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INFOCUS Envision 21: Ask Me Anything with JD Edwards Executives

JDE INFOCUS

To wrap up INFOCUS Envision 21, several JD Edwards executives participated in an “Ask Me Anything” Q&A with conference attendees. They began with a bank of questions that was compiled throughout the conference, and then addressed questions from session attendees. Below is an outline of this interactive conversation. The participating executives included:

  • Paul Houtkooper, Oracle
  • Jeff Erickson, Oracle
  • Jon Green, Oracle
  • Gary Grieshaber, Oracle 
  • AJ Schifano, Oracle
  • Darryl Shakespeare, Oracle
  • Keith Sholes, Oracle

How do we (the customer) engage with the JD Edwards product team to drive product improvements?

Customer interaction is extremely important to the product team. 65–70 percent of all delivered enhancements are customer-driven. The easiest way to engage with us is to follow one or more of the following steps:

  1. Consider your type of request. Requests with broad support, broad interest, high value, and low complexity are most likely to catch the attention of the product team.
  2. Submit an SR, and the department will look at it.
  3. Get your peers to jump on board with the request. The more customers rallying behind your request, the higher priority it becomes. To gather peers, you can leverage Quest user groups and Special Interest Groups (SIGs).
  4. Engage with executives directly through email or phone calls.
  5. Join a focus group.

How do you get an enhancement request to the top of the list?

Interact with the user group. Effectively crowdsource demand for an enhancement. When the product team prioritizes requests, they focus on those that bring the most value to the most people in the customer base without risk of destabilization.

Having peers enter SRs, working with sigs in Quest, and calling and emailing executives are all advantageous in your mission. There’s no magic list that can send your request to a top priority fix. However, JD Edwards has become very customer-driven in enhancements and products, and they are likely to respond to individual requests with a lot of traction. The team enjoys enhancing products and they want to hear your input.

What trends are you are seeing with customers and Oracle Cloud?

It’s imperative to adopt a Cloud culture. Every customer should be working on a cloud strategy. Cloud is where the entire industry is moving.

The strategy for getting there will vary by customer. The three major trends for cloud adoption are:

  • Cloud Applications: Customers surround JD Edwards with Cloud apps. They extend JD Edwards capabilities with Oracle’s investment on the Cloud app side. For customers on older releases, they evaluate Cloud ERP for the feature functionality they want.
  • Platform as a Service: Customers are using Visual Cloud Builder service, content, and experience, etc. to leverage their ERP.
  • Infrastructure as a Service: Customers move to a standards-based, modern platform.

With infrastructure as a service, customers are able to use XT86 hardware and Linux or Microsoft as operating systems with skills that are prevalent in the marketplace. This results in improved performance, better availability, and an overall change of structure. Customers on OCI can get out of the data center business. They can get their feet wet with emerging tech while keeping what they know and love about JD Edwards at heart.

Can you explain the 10 years of support for JD Edwards?

As of right now, premier support for 9.2 is available through 2032. This is a rolling 10-year promise, meaning customers will receive at least a decade’s notice if support is being removed. Basically, this offers a 10-year window of maintenance, enhancement, and innovation for your JD Edwards. The team wants you to be able to get the most out of your investment. Sustaining support is available for releases 9.1 and before.

What is the philosophy of the rolling 10 years of support?

Oracle has a dedicated sales organization for on-premise products. Across multiple continents, these teams are ecstatic. They’re selling to existing and new customers. Consistently, new customers come from the industries where JD Edwards is the clear leader, not just in administrative ERP. These include but are not limited to manufacturing, real estate, food and beverage, agribusiness, and construction. The business is strong, and while we re-evaluate to extend ten-year premier support annually, there is no end date in sight.

How does that compare to SAP’s support through 2040?

The biggest factor to take into account when comparing JD Edwards’ 10-year support to SAP’s support through 2040 is that JD Edwards is committed to innovating. With JD Edwards, you get new products and enhanced capabilities. This commitment to innovation allows you to leverage your investment in JD Edwards as the market evolves.

Are customers leaving JD Edwards? If so, why?

In terms of customer migration, JD Edwards is no different from any other mature ERP on the market. Customer migration is largely based on corporate acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, change of leadership, or consolidation efforts.

Are BSSVs still supported and what are your recommendations for new innovations?

JD Edwards still supports BSSVs. It is a valid integration, just as Z files are. However, JD Edwards will not release any new business services. Instead, the team is investing in Orchestrator, and they recommend you do the same. It is an exciting tool that allows you to innovate, solving business problems with a tailor-made solution at low or no code.

Can you highlight the changes to the JD Edwards mobile strategy and explain why they have occurred?

A lot of time and effort goes into built-for-purpose mobile applications on the app store. Feedback from customers showed these apps weren’t really meeting business needs. Customer needs for mobile apps were very specific. The team delivered at least 5 versions, but every business is different. Therefore, every business needed a different mobile app.

At the same time that this was occurring, low code/no code development tools were coming into their own. With these tools came the opportunity for customers to easily create UIs for specific use cases.

This trend and successful adoption of Orchestrator in the JD Edwards customer base means customers who desire very specific functionality can create it themselves with their preferred tool. Once created, customers connect JDE data and logic through the Orchestrator.

As all of these occurred at once, the new mobile strategy became very clear.  For alternative user interfaces such as mobile, customers should be able to create apps themselves using tools such as Visual Builder Cloud service and then connect to JD Edwards using Orchestrator for the data and logic that exists within JDE.

Alternatively, the iPad container can run any JD Edwards application. This is a second mobile option, which customers have used that for various use cases.

While not a key aspect of mobile strategy, there will likely be some mobile interfaces delivered with functionality for common use cases for customers who do not have super specific functionality or column data needs.

What is JD Edwards doing to address the increase in security risks?

The short answer is that JD Edwards is held to the same high level of Oracle Cloud apps. Examples of security measures include:

  • JD Edwards and Cloud apps must pass Oracle app requirements.
  • Oracle has a team of “hackers” who continuously try to hack JD Edwards. If vulnerabilities are found, the team fixes them.
  • Third parties used must stay secure, so there is a rigid process for that, too.
  • Apps code must pass static code analyzers and runtime analyzers before shipped.
  • Multiple layers of the stack bring security at each layer.

The most important thing for the customer is to stay current. Every single Tools release is going to have security improvements. Patches in these releases will correct vulnerabilities. Staying current is the best way to protect your investment.

Can you confirm that future JDE Tools releases will only be 64-bit?

Yes. JD Edwards has been working on moving to 64-bit for multiple years. The industry has moved to 64-bit. Customers were made aware of this move a long time ago. JAVA, database drivers, and security patches are only 64 bit. Update 6 will be 64 bit only.

A large number of customers have moved to 64-bit, and there have been no issues. They usually do it as part of a Tools release.

Every customer should work with their partners to move up to 64 bit. This move future proofs your infrastructure to align with Oracle’s commitment to JD Edwards. The team continues to create a platform and infrastructure on which you can run JD Edwards well into the future.

Are there any specific licensing requirements for using UX One?

There is no separate licensing requirement for using UX One. Users have to have a license for their product, and that’s it.

Where do you see customers leveraging Oracle Cloud apps with JD Edwards?

There are a few migration trends that have been observed.

First, customers are modernizing their technology stack. They are moving JD Edwards to the public Cloud. By doing this, customers receive cost savings and major performance improvements while getting out of the data center business.

Second, customers surround JD Edwards. Traditionally, customers have looked to third-party solutions for things like planning and budgeting and certain HR functions. In the same way, today’s customers look to Cloud applications as a way to complement what they have with JD Edwards.

Third, more mature Cloud customers are fully migrating to the Cloud. This is a quicker, easier approach for organizations with a fairly small footprint of administrative ERP.

Regarding primary reasons for migration, EPM, customer experience, and HCM are the top reasons for Cloud use.

In terms of UX One, do I need a license for One View?

Customers have a license to any content delivered in UX One. Anything derived in UX One can be used with your product license.

Some watchlists were delivered in UX One. If, however, you create new watchlists, you will need a license to One View. The work-around is to use Orchestrator-based notifications to achieve the same results. This eliminates your need for a license of OneView.

What is the best way to try new features in JDE?

It’s hard to keep up with the amount of innovation pushed out by the development team on an ongoing basis. JD Edwards recommends two major approaches.

  1. Stay current as to what’s going on at LearnJDE
  2. Play with new features using Trial Edition, which is delivered on the Oracle marketplace twice per year. Trial Edition is an all-in-one JDE sandbox with access to all of the latest innovations, including the great stuff going on in Orchestrator. All extensions, frameworks, and app enhancements can be found in Trial Edition. You can have it up and running in 30 minutes or less on OCI.

Which operating systems will you continue to support on OCI?

For JD Edwards, Oracle certifies and validates Oracle Linux and Microsoft Windows running on  OCI with the databases supported at that level for each release. Databases include Oracle database and SQL Server database.

If you’re doing a platform migration, JD Edwards recommends leveraging the Oracle technology stack. Automation and validation of Oracle Autonomous Database gains more out of Oracle’s greater investment. It drives down your cost of maintaining JDE on that infrastructure.

Are you considering adding report extensions?

The team looked at it and did some lab work. It’s still on the list but it is not a top priority. For the JD Edwards extension framework to be a true extension framework, it needs some work. There’s no timeline at the moment, but it is being looked at. JD Edwards executives would love to hear more requests of what customers want in report extensions.

Is it possible in the near future for us to have JDE ERP as a service, like OTM or PDCS?

With JD Edwards partners providing managed services for JD Edwards, the ability to use OCI, and the subscription model for your hardware, you pretty much have JD Edwards as a service today. You’ve already licensed the product. You’re paying your support on an annual basis. You can have JD Edwards as a service with your current investment.

From a pricing model, JD Edwards is not going to be licensed as a cloud service. Although it’s not a cloud service, you can have the experience and model of service.

Key Takeaway

The JD Edwards product team works from a customer-driven perspective in a very real way. Continue to interact with development by participating on LearnJDE, through SRs, in focus groups, and by communicating with your JD Edwards sales reps and executives. This team loves to help you solve business problems and leverage your investment in your organization’s ERP.

Additional Resources

Join us on October 18-21, 2021, for INFOCUS Dive Deep! Picking up from where INFOCUS Envision ends, INFOCUS Dive Deep completes our two-part virtual JD Edwards conference series. JD Edwards users of all levels can dig into new releases, dive deep into practical learning, get new ideas from best practices and hone their core JD Edwards skills during four jam-packed digital days of education and networking. Register today!

Call for Presentations for INFOCUS Dive Deep is now open until July 16th! Submit an abstract to be considered for selection!

INFOCUS Envision 21: Ask Me Anything with JD Edwards Executives