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April 2013

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Q&A: Oracle's Jeanne Lowell on Why, When, How to Upgrade Your ERP

As part of its Applications Unlimited program, Oracle continues to innovate across its product lines, including major releases from

In light of this ongoing investment, we asked Oracle's Jeanne Lowell, vice president of Oracle E-Business Suite product strategy, why, when, and how midsize organizations should consider investing in the upgrade process—and what they have to gain by doing so.

Q: Can you explain briefly how Applications Unlimited works?
A: Applications Unlimited is Oracle’s commitment to customers to continue to support and innovate existing product lines even as we deliver Oracle Fusion Applications, our next-generation application suite. To support this, each product line has its own development resources that are focused not just on support but also on vigorous product innovation.

Q: How has Oracle made good on this commitment?
A: Our Applications Unlimited commitment is very clear. We've delivered advances in all product lines, including new functionality, new technology to simplify application management, and new capabilities to drive productivity. All our ERP product lines have recently released new capabilities with PeopleSoft 9.2, JD Edwards World 9.3, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.1, and Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1.3, as well as the planned release of Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2. And each product line has a continuing roadmap for years to come.

Q: What does this investment mean for customers?
A: With new releases, customers have access to more standard product capabilities to enhance or add business flows and reduce customizations—which in turn reduces cost and complexity.

There are literally thousands of new features across the product lines and dozens of new products. Just looking at the major new capabilities in Oracle E-Business Suite, there's new support for shared-service efficiency and global financial management, real-time information discovery with Oracle Endeca, expanded supplier lifecycle management, enhanced field service, more-robust warehouse management, and much more.

Beyond this, Oracle’s broader application and technology portfolio delivers industry-leading capabilities that extend and coexist with your ERP investments. This portfolio includes Oracle Business Intelligence Applications, Oracle Hyperion Enterprise, Oracle Governance, Risk, and Compliance solutions, Oracle Value Chain Planning solutions, Oracle Transportation Management, Oracle’s Agile Product Lifecycle Management, Oracle Human Capital Management Cloud Service, Oracle Fusion Customer Relationship Management Cloud Service, Oracle’s Siebel CRM, Oracle CRM On Demand, and many more.

However, it's not just about new functionality. There is much greater flexibility in terms of deployment, from on-premises to cloud to some combination of these—such as those offered by Oracle Managed Cloud Services and various partners.

We see many customers look at an upgrade as the first step of a phased, multiyear plan to leverage what Oracle’s solutions—including hardware and technology offerings—offer to support the growth of their business.

Q: How many customers are using the latest releases?
A: A majority of customers have recognized the business value they can gain from new ERP capabilities and are working with the latest releases. More than 70 percent of Oracle E-Business Suite customers are working with the latest releases of Oracle E-Business Suite, releases 12.0 and 12.1. Similarly, more than 65 percent of customers are working with JD Edwards 9 releases, and more than 65 percent of PeopleSoft customers are working with PeopleSoft 9.1.

Q: When should a growing company consider an upgrade?
A: Growing companies that are not on the latest release should evaluate an ERP upgrade now, with a view toward how it can help them meet the many demands of growth. Your business may be expanding into new areas and offerings, or you may need a unified platform and/or single global instance to support aggressive growth. Or you may be in the wake of an acquisition, and need to take advantage of new efficiencies while supporting a larger business. All of these are drivers to plan an ERP upgrade.

More broadly, consider the bigger picture in which your company operates today. Companies of all sizes are much more likely to have a global reach, whether with customers or suppliers. Customers have much more power than ever and are looking for differentiated offerings. And cloud, mobile, and social technologies are transforming what is possible and expected of your company and your applications. To stay competitive in this environment, you need a strong ERP backbone. Oracle continues to invest in solutions to meet these evolving business trends.

Q: Does product support play a role in upgrade timing?
A: Yes. Customers need to understand the support timelines and support levels for their ERP system, and plan an upgrade to ensure the appropriate level of support for their business.

Oracle offers industry-leading support with Oracle Lifetime Support. In the Oracle Premier Support and Extended Support stages, Oracle delivers new fixes, regulatory updates, and certifications to Oracle and third-party technologies. Some product releases are soon moving out of these stages into the Sustaining Support stage, including Oracle E-Business Suite 11.5.10 in November 2013, PeopleSoft 8.9 in 2013, and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Xe and 8.0 in December 2013. For more information on these timelines, see Lifetime Support Policy: Oracle Applications.

For Oracle E-Business Suite 11.5.10 customers, it is also important to understand Oracle’s Exception to Sustaining Support through December 2014, which provides some additional services during the initial time period of Sustaining Support and offers risk mitigation to customers whose upgrade may extend into the Sustaining Support timeline. If you are one of these customers, be sure to review the details in the My Oracle Support Doc, ID 1495337.1 (log in required) or contact Oracle for more information.

Q: What resources does Oracle offer midsize organizations to make the upgrade process as seamless as possible?
A: Oracle has a large, skilled partner ecosystem to help speed and simplify the upgrade process, many of which have Oracle Accelerate midsize expertise. Oracle also offers comprehensive upgrade best practice content and strong communities of other Oracle customers whose upgrade experiences you can draw upon.

Wondering Where to Start?
When you have the right tools and expert assistance, upgrading goes much more quickly and smoothly. Get started on your upgrade now to leverage the latest Oracle investments and meet the needs of your growing business.

Oracle E-Business Suite. If you are an Oracle E-Business Suite customer planning to upgrade within the next 12 months, the following resources can help.

JD Edwards. JD Edwards customers and partners can find out more about global “Upgrade in 100 Days” workshops. More than 2,000 customers have already attended.

PeopleSoft. PeopleSoft customers and partners can find more information about upgrading to PeopleSoft 9.2 through these resources.

  • Get access to the PeopleSoft upgrade resources page.
  • Learn the facts from a new infographic.
  • Watch this Webcast to find out about the new mobile capabilities and easy-to-use interfaces.
  • View a new video focused on product enhancements and the innovations now available to customers through Oracle Premier Support

This content is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

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