Oracle ERP users urged to upgrade

Although Fusion Applications are finally on the horizon, many users are still dealing with legacy systems

Oracle is hoping to make a big splash with its upcoming Fusion Applications launch, but in the meantime has the perennial and less glitzy task of persuading users to upgrade from older releases of E-Business Suite.

"If I were in your situation, I would be making a plan," said Cliff Godwin, senior vice president of applications development, during a keynote address Monday at the New England Oracle Applications User Group conference in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Godwin ran down a long list of features and improvements in the current release, EBS 12.1, covering areas such as manufacturing, warehouse management, global tax calculation, patch automation and mobile integration.

Premier Support for EBS 11.5.10 officially ends in November, meaning users who choose to stay on that edition would normally face additional maintenance fees for Extended Support. Last year, citing the bad economy, Oracle announced that it would waive Extended Support fees for one year on a number of products, including 11.5.10.

In any event, it seems that few EBS users have upgraded to R12 so far. Altimeter Group estimates that roughly 5 percent of EBS installed base is running either version 12 or 12.1, said Ray Wang, a partner in the analyst firm.

That number "is about right" given the circumstances, Wang said via e-mail. "People initially shy away from the first release of any product." R12 was released in early 2007, while R12.1 arrived in May 2009. "It was not till 12.1 that we started to see momentum in adoption."

Moreover, "the downturn in the economy and stability of the 11.5 product has probably been a key reason for slower adoption than normal," Wang added.

Indeed, during a conference session on R12 upgrades held by Oracle systems integrator USJade, the presenter asked how many of the roughly 100 attendees present had such a project under way, and it appeared that nobody raised a hand.

But one user who attended the session said her company is now in the planning stages for an upgrade.

"[The system has] been very stable. But you we're at the point where we need to do more. We're getting requests from users for enhanced functionality that we see will probably or possibly be available in R12," said the user, an Oracle business analyst for a U.S. manufacturing company who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Moreover, the company is using EBS 11.5.9, which is already on Sustaining Support, a maintenance option for older platforms that does not includes services like critical patch updates. "So any problem that comes along, we are pretty much having to solve ourselves," she said. Add in a "tiny" IT staff with which to serve the company's users, and the situation has become difficult, she added.

The recent rough economy took its toll on the company, which put off an upgrade, which she now hopes will begin soon.

Upgrade projects could pick up pace soon, according to another Oracle user.

Frank Malangone, vice president of information systems at construction and engineering firm Camp, Dresser & McKee, is "noticing a turn to Release 12" among E-Business Suite users. "People are starting to hear the buzz that 12.1 is stable," said Malangone, who is also a NEOAUG board member. "People are on it. People aren't losing their jobs going to it."

Camp, Dresser & McKee will probably start an R12 upgrade project next year from its current 11.5.10 implementation, he said.

Fusion Applications are of interest but not on the immediate horizon for Malangone, and many other users, he said.

An initial wave of Fusion products will be launched this year, according to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. But no general availability date has been announced for the long-delayed software suite, which is supposed to combine the best attributes of Oracle's various business application lines.

"First of all, no one knows what it is. Until it's announced, there's no sense to talk about it. As far as planning, you need to plan with what's available today," Malangone said. "I think there's also a sense of a track record of no one wanting to be first. It's going to take a while to build up the momentum."

However, "the little bit I've seen of Fusion is very impressive," Malangone said. Hopefully, once Fusion Applications are formally announced, Oracle will articulate "the Release 12-versus-Fusion strategy, and the thought process we should be going through on which direction to go," he added.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags applicationsupdatesfusionOracle

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?