The second day of Oracle’s Collaborate conference was, again, a fruitful one, with clarification on the support timelines for JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Update 2 and World A9.2 Update 1 ERP systems, a new integration between PeopleSoft and Primavera P6 and a new survey from the Oracle Applications Users Group that assesses difficulties involved in application upgrades.

JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, World Support Timelines

One of the announcements that quite a lot of people will have been looking for from Collaborate was a timeline as to when Oracle (news, site) will stop providing support for JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Update 2 and World A9.2 Update 1 ERP systems.

For JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.0 Update 2, premier support, which began in November 2010, will end November 2015, while Premier Support for JD Edwards World A9.2 Update 1 will now run to May 2015.

As a result, Oracle says, enterprises can start adding upgrades to their current deployments straight away in the knowledge that they will have support until 2015.

Oracle is also advising enterprises that are using unsupported versions to start upgrading those now, and to work progressively through all their deployments.

To enable this, it is offering new tools and unspecified resources for enterprises that are planning upgrades, including Oracle Upgrade Advisor and a new electronic Release Value Proposition, which will help users decide on their best release path and direct them toward the most appropriate support service.

Once the Premier Support timeline has run its course, users will be able to gain access to predictive and flexible support for the Oracle environments they are using at the time.

Oracle's JD Edwards EnterpriseOne is an enterprise resource planning suite that comes with quite a few functionality upgrades,  including global market dynamics, regulatory reporting requirements and technical changes in customers’ IT ecosystem.

The enhancements delivered in JD Edwards World A9.2 Update 1 include new industry functionality, allowing access to advanced applications and business information.

PeopleSoft, Primavera P6 Integrate

Hot on the heels of launching PeopleSoft 9.1, Oracle has also announced its integration with Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management, which will give PeopleSoft ERP customers a comprehensive PPM suite.

By integrating the two, users will be offered visibility across the enterprise that will help them improve project planning.

The new integration provides customers with an enterprise-class solution that can handle resources and projects regardless of size, location or complexity.

The PeopleSoft Projects part of PeopleSoft Enterprise enables the creation of operational processes that support project lifecycle management across operations and finance.

For its part, Primavera P6 EPPM is a solution for globally prioritizing, planning, managing and executing projects, programs and portfolios as well as enhancing project collaboration and execution with user’s offered access to common solutions to deliver projects.

How Difficult are Application Upgrades?

With the amount of upgrade announcements that we have seen already, and with the likelihood of more to come, it’s probably a good moment to look at the results of a survey carried out by Unisphere Research on behalf of the Oracle Applications Users Group that looks at the challenges facing enterprises looking to upgrade core business applications.

The survey of more than 400 IT and business executives found that GRC management best practices are the most effective tools for mitigating the risks involved in application upgrades. Of those who had recently upgraded enterprise resource planning systems, 80% said they experienced unexpected changes to applications setups, business transaction disruptions and inadvertent errors.

An unspecified majority said that, by using formal GRC methodologies, they could streamline upgrades and minimize the risks, with 56% saying managing operational risk and business process control was a “critical key fact” in their decision to upgrade.

Even so, 40% of those who responded said too much staff time is used managing compliance and risk issues.

428 members of the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) participated in the survey, with respondents from IT and business roles representing a wide variety of organizations of different sizes and from different industries. You can get a copy of the results.