Tuesday, September 14, 2010

On The Eve Of OpenWorld...Upgrade!

On the eve of OpenWorld, it seems like we'll hear lots of exciting news.

Most of us in the ERP world are excited about seeing more details on Fusion Apps (even though the general release may not happen before year end). It's understandable, as the Fusion Apps will be a game-changer in the Oracle ERP space.

We'll also likely hear some announcements about some new products as well as an acquisition or two. Larry's keynote will be fun as always…and it'll also be interesting if we hear from Mark Hurd.

But, getting back to the ERP space, a huge impending milestone for E-Business users should not be lost in the bright lights of OOW: Premier Support for the terminal release of 11i ( ends in November. From that point forward through 2013, customers are on Extended Support. While Extended Support ain't so bad in and of itself (unless you count on certifications with new product releases - and most of us do, given the rate of change in technology today), it may serve you well to keep a close eye on Oracle's Mandatory Minimum Patch Baseline.

The Minimum Patch Baseline consists of those patches that you must…repeat: must…apply in order to qualify for Extended Support. The baseline is also required in order to upgrade, either to R12.1.3 or Fusion Apps. You can keep an eye on Mandatory Minimum Patch Baseline, which is frequently updated, via My Oracle Support Note 883202.1. I suspect that the longer you stay on, the more patches you'll see in the Mandatory Minimum Patch Baseline.

So, with all that in mind, my opinion? If I were an 11i customer, I'd spend some serious time at OpenWorld focusing on gathering information for an upgrade to R12. It's time to get on with your upgrade if you haven't done so already. A few reasons for my opinion:

  • The longer you wait to upgrade once Premier Support ends, the more complex the upgrade will become. Oracle will continue to produce new releases of R12, with new technology and new features…the further behind you fall, the tougher it gets to catch up.
  • If you have your eye on upgrading to a later release of Fusion Apps, keep in mind an important point: is a support "jump off point" for Fusion Apps version 1.0. No promise has been made regarding and later versions of Fusion Apps.
  • We're starting to see more and more Oracle middleware technology move from OC4J to WebLogic. Sooner or later, it will likely happen for the E-Business Suite as well. Do you really want to roll a move to WebCenter into your EBS upgrade?
  • On the upside, R12 has introduced some valuable features. Subledger Accounting, more APIs for increased integration opportunities, and Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) all come to mind. Having a few recent R12 projects under my belt, I can really see the business value…it's worth looking at.

So, yeah, on the eve of OpenWorld I'm suggesting you 11i customers spend your time at the conference checking out your upgrade options. It's time.

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