A review of JDE Summit 2019

by Dave Harrison

The JD Edwards Summit is the premier event of the year for those in the Oracle partner community involved in supporting JDE customers. It’s held over three days near Denver, Colorado, the home of JD Edwards software. The theme for JDE Summit 2019 was “Journey to a Modern Intelligent ERP”.

The event traditionally begins with a keynote from Lyle Ekdahl and his team. As well as providing feedback to partners on the ‘State of the JD Edwards Nation’, the primary messages this year were ‘Continuous Innovation’ and ‘Continuous Adoption’. But what does that mean to the partner community and the customers they support?

First, JDE partners should be helping their customers get to the latest release (9.2) and stay code current. Second, they should be helping users take advantage of the many new innovative features that have been coming out of Denver. These include tools-related features as UX One, Notifications and 64-bit processing, and new application modules like Lease Management and Joint Venture Management.

Explore the latest JDE E1 features in our JDE E1 Landscape Infographic

The adoption of these features is critical to the success of businesses that are running JDE software. They allow them to deliver further value and improve processes for their users and customers and enable them to run their systems smarter and more efficiently. Getting to the latest release in order to maintain support with dependent hardware, software and operating systems is only half the battle. Customers also need to ensure they are getting the best value out of their investment in JDE; to help them focus on the success of their business and their ability to adapt to market changes.

Jeff Erickson’s session on ‘Building a Continuous Innovation Value Practice’ centered on the challenges of customers being able to deliver a strategy of Continuous Innovation. Helping customers understand the benefits of a policy of adopting new features and functionality on a regular basis requires a shift in mindset to overcome the natural resistance to change that is all too common. This is a change that needs to come from the top. Management teams can ensure that sufficient resources are available to support this model without compromising the opportunities to deliver it.

As we now know, there will be no 9.3 release of JDE EnterpriseOne. EnterpriseOne now follows the Continuous Innovation model, where new functionality is delivered as updates to the existing release. Upgrades are not required in order to gain access to new features and capabilities. With premier support now extended until 2030, will this mean that customers will sit on the same tools and application release level as they had when they first installed 9.2 for many years to come? If so, are they running Xe on a 9.2 platform? Will they run the risk of not being able to take advantage of regulatory updates and new features, as they had in previous years? To make the most of Oracle’s Continuous Innovation model, customers will be required to continuously adopt the incremental changes that are being delivered by the Oracle JD Edwards team.

Orchestrator featured heavily this year, which reflects Oracle continued investment in the products. Notable new features, such as the Orchestrator Monitor and Error Handling, are designed to improve the management of orchestrations going forward. The ability of orchestrations to be executed from JDE, either via a Business Function call or via a Form Extension that does not require any programming, will extend the power of Orchestrator enormously and completes the cycle of being able to fully support inbound and outbound interfaces and processes.

Another nice new feature is the ability for orchestrations to take input from CSV and XML files and iterate over the records. It’s never been easier to develop interfaces into and from JDE. The list of new features goes on. Orchestrator has moved a long way from the days of supporting IoT sensors and devices, into a fully-fledged integration and notification platform.

Chatbots and Digital Assistants continue to offer alternative ways to interact with back-end systems, and it’s no different with JDE. Noel D’Costa’s session on ‘Virtual Assistants, Chatbots and Machine Learning’ described how conversations with these assistants can be used to help users and customers with JDE related tasks using Oracle Digital Assistant; whether it be placing orders, enquiring on account balances or approving vouchers. I’m sure this is an area in which we will see a lot of new innovation in coming years.

Overall, it was another successful and informative JDE Summit, and I came away feeling motivated by the positive vibe of the conference. I was impressed, yet again, by the continued investment made by Oracle in JD Edwards, with innovative and quality new features and functionality that can help all JDE customers gain continuous value from the product.

Further reading.