Oracle


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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John Wookey now works for Oracle's archrival SAP

Last night, rumors began spreading that John Wookey, the former head of applications development at Oracle, has accepted a new post at Oracle archrival SAP. Today, SAP confirmed the news. Wookey, who left Oracle 13 months ago for reasons that the company has never disclosed, is now Executive Vice President of Large Enterprise On Demand at SAP. In his new position, Wookey will play a critical role in crafting the software as a service (SaaS) capabilities of SAP’s flagship products. That, by extension, will affect how SAP competes with Oracle for enterprise accounts.

According to an SAP spokesman, Wookey began work at the German software giant this Monday. He is reporting to Jim Hagemann Snabe, a member of the company’s executive board who is responsible for development of its SAP Business Suite applications and NetWeaver middleware products. In a statement issued today, SAP said that “Wookey will work with several of our large enterprise on-demand solution offerings (including SAP CRM on-demand solutions) and develop more relevant on-demand offerings. It is our aim to unite these offerings with a singular strategy for increased innovation and enhancement under Wookey’s leadership.”

As this quote indicates, SAP intends to get much more serious about creating a compelling SaaS strategy for large enterprises over the next several years. Does this mean that SAP will unveil a comprehensive hosted product for enterprises similar to its Business ByDesign for mid-sized companies? I sincerely doubt it, as the scope and complexity of such a product would make it ill suited for delivery via a 100% SaaS model. What is more likely is that SAP will, over time, move Business Suite to a hybrid “software plus services” model in which new capabilities are delivered via the Internet cloud. This model, which is similar to the one that SAP ally Microsoft is pursuing, could make it easier for Business Suite users to deploy new functionality.

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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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