagnose potential problems in application configurations and propose solutions.

Of course, switching to a new support platform is a hassle regardless of the benefits it may bring. To address the migration headaches, Oracle is offering dozens of live webcasts and recorded training modules to show you how to get registered on MetaLink 3, then get to work on the portal. To learn more about the switchover and access the training materials, head on over to the JD Edwards Support Transition page on the Customer Connection website. Be sure to check out the Transition FAQ, which provides excellent background information on the migration effort.

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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Now that the dust is settling from the whirlwind that was Oracle OpenWorld, it is time for all of us to discuss what we learned from the event. As many of you who went to the conference have told me, however, you are still trying to figure out what was said and what it all means. With that in mind, here are three things you can do to sift through the mountain of information from OpenWorld and pull out those pieces that are important for your company.

First, you can download many of the JD Edwards presentations that were made during OpenWorld sessions. To do this, just click over to the OpenWorld Content Catalog, then do a search on the “JD Edwards” stream/track. You will find more than 80 presentations on every imaginable topic that are available for downloading. Just click on the paper clips to the right of each presentation. These presentations are free for the taking to anyone who had a full conference pass to OpenWorld.

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Word here at OpenWorld has it that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is going to make an announcement today that could be a “game changer” in what the software giant sells. Even if you’re not here at the conference, you can hear it from Ellison’s mouth right along with the rest of us. Just click over to the Keynotes section of the OpenWorld web site, click on the “Live Keynote” link under Larry’s picture, and join us. Just be sure that you have Flash Player 9 installed beforehand. The broadcast will begin around 2:30PM Pacific coast time today; it is likely that Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd will speak before Ellison.

One more thing…if you read this after Ellison’s speech, you will still probably be able to watch the broadcast, as Oracle usually keeps the speeches posted on the OpenWorld site for many weeks afterwards.

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!

If you’re going to OpenWorld, I have some advice for you. Actually, I have several pieces of advice. As someone who has crawled through the innards of this massive event for the last four years, I know a thing or two about how the beast operates. So here are my tips for getting the most from your OpenWorld experience.

Tip #1: Stay close to the hotel where most of the JD Edwards sessions take place. Every year, the JD Edwards team books out one of the hotels near the Moscone Convention Center for its sessions. Last year, the gang from Denver used the San Francisco Hilton, which is a painfully long walk from “the Moscone”, as we Bay Area residents call it. This year, it’s at the Intercontinental Hotel, a brand new destination just one block away on Howard Street. (Could this be a sign that JD Edwards is a rising star in Oracle’s sky?) If you want to trade ideas with fellow JD Edwards customers and the Denver team, plan events that keep you in or around the Intercontinental. Once you leave the area, you will find it harder to meet conference goers with common interests.

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It has been a slow month for news coming out of Oracle. That’s typical in the days leading up to OpenWorld, as the software giant starts stockpiling announcements that it can unleash on conference goers. Still, some interesting tidbits have leaked out of the company in recent weeks. Here is a quick rundown on what we have been following.

Hot Papers on the Next EnterpriseOne Releases

Earlier this week, Oracle quietly posted two papers about JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.0 and EnterpriseOne Tools 8.98 on its Customer Connection web site. The documents, known as Release Value Propositions, provide detailed information about the enhancements in these unannounced releases. If your organization intends to evaluate either release, these documents are excellent starting points for your review. Just click on the above link, enter your Customer Connection login/password, and look for the two documents at the top of the page.

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There’s an old saying that “All good things must come to an end.” Frankly, however, we don’t agree. That’s why we are taking a good thing — our white papers about JD Edwards — and updating them so they can continue to help our readers for years to come.

If you click over to our white papers section, you will see that we just finished updating our flagship paper, The Transformation of JD Edwards Applications. We’ve refreshed this report with new information about upcoming JD Edwards releases, the growing importance of Oracle’s Application Integration Architecture, and other important findings. We have also revised Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, IBM System x, and IBM BladeCenter, a paper that discusses the advantages of hosting EnterpriseOne on IBM’s Intel x86-based servers.

Over the coming months, we intend to update more of our JD Edwards white papers and write a few new ones to boot. So drop by now and then to see what we’re up to. Chances are good that you’ll walk away with something you can use.

Have you ever tried to describe what a data warehouse is to the non-technical decision makers in your organization? If so, you have probably gotten a few blank stares. If you tried to describe how a data warehouse would work with your JD Edwards applications, the “stare rate” probably increased at an exponential rate.

Fortunately, we now offer an animated demonstration of what a data warehouse is and how it can add value to your JD Edwards applications. The demonstration combines simplicity with humor to make difficult concepts easy to understand. What do I mean by humor? Just imagine someone drawing diagrams on a napkin, then watching those diagrams come to life with amusing sound effects, and you’ll have an idea of what I mean.

I don’t want to steal any more thunder from our latest learning tool, so please just click on the link in the previous paragraph, then click on the “Play Animation” link. We hope that your non-techie colleagues get the message. Speaking of messages, feel free to leave us one in the reply box below to let us know what you think of our little demonstration.

Related Articles on The JD Edwards Advisor

Is a Data Warehouse Necessary? New Report Answers the Question

Conspiracy at SAP?
Conspiracy at SAP?

If you think that Oracle is going to back off from its lawsuit against SAP’s TomorrowNow subsidiary just because SAP is shutting the organization down, think again. A few days after SAP announced the shutdown, Oracle added fresh allegations to its lawsuit that SAP’s top brass knew TomorrowNow was operating illegally before they acquired the third-party maintenance firm. The revised lawsuit also accuses SAP board members and top executives of conspiring to cover up TomorrowNow’s illegal activities. The suit even claims that the German software giant gave the cover-up a name — Project Blue — replete with presentations that came with instructions to “delete after reading”.

Before I comment further on this story, let me make it clear that the following statements are pure conjecture on my part. That said, is it just a coincidence that Oracle filed this amended lawsuit several days after SAP announced it is shutting down TomorrowNow? I doubt it. While neither Oracle nor SAP has said a word to us about the lawsuit, it would be reasonable to conclude that Oracle’s attorneys have been gathering evidence for the new allegations for some time. They would certainly have had good reasons to do so. If SAP deep sixed TomorrowNow, Oracle would need to quickly marshal evidence that the wrongdoing was not limited to TomorrowNow (something that SAP has steadfastly maintained) but reached all the way up into SAP’s management. That would be the only way to keep the legal fires burning under the case.

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Last week, Oracle announced plans to retire Web Services Gateway (WSG) and Extended Process Integration (XPI) from JD Edwards EnterpriseOne. While the company has made noises about putting these offerings out to pasture for some time, the announcement puts definite dates on the event.

Beginning September 1, 2008, Oracle will no longer offer WSG with EnterpriseOne Tools. However, existing users will still be able to access WSG via the Update Center. In addition, Oracle will provide Premier Support for the offering through October 1, 2010. This means that WSG will continue to receive updates, fixes, and certifications for new EnterpriseOne releases. After October 1, 2010, WSG will move to Sustaining Support, which provides technical assistance and pre-existing fixes for known issues.

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Yesterday, Oracle issued an urgent Security Alert about a vulnerability in Oracle’s WebLogic application server (formerly BEA WebLogic). The company also provided a workaround for the vulnerability that WebLogic customers can implement until developers create a patch for the flaw. This is the first time in more than three years that Oracle has issued a security alert outside of its regularly scheduled Critical Patch Updates, making this a “must fix” for WebLogic users.

The story behind the unusual alert was broken yesterday by Eric Maurice on the Oracle Global Product Security Blog. For those of you who do not know him, Maurice anchors this blog and has made it one of the best sources of information about securing Oracle products on the web. As Maurice explained in yesterday’s post, both the vulnerability and the code to exploit it was posted on public forums before it was sent to Oracle (a definite “no no” that separates ethical hackers from the black hats of the business). To make matters worse, the exploit code hit the forums shortly after Oracle released its last Critical Patch Update on July 15. This is forcing Oracle to issue an out of cycle security update.

If you do not subscribe to the feed for the Oracle Global Product Security Blog, I would encourage you to do so. Its timely warnings could save you from a nasty breach of your JD Edwards applications.

On Monday, SAP informed the IT world that it will “wind down” the operations of TomorrowNow, its subsidiary that provides third-party support for Oracle applications. The announcement ends a bold experiment on SAP’s part that blew up in its face. Unfortunately, the fallout from the explosion will put over 200 TomorrowNow customers — including many JD Edwards users — through the pain of having to find new support providers.

According to SAP sources, the software vendor plans to shutter TomorrowNow before October 31 of this year. Undoubtedly, the actual shutdown date will be partly determined by how long it takes the subsidiary’s 225 customers to return to Oracle support or choose another maintenance vendor. SAP spokespeople say that they are already assisting customers in transitioning to new providers. While Oracle will undoubtedly get the bulk of the accounts, it is likely that third-party support providers such as Rimini Street will also win significant numbers. Indeed, Rimini Street has posted a “Welcome TomorrowNow Customers” page on its web site that advertises its 50 percent savings off Oracle support prices.

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When Oracle boosted list prices for its database and middleware products last month, it was not clear whether it had also changed prices for its applications. This week, however, Oracle sources told us that the company did update prices for its applications, including many EnterpriseOne and World offerings. That update increased prices for many products by approximately 15 percent in the United States and the United Kingdom. In all fairness to Oracle, prices in some regions remained unchanged or even decreased.

To understand what Oracle has done, one first must realize that the company offers three licensing models for its applications. Component licenses are for small “a la carte” purchases of one to several products. Custom Application Suite (CAS) licenses are used for purchases of software bundles that are priced by the bundle user (otherwise known as a CAS user). Enterprise licenses are used for purchases by larger companies that have many internal and external users.

With that brief licensing lesson in mind, let’s look at Oracle’s pricing action. According to Oracle, the price increases apply to Component and CAS prices for all EnterpriseOne and World products. From the information we have received so far, Component prices for U.S. and U.K. customers rose by 15 percent for all JD Edwards products. CAS prices for these countries also rose across the board, though we are still trying to determine by how much.

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While the summer doldrums may be upon us, there has been no reduction in the flow of JD Edwards news coming across my desk. In this article, I’ll discuss important changes on the middleware and tools fronts, promising developments for JD Edwards World, and a way that almost any company can get a fat check from Oracle.

Next Stop…WebLogic?

Last week, I posted a review of Oracle’s plans to integrate BEA products into its Fusion Middleware portfolio. As the review stated, Oracle’s middleware roadmap raises many questions about the role that BEA products will play in the Oracle Technology Foundation for EnterpriseOne. While we are still working to get definitive answers to those questions, sources inside Oracle have confirmed that there are no plans to force EnterpriseOne customers to use BEA WebLogic Server. If you are running Oracle Application Server or IBM WebSphere Application Server, you will continue to receive support.

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