Oracle Shows Support For JD Edwards Customers

Oracle announced an update to the JD Edwards World application suite, part of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) giant’s commitment to JD Edwards’ customers.

JD Edwards also reinforced its partnership with IBM . JD Edwards World, made up of six enterprise applications to managed operations within a business, is optimized to run on top of IBM iSeries servers.

The A7.3 Service Pack 16 includes enhancements to existing functionality through a new self-service module in line with the rest of the World product line, and new cash flow reporting features to stay out of trouble with regulatory requirements.

The self-service enhancements expand on the functionality already provided in existing JD Edwards and Oracle products, though not rolled together into one module and put into the same production and development schedule as the rest of the World products — distribution management, financial management, homebuilder management, human capital management and manufacturing management.

Three separate packages make up the self-service offering: customer, employee and supplier self-service. Each provides the intended audience with real-time, 24-hour access to information relevant to each. For employees, it provides access to features like payroll information and vacation time status while customers can keep tabs on their orders.

The compliance addition improves the audit trail with cash flow reporting, with an improved audit trail in the general ledger and a new approval process in accounts payable to monitor cash outflow. Officials say the new additions will help customers comply with U.S. regulatory requirements like Sarbanes-Oxley and European Union rules like the International Bank Account (IBAN) standard.

John Schiff, JD Edwards World vice president and general manager, said the improvements are part of Oracle’s commitment to support existing JD Edwards customers into the future.

Oracle took control of enterprise software vendor PeopleSoft earlier this year in a hotly-contested acquisition; PeopleSoft had previously bought JD Edwards for $1.8 billion as a wedge against Oracle’s acquisition plans.

Oracle instituted a support roadmap, in the hopes of appeasing jittery customers, vowing to continue development of PeopleSoft and JD Edwards software and provide support well into the next decade. Schiff said the company plans to release a major update to the JD Edwards World suite in the latter part of 2006, with compliance and workflow enhancements and better integration with third-party applications; the company will also continue support for World in the shape of add-ons and patches.

Last month Oracle released an update to PeopleSoft Enterprise Performance Managment, version 8.9.

That doesn’t mean the company isn’t going to try and get PeopleSoft and JD Edwards customers to move onto the Oracle platform. In January, Oracle laid out its plans for Project Fusion, a merger of Oracle, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards technologies into one product line.

Schiff said the company has already released a couple Fusion products but work continues to incorporate the rest of the software stack. He said the company would provide migration tools for PeopleSoft and JD Edwards customers to jump on the Fusion platform.

“It’s not saying, ‘gee, they have to do this,’ it’s saying when they’re ready to do it we will have the tools available to assist them in making that move,” he Schiff said.

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