Thursday, October 27, 2005

Latest JDE service pack spells trouble for Oracle

Today a Spectator reader has emailed me with news about the latest service pack for J.D. Edwards EnterpriseOne, 8.11 (SP1), indicating that there are serious problems with it, and that the problems are so severe that it represents a significant setback in the company's implementation schedule.

JDE customers have been waiting to see whether Oracle can deliver on its promise of "lifetime support" for JDE customers. If the service pack problems are as serious as my reader indicates, Oracle needs to take corrective action immediately. Otherwise, Oracle's relationship with the JDE installed base is in trouble.

If you have better, or different, or confirming information about this latest service pack, please email me, or leave a comment on this post.

Update, Oct. 31. Word from this new JDE customer in the field indicates that the Enterprise One 8.11 SP1 problems are finally getting some attention at the senior executive level at Oracle and that there is a SWAT team of three people dedicated to fixing them. That's good news. But, one has to ask, why did it take Oracle so long to get on top of this, and why was the service pack released in the first place if it wasn't adequately tested?

Update, Nov. 4. Oracle is working on the service pack problems, but they are not yet out of the woods. The customer's system is still unusable, hence the JDE implementation has ground to a halt.

Update, Nov. 28. Oracle appears to be making progress resolving problems with 8.11 SP1. Also, there are indications that the service pack has not been widely distributed, which may explain why I have been unable to locate anyone else that has implemented it or is reporting problems with it.

Update, Dec. 9. The customer's problems are getting high level attention within Oracle. Oracle has resolved a number of the outstanding issues and is making good progress on the rest.

Update, Mar. 8, 2006. For the sake of those that come across this post from search engines, I want to close the loop and report the final outcome of this case study. The client went live on JDE earlier this week.

The go-live went flawlessly with very few post-implementation problems. The implementation was a "large footprint" (i.e. quite a bit of functionality), and it took 11 months, four of which were due to the problems with service pack 1 (SP1) outlined earlier in this post. Implementation costs exceeded budget, but to the credit of Oracle and the implementation partner, much of the expense for correcting the problems was covered under Oracle's maintenance agreement.

Bottom line: the ultimate outcome of this implementation for the client is a success, and it is evidence that Oracle intends to make JDE a successful and viable choice for companies going forward.

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