Quest had a chance to speak with Andrea Baron, CIO at Capex, and Sebastian Ruiz, Applications Manager at Capex, about the company’s upgrade to 9.2, their process, and benefits from the upgrade.
- Capex followed the 100-day upgrade workshop model and was able to upgrade in a little over six months
- Implementing a new security model should be a separate project, not as part of the upgrade
- Capex is beginning a project for mobility in the oil fields and is planning to use orchestrations for process automation
Capex SA is an Argentina-based company that is primarily engaged in the energy sector. The company’s main activities include the generation and sale of electric energy, the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas, and the production and distribution and marketing of propane, butane, and gasoline.
Capex is a 40-year-old company that is headquartered in Buenos Aires and is dedicated to the generation of electric, thermal, and renewable energy.
The company selected JD Edwards EnterpriseOne in 2009. Capex was previously using a 20-year-old ERP, and there were many challenges with the implementation. It was an 18-month project, during which they revisited all of their business processes and, for the most part, used JD Edwards standard functionality. Data conversion was another challenge, and so was setting up security and training IT on the new system. Despite challenges, it was a successful project overall.
Capex uses General Ledger, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Fixed Assets, Equipment Maintenance, Job Cost, Contract Management, Purchasing and Sales Order.
Why did you decide to upgrade to 9.2?
We have wanted to upgrade for a long time, but because of other priorities and projects, the upgrade was delayed. Also, the business thought it was going to be like the initial JD Edwards implementation, and they were fearful of the upgrade and overestimated the effort. We were previously on JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 8.12 and ultimately wanted to be on the most current release to take advantage of the new functionality.
How long did the project take?
The upgrade from 8.12 to 9.2 took a little over six months, and we followed the 100-day workshop model. We could not have done it without our business partner, Quantum Consulting. They are our CNC support and functional support. They were great.
We did not have very many customizations prior to the upgrade, and most of our custom objects are outside of JD Edwards.
Tell me how the project went as far as data conversion, testing, and training?
We had less than a terabyte of data, so we converted all of the data instead of archiving. Most of our transactions are on the purchasing side.
Never underestimate the importance of testing! We carefully selected key users who would test thoroughly. There were a lot of changes from 8.12 to 9.2, and we wanted to find issues and resolve them during testing rather than finding them after going live. We tested manually with key users and performed capacity testing. Then, when we did our mock go live, we tested all scripts and performed an additional performance test.
We have 200 users – 100 at our headquarters in Buenos Aries and 100 in remote regions in the field. We had workshops for the training, but it was mainly for the user interface because that is what changed the most. The application processes behind the user interface were basically the same. The field took the changes naturally.
Any lessons learned from the upgrade that you would like to share?
We decided to implement a new security model with the upgrade. When issues arose, it was difficult to determine if the issue was due to functionality or security. Changes with security should be a separate project and not a part of the upgrade.
We encountered issues and discovered that the source was custom objects that were not documented as custom. We thought we had done a good job with documentation, so we were surprised when we found these.
What challenges are you facing after the upgrade?
With Oracle’s new continuous adoption strategy in mind, we need to learn to work differently and implement new processes that will allow us to stay up to date.
Also, Argentina’s localizations are complex and change constantly. We have to rely on partners to provide some of the changes since not all are included in the JD Edwards localizations.
We would also like to get more involved with the Quest Oracle Community since the user group in Argentina is not so strong.
Will you be taking advantage of new functionality in 9.2?
Yes, senior management wants to automate more in the oil fields. This is a great opportunity to use new functionality like mobility and orchestrations. We want to start a pilot project with a few users in the field to test automating manual and repetitive processes. Our oil fields are in remote locations, so mobility will be a challenge, but we are learning from other customers at conferences about how they are solving this issue. Meeting other JD Edwards users is such a benefit for attending the conference. We are learning a lot from the sessions and from other customers.
We are also looking at AP automation. We have a big volume of invoices from suppliers and currently, it is all manual. We would like to begin a project to automate invoices.
We are currently planning and creating a business roadmap to use the new functionality. It is great that JD Edwards is helping customers with digital transformation.
Would you like to share your own story with the Quest community? Contact us and Quest staff will get in touch!