Reflections on INFOCUS 2019

by Pat Neary

Last month I attended INFOCUS 2019 in Denver. Alongside Collaborate, which takes place earlier in the calendar year, it is one of the two landmark events in the JDE E1 community’s calendar. Both events are organized by the Quest Oracle Community, which always does an excellent job of attracting attendees who remain committed to JD Edwards.

This was my third time visiting INFOCUS on behalf of DWS and I have to say, the enthusiasm of the community continues unabated. There was a genuine buzz about the place. Energy levels were high, the sessions were well attended by an engaged audience and there were some great keynote and partner-led presentations. Rumour has it that this year’s event was the best attended ever!

As a representative of DWS I was proud to see two of our customers featuring in Lyle Ekdahl’s keynote. Both Federated Cooperatives Limited and The Weitz Group are using DWS Dimension products to automate and manage the functional testing components of their E1 projects. JDE customers featured in a lot of presentations this year. The voice of the customer can be a powerful thing and it was great to see a balance struck between product features and real-world experiences.

I had the opportunity to talk with a lot of JDE partners and customers over the three days. During these conversations we covered a lot of ground, but two themes seemed to stand out from the rest. First, there was a recognition that the evolving application of JDE could continue to deliver long-term value to any organization. Second, the adoption of a strategy of continuous innovation – leveraging the smaller, more frequent updates from JDE to provide incremental value to organizations without causing disruption or incurring considerable costs.

This principle of ‘evolve and innovate’ has been at the heart of Oracle’s strategy for JDE for a couple of years – as demonstrated by the introduction of continuous delivery and adoption. However, this year it feels a little different. Attendees appear to be doing more than simply paying lip service to the idea, they are acting on the initiatives and starting to implement their own strategies.

There appears to have been a quiet revolution in thinking over the past year or two. JDE users are no longer thinking in terms of just running projects, but in realizing business value. A phrase I’ve started to hear repeated on the circuit is “orchestrating digital success”.

This shift in attitude is exciting. For those organizations who have yet to get code-current (on release 9.2) it means looking beyond the next major upgrade to what happens in the longer term. For those that have already made the move to 9.2 (most of the installed base) the focus has changed to running smaller, faster, smarter code-current projects that continuously deliver added value.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this year’s event – feel free to post a comment in the section below. Alternatively, if your like to find out more about our JDE E1 functional and load testing products, contact me directly.