by Aaron Lazenby and Margaret Terry Lindquist; additional editing by Marta Bright, May 2007
Integration is the cornerstone of Oracle's JD Edwards World A9.1, announced on January 31 in New York. Dubbed the Renaissance Release, this major upgrade of JD Edwards World delivers on Oracle's Applications Unlimited commitment to continuously provide customers with new functionality while at the same time enhancing their ability to seamlessly integrate the product into disparate IT environments. Oracle's Vice President and General Manager of JD Edwards World John Schiff, who has been a part of JD Edwards for much of its 30-year history, talked about JD Edwards World's continued commitment to providing customers with the same enterprise-level functionality available to the largest companies.
PROFIT: Why has this release of JD Edwards World been called the Renaissance Release?
SCHIFF: The term was really chosen by our customers. When they saw what we were doing, that was the name that they came up with. Customers told me that they felt the release was a real recommitment to the product line by Oracle. This is the first new release in 10 years—the first full-blown new release where we actually have added significant functionality in all areas. We were doing small, incremental enhancements via service packs or cumulative upgrades, but nothing of the scale that we've committed to under Oracle. Customers viewed this as the renaissance of the product, a commitment to providing additional value, helping customers move forward with a product.
PROFIT: JD Edwards is known for its focus on the small and medium business [SMB] sector, but the company's original focus was on the oil and gas industry, correct?
SCHIFF: We still have a lot of oil and gas customers using the product, but that's far from our sole focus. We have customers from every industry—manufacturing, engineering, real estate, and more. But if you think about the oil and gas industry in particular, there are many smaller exploration companies, and there are service companies around the larger companies, and then of course there are some very large companies that are still using the JD Edwards World software, alongside other products in far-flung parts of the world. It shows that JD Edwards World is being used both by SMBs and also by huge multinationals in the energy sector.
PROFIT: And of course the relationship with IBM is another key focus for the JD Edwards World product.