Hard times lead to innovation. As a result of the global pandemic, businesses have begun to embrace new technologies that further their integration into the digital marketplace. As a result, every industry has transformed to stay afloat while in-person interaction was brought to a screeching halt. While the worst seems to be behind companies, we are beginning to see a creep towards normalcy as digitalization continues to gain speed.
As the business landscape continues to change, your business also needs to continue adapting. To do this successfully, you must create strategic objectives and priorities that will put your company in a position to remain competitive. There are four strategic objectives for JD Edwards customers (and companies considering implementing JD Edwards) when optimizing their enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution in 2021.
1. Plan To Upgrade JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.2
JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.2 and JD Edwards World A9.4 have been the primary JDE environments for nearly six years. Despite this, many users are still operating on dated versions. Given that the latest iterations are likely the final significant releases for both environments, getting companies to upgrade to the newest version of their environment has become a priority for Oracle. However, given how old some of these updates are and the number of improvements they bring to the table, holding out at this point is only going to hold you back.
Upgrading your environment to JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.2 lets you access one prominent feature unavailable to those still leveraging older systems: Continuous Delivery. Continuous Delivery is an update release model that favors frequent, more minor content updates over expensive periodic updates. This means that after upgrading to JDE EnterpriseOne 9.2, your company won’t have to worry about keeping up with significant updates to gain access to the latest features. Instead, Oracle will release minor updates several times throughout the year. These updates include everything from the user experience (UX) and security improvements to entirely new features. Since 2018, JDE has released an average of four updates every year. So far, two updates have been released in 2021, so it’s a safe bet that more are coming in the latter half.
Besides access to Continuous Delivery, keeping your ERP environment up-to-date helps keep your company in line with JDE’s best practices. Oracle shares multiple reasons why you need to keep your JD Edwards software updated, but the most compelling is the security risk of using outdated programs. If you are using out-of-date systems, you expose your data and your customer’s data to the risk of theft. In addition, older software that hasn’t been updated is more susceptible to data breaches, malware, and ransomware attacks—none of which are suitable for your company’s customer relationships or reputation.
2. Further Your Company’s Digital Transformation
The push for cloud integration has transformed JD Edwards EnterpriseOne into the robust digital platform that it currently is. EnterpriseOne gives JDE customers access to three tools that can drastically improve your company’s efficiency and profits: Orchestrator, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Collaboration. The Orchestrator application is essentially an automation tool that allows business analysts to eliminate specific manual processes by recording the steps needed to complete tasks and automating them. The Internet of Things is a tool that will enable your machines to connect and communicate with each other and JD Edwards without using third-party software. EnterpriseOne Collaboration, on the other hand, integrates JD Edwards with the Oracle Content and Experience Cloud.
The push to the cloud doesn’t stop there. As part of the Continuous Delivery program, EnterpriseOne receives “Tools Releases” periodically throughout the year. So far, there have been two updates for EnterpriseOne this year: Tools Release 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11. While these updates are not solely focused on digital transformation, they have included 13 new digital transformation tool enhancements to integrate themselves into the digital marketplace better. Most of the tools included in the two updates have aimed to improve various capabilities found within Orchestrator. Still, new security features were also included in the form of authentication tools.
As the digital marketplace continues to grow and evolve, enabling your business to stay ahead of the competition is paramount to your success. For EnterpriseOne 9.2 users, that means planning new ways to leverage the digital transformation tools available within JD Edwards. For JDE World or EnterpriseOne users using older environments, this is just another in the long list of reasons you need to plan on updating or upgrading your ERP environment.
3. Enhance Productivity with Orchestrator Automation
We briefly introduced Orchestrator as one of the three critical digital transformation tools that your company can leverage from JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.2. Still, the uses and benefits of this tool warrant more discussion. For those unfamiliar with Orchestrator, the program acts as a hub that allows devices and machines connected to your IoT network to communicate with your EnterpriseOne applications. This allows the various aspects of your ERP to be integrated, allowing you to receive more in-depth business reports. Having the most accurate and thorough data allows your company to make more informed business decisions, and more informed business decisions allow for better allocation of assets and personnel.
Another one of the significant benefits of Orchestrator is that it allows your company to automate tasks that would otherwise need to be done manually. By automating these tasks instead of completing them manually, your company can optimize its return on investment while reducing its total cost of ownership (TCO). In addition, by automating tasks instead of relying on human data entry, you can also reduce the risk of human error and bring data updates to near real-time.
Considering your strategic priorities for the second half of 2021, you should consider utilizing Orchestrator and the tools it provides if your company uses JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.2. On the other hand, if you’re using JDE World or an older version of JD Edwards, the benefits offered by Orchestrator alone show that it might be time to upgrade to JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.2. To stay competitive in the digital marketplace, your company needs an ERP that provides the tools necessary to increase your efficiency while minimizing errors, TCO, and time spent on basic tasks that can be completed through machine automation. EnterpriseOne is that ERP, and Orchestrator is that toolset.
4. Evaluate Your Company’s Future ERP Plans
Benjamin Franklin said it best, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” While this quote certainly rings true in any area of life, it is especially true in business. Having a solid business plan is vital regardless of what stage of life your business is in. When you’re running a start-up business, having a solid business plan can determine if investors decide to back you. Once your company has reached maturity, you have to continue planning to avoid decline. There are many things to consider for business planning, and your ERP systems must be among them.
In 2020, Oracle made an announcement that outlined its support roadmap for the two most extensive JD Edwards products: JDE EnterpriseOne 9.2 and JDE World A9.4. Premier Support for JDE World A9.4 will end in April 2022. Extended support will last for an additional three years and end in April 2025. Oracle stated that these dates were chosen because most JDE World users are planning to upgrade to EnterpriseOne. If you were not one of those companies who said they planned on upgrading, now is the time to consider EnterpriseOne as your new ERP solution.
JDE EnterpriseOne, on the other hand, will continue receiving Premier Support coverage into 2031. It should be noted that these dates are by no means absolute. These plans are fluid, and Oracle reevaluates its plans every year when determining if a product needs continued support. Nevertheless, being mindful of these dates and planning accordingly should be a strategic priority for your company—especially if you’re still running JDE World. If your company decides to migrate to EnterpriseOne, Oracle has released a PDF containing migration information that you will need to know. One of the recommendations you should consider is the requirement to upgrade to at least JDE World A9.2 Update 1 before you can directly migrate to EnterpriseOne 9.2.
Recap of Top 4 Strategic Priorities for JD Edwards Users
JD Edwards is changing their ERP landscape, and your company needs to plan strategically in order to get the most out of your ERP. There are four major changes your company needs to consider implementing before the end of 2021. First, plan on upgrading to the latest version of your JD Edwards software. Then consider implementing the tools JD Edwards has provided to further your company’s digital transformation—this includes taking advantage of all the benefits provided by automating your business processes with Orchestrator. Finally, you need to consider your company’s future ERP plans based on JD Edwards current plans for both the EnterpriseOne and World ERPs.
Companies will benefit by planning to update to the latest version of JD Edwards so they can take full advantage of the latest features and updates available. Specifically, it would help if you considered updating to either JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.2 or World A9.4. If you use EnterpriseOne, updating to version 9.2 will give you access to updates released through the Continuous Delivery program. You can also better protect your customers’ data by using the latest security features.
Furthering your company’s digital transformation by updating or upgrading to EnterpriseOne 9.2 will provide you with access to the Orchestrator application, Internet of Things capabilities, and integration with other Oracle products through Collaboration functionality. These three tools, and the continuous updates accompanying them, will allow your business to succeed and excel in the digital marketplace.
For EnterpriseOne customers, using Orchestrator allows your company to save money, free up your IT team, and reduce human error by automating tasks that would otherwise require manual data entry. Not only that, but Orchestrator acts as a hub that allows the devices and machines connected to your IoT network to communicate with your EnterpriseOne applications.
Regardless of whether your company uses JD Edwards EnterpriseOne or World, you need to understand Oracle’s roadmap for these products. For EnterpriseOne users, Premier Support for the application is expected to continue for nearly another decade—or longer, depending on Oracle’s yearly evaluations. For companies using JDE World, it’s time to consider upgrading to EnterpriseOne as neither Premier Support nor Extended Support is expected to go beyond 2025. Making sure you plan accordingly will allow you to determine your company’s best course of action sooner rather than later.