JD Edwards General Manager Lenley Hensarling on total cost of ownership, performance enhancement, and Web services integration
Putting innovation into the hands of customers has always been part of JD Edwards' mission. Today, more than 59 percent of customers are running the most recent releases of Oracle's JD Edwards products, evidence of their confidence in the evolution of this product line. Lenley Hensarling, general manager and vice president of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, talked with Profit about product enhancements and how customers are continuing to react to and benefit from Oracle's applications acquisition strategy.
PROFIT: Tell us about your current development focus for JD Edwards EnterpriseOne.
HENSARLING: Right now it's threefold, around total cost of ownership, performance enhancement, and integration with Oracle Fusion Middleware Web services in our tools infrastructure.
Let's start with total cost of ownership. In Release 8.97, we put a new capability into the toolset that we call server manager. This is a console that allows customers to manage their JD Edwards implementation in one place, even if they have multiple instances running. This will be the foundation for delivering important capabilities on Oracle Enterprise Manager in the future, so we're pretty excited about this piece. In the area of performance enhancement, we know that how fast a screen renders rows of new information and how crisply and quickly you can navigate a screen really matter to customers. So we put improved functionality into their hands as quickly as possible. And then, probably the most important component of the 8.97 release was our work integrating Oracle Fusion Middleware Web services into our tools infrastructure. We built extensions to Oracle JD Edwards JDeveloper that allow a customer to develop Web services in Oracle Fusion Middleware and have those services managed by our JD Edwards lifecycle management capabilities. That's a big step toward supporting Oracle Application Integration Architecture. In the upcoming tools release, Release 8.98, we will be adding more capability around Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher. That capability is going to be in the form of a read-only JDBC driver that will open up all of the operational data to [Oracle Business Intelligence] Publisher so that it can serve as a primary ad hoc reporting tool for our customers. Also, we're building on it for the upcoming 9.0 release with a new vocabulary of Web services.
PROFIT: What else is new?
HENSARLING: We've released a new financial management and compliance console to help midsize companies deal with issues around segregation of duties. It includes an alert capability that is based on rules that companies can set up for themselves, such as spending limits. It is an extension to the operational schema, with summary tables and KPIs [key performance indicators] and metrics built on top of that. It really follows the model of the Daily Business Intelligence capabilities that have been available in Oracle E-Business Suite.
Other key enhancements include integration to Oracle Demantra trade promotions and demand planning. And we recently announced the availability of our integration to Oracle Transportation Management, or Oracle G-Log.
PROFIT: How are customers reacting to the changes?
HENSARLING: The customer reaction is interesting—I see our customers start to think of themselves as Oracle customers first. We're seeing our customers look at the total Oracle solution footprint rather than just being bound within JD Edwards. I think customers are now convinced—they've seen our new releases coming out and are feeling comfortable. And they've seen the value of the infusion of Oracle technology into our offerings. Also, the worldwide support capabilities that Oracle brings to JD Edwards customers are really important.
PROFIT: Can you touch on the subject of JD Edwards support for IBM and other database platforms?
HENSARLING: What's interesting is that since the acquisition by Oracle, our relationships with IBM and Microsoft have been closer than ever. We're doing great work incorporating Oracle technology, including Oracle Database, but we'll continue to support a broad set of platforms.