So while we let the hubbub over the Conditional Availability of Oracle Fusion Applications die down a bit, let's talk about the E-Business Suite…which is the "here and now" situation for many of us.
I've been a little surprised by the continued resistance of many EBS customer to upgrade to R12.1.3, choosing instead to stick with 11.5.10 as long as possible. I get the most commonly-heard arguments for standing pat: not seeing value in R12 functionality, can't really afford the cost of the upgrade, waiting to see what happens with Fusion Apps and EBS. And I'd offer the following counterpoints:
1. Value - stuff you could leverage for better, faster, cheaper
-- A fully-configurable home page
-- Look-ahead List-Of-Value technology
-- More leverage of BI Publisher (write reports once, use them many times)
-- Multi Org Access Control
-- SubLedger Accounting
2. Can't really afford the cost of the upgrade
-- the upgrade from 18.104.22.168 to R12.1.1, subsequently patching up to 12.1.3 (cum patch, no 12.1.2 required), is the most straight-forward upgrade I've ever seen from a technical perspective for any Oracle product. It really doesn't get much simpler or less expensive than this.
3. Waiting to see what happens with Fusion Apps, EBS, and everything related.
-- Stop waiting. Fusion Apps v1 is not a full-functionality replacement for EBS and likely won't be a good fit for many current Oracle EBS customers. Upgrading is the right answer for most.
Now a thought in favor of the upgrade: the longer you wait, the more it will cost...resources, dollars, any way you measure it:
-- We'll soon see EBS 12.2, which will include the transition from OC4J to WebLogic. Upgrading from 22.214.171.124 and replacing the middle-tier in the same upgrade? As simple and straight-forward as the upgrade from 126.96.36.199 is now, it promises to be much more complex when moving from 11i to 12.2…and complexity = cost.
-- The sand is running through the hourglass for 188.8.131.52 support. Personally, I don't want to be the CIO in the shop that can't resolve a payroll or HR issue because they missed the support deadline for 11i. That story will have a costly end (maybe including a search for a new CIO).
So, here's the upshot for those of you "keeping the faith" with 11i. The iceberg is melting, the curtain is coming down, the lights are dimming, the fat lady is singing. The later versions of 11i were good things…we got bundles of value out of 11i…but, like it or not, it's winding down in favor of a better product in R12.1.3. It's time to upgrade. Frankly, the longer you keep the faith with 11i, the more you'll miss out on the value of the new products…and the more it will cost when you do make the move. Maybe it's time to get on it?
UPDATE: A recent quote from Steven Chan, the Oracle EBS Technology guru, puts it very well:
When it comes to ERP software, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. It's always best to make your plans around releases that are currently available.
You should plan your upgrade to EBS 12.1.3 today. The upgrade from EBS 11i to 12 is technically-straightforward but has many new updates and features on the functional side. These functional product updates and new features have the potential to introduce significant changes that will affect your business users.
If customer feedback is any indication, it is likely that you will spend more time working through the implications of the new EBS 12.1 features than anything else. This process may be time-consuming, so it's best to get started now. If you're on EBS 11i today, you should focus your efforts on getting up to EBS 12.1.3 as the immediate priority.