During INFOCUS Envision 2021, Oracle JD Edwards’ Jeff Erickson and Keith Sholes presented the JD Edwards product update and roadmap.
Industry Trends Driving Product Strategy
In today’s environment, there are two key technology industry trends:
- Customer centricity
- Digital ERP
First, customer centricity has become paramount. At one point in time, vendors could develop a product, present it at the market, and go back to developing a new product. Now, there is a joint partnership model in which customers and vendors collaborate to create a product that solves business problems and ensures customer success.
While new as an industry trend, the idea of customer-driven product development is not a new concept for JD Edwards. JD Edwards has a history is of working one-on-one with customers to ensure success. The team listens to customers, fitting requirements into the product and helping users to leverage the product in order to solve business problems. Presently, JD Edwards is making customer-driven developments an even greater focus than ever before.
The second trend in tech is a move to the Digital ERP. The JD Edwards ERP has always been a record-taking solution for standard processes with a single source of truth. Now, it is expanding to a digital platform with the ability to transform business processes. Some of these opportunities include IoT, Machine Learning, and mobile.
The JD Edwards product strategy is aligned with these two key industry trends.
Building Blocks of Industry Trends
There are three building blocks that support those two major trends:
- Continuous Innovation
- Cloud Strategy
Continuous innovation replaces a model that took years for product development and adoption. With the advent of continuous innovation, products can answer business needs in a dynamic market with constantly advanced technologies. For JD Edwards, releasing products that are inspired by customers on a quarterly basis allows regular opportunity for the software to pivot to better meet customer needs. Additionally, customers are embracing a continuous adoption model to leverage new software in order to transform digitally and create competitive advantage.
The second building block is a standards-based product line. This is critical in a continuous adoption mode. Standards-based products remove friction and cost from improvement. Standards extend from infrastructure to software to integration with various solutions. By embracing a standards-based approach, customers can easily leverage new technology as it comes up, very rapidly. For example, JD Edwards is able to leverage Oracle Cloud’s Infrastructure almost immediately. Being standards-based drives innovation and adaptability.
The third building block is Cloud. Cloud is known for agility and speed to market. JD Edwards customers are leveraging Cloud for its standards-based Cloud infrastructure and scalability. They also leverage PAAS services to do on-the-glass development, transform and interact with customers and suppliers, and more. Several are leveraging Cloud app capabilities that don’t exist in non-Cloud products.
Each of these building blocks provides support for the customer-centric digital ERP trends across the industry.
JD Edwards Product Strategy
Oracle epitomizes these top industry trends with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, JD Edwards, and Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications.
OCI is more than CPUs, memory, and networking for OCI. It includes an autonomous database, autonomous LINUX, and visual Cloud builder service. The components, such as content and user experience, that sit on top of it can be leveraged by customers. By running on OCI, JD Edwards receives automation. This reduces cost and complexity for customers. It is also the key component of the JD Edwards mobile strategy.
Cloud Applications are being leveraged at a higher and faster rate consistently. This makes sense. For example, customers have been using EPM to consolidate multiple ERP instances for report financials. Customers are using talent management to extend and have better HCM solutions. Customers can leverage the full portfolio of Oracle’s investment. The rest of today will explain how to do so.
The JD Edwards product strategy is to optimize, transform, and automate your JD Edwards. Within application optimization, JD Edwards aims to protect, improve, and future-proof your business. Simply, they enable applications to meet your business requirements.
To promote digital transformation, JD Edwards wants to be at the core of your digital initiatives. The digital platform offers process automation, low code/no code UI, and enterprise integrations.
Thirdly, system automation simplifies and automates everything relating to infrastructure. Efficient run and maintain, enterprise-class infrastructure, and continuous innovation are the keys to system automation.
The application optimization vision is to listen to the customer, eliminate customer pain points, optimize business processes, and simplify the user experience. Examples include reducing the number of clicks or forms required to complete a transaction. It also includes enabling customers to configure their system, offering flexibility within the solution. There should be easy, quick access to relevant information in the application at the point of process.
This makes JD Edwards applications easier to use, more powerful, and more comprehensive—all in support of your business.
As mentioned, JD Edwards prioritizes protecting, improving, and future-proofing your business. Protection is achieved by enabling legislative and regulatory compliance for global, country, local, and industry-specific requirements. Improvement relates to removing user pain points, digitizing business processes, and simplifying user experiences. JD Edwards product managers explained that they are hyper-focused on customer-driven product improvements. Once a customer submits an SR, he or she will receive email notifications when the requested enhancement is being worked on and once it releases.
Another focus in this area revolves around configuration. Configuration can help eliminate customizations and make a smoother digital transition.
Future-proofing your business means leveraging new business opportunities with new technology. JD Edwards aims to anticipate your future business needs. Integration of applications fuels this, as does leveraging the latest technologies to deliver engaging interfaces, simplified tasks, and key visualizations.
The chart below shows application optimization that is available and to come.
Individually, 9.2 has a ton of enhancements. Taken together, they add up to more than the sum of their parts. Financials, for example, have received enhancements that contribute to a faster financial close. The graphic below illustrates this synergy.
Next, applications are receiving embedded analytics. JD Edwards applications will augment the user’s knowledge within the business process resulting in:
- Improved decision making
- Greater business efficiency
- Competitive advantages
Likely, there will be some delivered out-of-the-box embedded analytics as well as a framework from which you can extend them to your own use cases.
Digital transformation is meant to support application optimization. Transformation is key to leveraging the Digital ERP. It eases adaptability to leverage new technical capabilities without the use of a team of developers. Within this category are three foci:
- User experience
- Process automation
- Enterprise integration
JD Edwards has changed the user experience every year, as the industry has changed. There are two areas of concern in the area of user experience.
First, there should be a streamlined experience for the traditional back-office ERP member. This user can tailor their experience to their own individual needs to get the most of the system.
The second user experience of high value is the nontraditional user. This user may be an employee in the field, on the shop floor, or anywhere else. Therefore, mobility, bots, a watch, and other digital advances in tech can improve his or her business process.
This is geared toward removing repetitive tasks. With process automation, you can compress process cycles, eliminate manual steps, and reduce human errors. A great example of this is the automated close, which shortens closing your books to a couple of days versus a couple of weeks.
JD Edwards customers have different technologies and solutions that they want to integrate. Product development’s goal is to integrate those into the digital platform within days instead of months. This is accomplished at the platform level by avoiding customizations, lowering the IT skillset to accomplish tasks, and increasing the speed and ease of application.
Digital Transformation delivered features are displayed below. This is not an exhaustive list, but it is an updated glance.
Each delivered component of digital transformation has value by itself. When you start to build them up together, you have a next-generation workflow. Combining Orchestrator, notifications, and messages, and removing the need for a technical skillset creates this potential. Empower your business analysts to build up workflows, tailor them to business processes, and drive exactly what they need. This builds efficiency throughout the entire organization.
In the next couple of quarters, there will be a web-based workflow model. Logic on the glass will drive more rules and better capabilities. Better rich text messages are to come via text, email, or notification to drive those actions.
The key to the digital platform is that the sum is greater than each individual feature.
System automation supports the other two areas of focus. The goal here is to remove cost and friction from running JD Edwards in order to free resources up for innovation.
While JD Edwards is an open platform, they are leveraging Oracle’s investment and the industry trend of infrastructure. Therefore, products are standards-based to Cloud infrastructure and X86 hardware. Hardware, database Cloud services and other PAAS services are included in the standards-based approach.
With system automation comes efficient run and maintain to deliver high quality of service. Customers are empowered to continuously adopt new features for greater innovation and success. The graphic below shows some of the current and future features of system automation.
The above features work together to remove barriers to continuous adoption. Customers can pivot to meet dynamic and changing market demand. They can adopt new and industry-leading technology to gain competitive advantages and further the business and IT partnership with an end result of innovation.
JD Edwards product development wants to let the system manage itself. This means rapidly meeting dynamic business requirements, enabling IT and business partnerships, optimizing to drive business efficiencies, and automating costly processes.
There are three key takeaways from the JD Edwards product update and roadmap.
First, engage with the JD Edwards community to drive your organization’s success. Learn from your peers. Meet with the JD Edwards team. Connect and receive inspiration.
Second, adopt a continuous innovation mindset. Develop a strategy, and dedicate your team to delivering innovation to your users on an ongoing basis.
Third, share your success with your peers. Innovation and success feed off of one another. You are an important part of the process. As you engage with your peers, execute innovation, and share success, you’ll receive new ideas that drive even greater innovation. The entire ecosystem benefits from your participation.