Some caveats to keep in mind for this series of articles:
- Your organization is very different from mine. Your needs, considerations, planning and results may vary.
- Any representation or speculation made is strictly my own opinion, which does not represent the opinion of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory or Oracle in any way.
- I am the father of seven children, so I have no money...suing me would be a huge waste of your time and effort.
JPL’s ERP system is currently running on version 188.8.131.52 of the Oracle E-Business Suite. We’ve implemented Financials (with the exceptions of Receivables and Fixed Assets), Project Accounting, Payroll, HRMS, Purchasing, iProcurement, and Discrete Manufacturing.
Some major assumptions in building JPL’s roadmap to Fusion Applications are:
- Applications Unlimited won’t last forever - it's likely that all Oracle Applications customers may have to move to Fusion Applications at some future time.
- Oracle will continue to support EBS 11i as a “jump off point” for migration directly to the first two or three releases of Fusion Applications.
- The “Five Years Plus Forever” approach of the Unlimited Support program will continue through at least 2015.
In past articles, I’ve written about the need of each Oracle customer to determine their technology needs based on their business needs. At JPL, we’re planning to migrate from EBS to the Fusion Applications for three business-based reasons:
1) Integration and Orchestration: we have many internal customers and partners that utilize different technology stacks: PHP + MySQL, .Net, and Cold Fusion + SQL Server are some examples. We also have compelling needs to integrate the various data repositories and to orchestrate business processes across these multiple technology stacks. The Fusion Applications hold the promise of loose coupling through standards-based integration, which will ease the integration and orchestration of business processes across various technology stacks and data repositories.
2) Flexible User Interface: we’re often faced with customer requirements for user interfaces that go far beyond the capabilities of OAF and the E-Business Suite. The Fusion Applications, which will allegedly utilize ADF, will allow us a greater trade space for tailoring our UI before crossing into the dark and dangerous world of unsupported customizations.
3) Better Conceptual Fit: at JPL, we manage our enterprise in terms of business processes. At its core, EBS is organized around vertical application modules: HR, PA, GL, and so on. Fusion Applications will be organized around business processes: Procure-to-Pay, Hire-to-Terminate, etc. Fusion Applications seem be a better conceptual fit for the process-oriented way we think about and manage our enterprise.
Migrating Directly From 11i To Fusion Apps
At JPL, we have yet to identify a significant business benefit from moving to R12 (again, you may decide otherwise because your business is different from ours) – so our plan at the moment is to stick with 11i until we migrate to Fusion Applications (more details later on how we’ll do this). However, if we learn something in the future that causes us to reconsider, “Plan B” is to upgrade to R12 on Fusion Middleware. This backup plan will at least allow us to achieve the integration and orchestration benefits.
NEXT UP: Architecture Drives The Roadmap