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New Surveys Show ERP Upgrades Provide Clear Benefits

Although upgrading to a new version of an ERP system can be viewed as a daunting task, a vast majority of enterprise application managers say upgrade projects are often short in duration, fall within budget estimates, and rarely disrupt business operations.

Those are some of the conclusions in “ERP Upgrades: What’s Your Philosophy?” a new survey of members of the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG), and “ERP Upgrades: New Functionality, New Opportunities” a new survey of members of the Quest International Users Group. These surveys, which explored upgrade strategies and philosophies ranging from building an upgrade business case to deciding who bears the project costs, were conducted by Unisphere Research and Oracle.

The surveys found a considerable amount of upgrade activity among OAUG and Quest members. For OAUG, more than a third of the respondents say their organizations have already moved or are in the process of moving to the latest release of Oracle E-Business Suite. For Quest, close to 50 percent are in the process of upgrading or have already made the move to the latest of Oracle’s PeopleSoft or JD Edwards releases.

Among respondents who provided information about ERP upgrades, 12 percent from OAUG and 8 percent for Quest said the projects were transformational in nature, meaning that the organizations used the upgrade opportunity to change the way they work and how their business processes are handled.

When asked what the anticipated benefits of upgrading to the latest releases were, both OAUG and Quest members ranked access to new functionality in first place, and improved performance in second. Improved user productivity and continued alignment with latest Oracle technologies rounded out the top four anticipated benefits. 

The typical length of time for an ERP upgrade is between 6 and 12 months, the survey found. A majority of respondents reported that disruptions to business operations were minimal, with almost half of the executives saying they experienced five days or less of downtime.

Read the full OAUG report.

Read the full Quest report.

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