This article shares the lessons we’ve learned to ensure a successful JD Edwards upgrade so you don’t have to learn the hard way. It is the first in a four-part series by Richard Garraputa, resident JDE expert at Corning Data.
So often, the UPGRADE PROJECT is discussed in reverent terms as the long-awaited answer to all our frustrations and roadblocks. THE UPGRADE will streamline our processes. New features of THE UPGRADE will solve our functionality woes. THE UPGRADE will make everything better. Everything will fall into place when we just GET THAT UPGRADE.
But, ordering your ERP upgrade is not as simple as walking into your local Starbucks and ordering a Double Ristretto Venti Half-Soy Nonfat Decaf Organic Chocolate Brownie Iced Vanilla Double-Shot Gingerbread Frappuccino Extra Hot With Foam Whipped Cream Upside Down Double Blended, one Sweet’N Low, one Nutrasweet, with ice to solve your post-lunch need for a nap. You can’t just order an upgrade and walk off into the sunset, the froth of new features and functionality glistening on your upper lip.
Unless you incorporate new features and functionality in your project, your users will not take advantage of them. And you will miss out on the real business value of your upgrade. Upgrading your software will only get you so far—it is just the first step to super-charged JD Edwards bliss.
JD Edwards Upgrade Lesson 1: Deploy New Features and Functionality
It’s really terrific how Oracle continues to invest in JD Edwards. The JD Edwards team in Denver continues to roll out innovative features and functionality. But even for business, functional and technical leaders, it can be difficult to wade through all of the new features. And even more daunting to put together a successful plan to harness them. They sound the alarm crying, “We HAVE to upgrade or we end up outside of the Premier Support window!” They feel forced to upgrade just to get the same old JD Edwards with a shiny new splash page. Everybody grumbles, “Glad we won’t be touching this again for the next five years!”
There are plenty of carrots to tempt our organizations into supporting the upgrade—we can put the “Support” stick away. This means putting together an upgrade plan based on the benefits of improved processes and functionality. Your upgrade will maximize the value of your existing investment in JD Edwards. It means engaging the business to craft a vision of how JD Edwards can support the needs of the business. Your upgrade project plays a tremendous role in realizing that vision.
The Vision Tour
Corning Data created the Vision Tour as a structured approach to map business needs to process and functionality improvements that drive real value. The Vision Tour Alumni team features JD Edwards clients who have participated in Corning Data’s Vision Tour. And they have achieved millions of dollars in benefits from higher revenues, reduced costs or increased competitiveness.
Don’t just go through the motions of an upgrade. Corning Data can help you design your upgrade project around a vision of business benefit. That is the foundation for generating organizational support for deployment of new features and functionality.
Next week, Lesson Two will discuss the importance of giving end users solutions, not just tools.
Richard Garraputa is a Corning Data enterprise software evangelist with more than 20 years experience in helping drive real business benefits from improved processes and use of technology. He helps clients grow their top line revenues, reduce costs through more efficient and effective operations, and become more competitive through improved processes.