Author: David Hunt, Strategy Director, DWS Consultants
In the first blog in this series I explained how the DWS Dimension Analyze service is used in the planning phase to produce extremely accurate forecasts of the upgrade effort required. It can also reduce your modified footprint by up to 75%, thereby reducing your upgrade effort and costs.
In the second blog I addressed the execution of your upgrade and explained how you can deliver your upgrades on time, in budget and with minimal defects by using the DWS Dimension Professional service.
In the third blog I addressed the challenges of planning the testing of your upgrade and showed how you can minimize your testing effort by focusing on just what needs testing.
In the fourth blog in this series I reviewed some of the key challenges and considerations regarding the management and automation of your JD Edwards EnterpriseOne functional testing without the need for expensive technical specialists.
In this final blog in this series I will address the issues involved in staying code current. I will review the key factors you need to take into consideration. I will share with you the results of a survey DWS carried out with more than 100 JD Edwards E1 customers regarding the benefits of a code current policy. Finally, I will then discuss how you can make a code current policy a practical proposition.
When considering a code current policy, it is important to understand the level of change being introduced by Oracle and the impact on your modified footprint. DWS has carried in-depth analysis of the changes Oracle has made over various timeframes to assess the trends in Electronic Software Update (ESU) changes, which form the cornerstone of any code current policy.
ESUs aren’t what they used to be
The level of change increases over a longer period of time, That, of course, is not surprising. But what is important is that over a shorter period of time the level of change is smaller and much more manageable. These shorter period of changes are what we believe to be crucial in implementing a successful code current policy. Of particular interest is the fact that on analysing some 592 ESUs released by Oracle since 9.1 went live, there was an average of just 2.89 objects per ESU. Oracle has made large strides in the way that ESUs are packaged now. It is not as onerous as it once may have seemed!
Lots of JDE E1 customers have gone through the process of upgrading to the 9s and have expressed an interest in remaining ‘Code Current’ under the existing 9.1 release and beyond.
From previous experience they know that doing upgrades the traditional way i.e. waiting several years between upgrades, is a painful process. Each upgrade is a major project that causes major disruption to the business and requires a major capital expenditure project that is often hard to justify.
Each upgrade requires careful consideration to assess the impact on the business, both positive and negative, because the changes that Oracle makes with each release may affect any custom code you have developed and may affect the way you carry out your business processes. You therefore need to carry out a careful impact analysis to assess the benefits of the upgrades versus the risks involved. There are also risks to be assessed in NOT upgrading too!
What customers need, therefore, is a simple way to be able to identify the impact of any ESU on your implementation. You need to be able to accurately forecast the effort and costs involved and spread the costs to minimise any major capital expenditure.
You also need to minimise any future disruption to the business.
Oracle has done a fantastic job at helping customers to plan ahead by sharing its product development roadmap for E1. It is amazing to think that Oracle have a published roadmap out until 2029!
The key thing to note is that Oracle plans a major release every 3 years with minor releases in between, so you need to have a plan for how best to take advantage of all this investment Oracle is making on your behalf.
The Benefits of Code Current
Recently, DWS carried out research amongst more than 100 JD Edwards EnterpriseOne customers to understand the perceptions and realities relating to the benefits of adopting a code current policy.
The encouraging thing for both Oracle and its JD Edwards customers is that there was a close correlation between the perceptions of the benefits from those organizations who have not yet adopted a code current policy and the real benefits achieved by those who have already adopted such a policy, with one significant difference. Across the board, the benefits realised by code current organizations was actually even better than the perceptions of the benefits from the non-adopters.
Opex v Capex
Let us take a look at one customer example. When they performed a major upgrade from 8.11 to 9.1, it cost them $660k in development effort and took 12 months, due to the volume of custom objects in their system and the volume of modifications to standard objects. It is reasonable to assume that, if they waited a similar length of time for their next major upgrade (6 or 7 years), it would probably cost them a similar amount again.
On the other hand, we estimated that to keep their system code current would cost less than $110k per year, could come out of operational budget and would cause far less disruption to the business.
How can you achieve Code Current?
In the previous four blogs in this series we have addressed all the issues relating to upgrading to 9.2, so I will assume that you are now planning to upgrade to the latest release.
How, therefore, can you go about keeping your code up to date?
I am sure that it will come as no surprise to you that DWS has an innovative and excellent solution for you. It is called the DWS Dimension Tempo service.
DWS Dimension Tempo provides a code-current service that is delivered for a fixed price, with fixed timescales for an annual subscription that can be budgeted from Operational Expenditure instead of Capital Expenditure. By going through a regular small uplift you also continually refine your implementation and continually reduce your modified footprint, thereby reducing your maintenance and support overhead.
Dimension Tempo is powered by the Dimension Analyze and Dimension Professional toolset that I introduced you to in the first two blogs in this series. It is by making use of these tools, unique to DWS, that we are able to offer fixed price, fixed timescale code current events or uplifts.
If you would like to register for any of the live webinars that support this series of blogs, or to view any of the event recordings, please use the registration links below.
Date Title & Registration
1 January 28th Planning your E1 Upgrade
2 February 11th Executing your E1 upgrade
3 February 24th Planning your E1 Testing
4 March 10th Automating your E1 Testing
5 March 23rd Keeping your E1 code current