JD Edwards 9.2 Upgrade Timelines: What Releases and When?

In recent years, Oracle JD Edwards has focused on upgrades, in an effort to encourage customers to “Get to the 9s”. Now, with the General Availability release of EnterpriseOne 9.2 in October 2015, the focus is on upgrade cycles, or continuous upgrade planning. It’s not enough to be “In the 9’s”; it’s now about “Which 9”? With fresh features and functionality in each new release, the incentives to move to the latest JDE version are increasing, not just for the technology arena, but for the business as well.

So, you’ve looked at 9.2 features, and you’ve decided to upgrade – exciting times! However, we all know you can’t just pick a date at random, and say, “THIS is when we’ll go live”. That’s a recipe for disaster! Take time to analyze the impacts to your timeline, and consider these key areas:

Enterprise Project Plans

  • What enterprise-wide projects are in the pipeline? A proactive plan spanning 18-36 months will allow you to visualize scheduling concerns.
  • What resources will be needed for those projects? A list of key personnel, including functional/technical leads, SMEs, and project managers should be created for each project to highlight resource overlap.
  • How do those projects intersect with JD Edwards, on a technical or functional level?  What integration points exist?  What interfaces might need to be designed or reengineered?

Business Initiatives

  • What key business events are scheduled for the year? Occasions such as audit, budget, and open enrollment may require blackout windows, and you may need to creatively schedule upgrade tasks during these times. For example, you could focus on Sales Order testing during Open Enrollment, as HR resources will be unavailable during that time.
  • What legislative or regulatory requirements are coming soon? To comply with new or revised standards, you may need the new functionality obtained by upgrading, such as the new FASB Revenue Recognition enhancement.
  • What business goals or KPIs will require enhanced features?  For example, if the business goal is to implement ACH processing for AP in 2017, upgrading from version 8.9 to 9.2 would allow you to burst and email ACH remittances to suppliers.

Support Timelines

  • What is the General Availability date for your current release? Oracle provides Premier Support for 5 years from GA date. If you waited to implement your current release until two years after GA, you have a shortened Premier Support timeline.
  • When does Premier Support end? After Premier Support ends, Extended Support is offered, usually for 3 years, but keep in mind that Extended Support does cost more than Premier Support.
  • What is the end date for Extended Support? Determine if your organization can operate on Extended Support while you plan your upgrade.

It may take a brainstorming session, or some interviews with stakeholders to determine the answers to these questions – especially the Business Initiatives. But your upgrade will be much more successful if you take time to learn what’s going on in the business, and don’t plan in a vacuum. You will need the assistance of various resources to configure, test, and meet deadlines, and it’ll be much easier to obtain that help if you do things WITH people, not TO them.

Include the PMO, functional managers, and technical resources in your timeline planning, to create a plan that meets everyone’s needs. And don’t forget to download and bring our “Key Support Dates Summary” to the meeting!

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