Tips for migrating or upgrading

Support for version 12.1 of the Oracle E-Business Suite ends in December 2021. Partners and service companies recommend that you consider upgrading or migrating now – if you haven’t already – with the focus on the fact that the process can take a year.

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The E-Business Suite (or EBS) has been part of the Oracle portfolio since 2001. Today it is one of the publisher’s three historic ERPs alongside JD Edwards and PeopleSoft. In April, Oracle extended “Premier” support for EBS Version 12.2 at least until 2031. The change to this version should therefore ensure a form of serenity for customers in the medium and long term.

Two experts, John Schmottlach, SVP at Apps Associates, an American consulting company that specializes in Oracle products, and Mark Vivian, CEO of Claremont, an English managed services provider for Oracle, give some tips that are needed for successful management worldwide of the company apply transition (whether on-site or in the cloud).

time goes by

“Most users of EBS R12.1.3 (or older versions) have already discussed whether or not they will upgrade before the end of support,” says John Schmottlach. “However, depending on the complexity and scope of the EBS usage, an upgrade can take up to twelve months. It is therefore high time to start planning today, ”he urges. “We have also seen an increase in tenders for pilot upgrades to EBS R12.2.9.”

“Depending on the complexity and extent of the EBS usage, an upgrade can take up to 12 months. So it’s time to start planning. “John SchmottlachApps Associates

In other countries the situation is the same. In the UK, Claremont has set up an “Emergency Center” to upgrade to R12.2. Mark Vivian explains that a survey he conducted among e-business customers found that 30.6% of the 140 managers surveyed were already using version R12.2 – and that therefore almost 70% are still in a previous version . And among organizations using older versions, 58% say they are planning or are in the process of upgrading to R12.2. In the hollow we see that 40% (of the 70%) have not yet decided anything (ie 28% of the total).

For Mark Vivian, the December 2021 deadline is closer than it looks. “Sixteen months seems like a long time. But when you look at everything that needs to be done, it won’t be that long, ”he warns, in perfect agreement with John Schmottlach.

The upgrade itself can take a long time. However, organizations also need to go through other preparatory steps, such as: B. Finding good use cases and justifying a budget.

An organization without a service provider also benefits from taking the time to choose a (good) partner.

This choice of a partner can become all the more difficult over time. For example, Mark Vivian expects the UK service provider market to experience a “lack of resources” given the strong demand for support for EBS related projects.

Specific or not specific?

An important point that must be approached rigorously is adjustments.

Indeed, there may be benefits to the upgrade, provided you prepare well. Indeed, a partner can help remove the specifics that 12.2 makes redundant.

Mark Vivian “strives to optimize everything possible so that users can use the standard features of the product as often as possible.” Which is good practice for him.

For example, the functions of version 12.2 can replace many CEMLI extensions – for configurations, extensions, changes, localizations and integrations. an Oracle framework for developing customizations.

With the Enterprise Command Center (ECC) in EBS 12.2, for example, you can query and examine data in real time via a dashboard. This functionality is available in 28 Oracle modules – each ECC focuses on a specific module. In the case of claims, ECC enables the details of each individual transaction to be addressed. According to Vivian, ECC can usually replace many of the customizations that were made when the report was generated.

John Schmottlach, for his part, is more mixed. “There are certainly new features in the R12.2 that customers will be interested in,” he admits. “However, the pace of development and release of features in R12.2 has slowed significantly. Oracle has decided to focus its resources primarily on developing its cloud applications. “

As a result, “customers are generally unable to fix their specifics by changing the version,” he notes.

Cloud migration (or not cloud migration)?

Ending support can open the door to an option other than upgrade: the big leap into SaaS and the move to cloud ERP.

“Many customers are considering migrating to Oracle Cloud applications – also known as Oracle Fusion Cloud – rather than upgrading,” affirmed John Schmottlach.

The cloud offers several advantages. Including avoidance of future “forced” version upgrades due to the end of support as updates are continuously pushed and managed by Oracle.

However, each customer must carefully weigh their strategy – upgrade or cloud migration – in order to best meet their requirements and IT design.

“” [La migration vers le cloud est] An option that may not be suitable for all customers, ”recalls John Schmottlach. “Most customers, however, need help figuring out what is best for them and knowing if the cloud is right for the systems businesses use in their business.”

Accelerators, Packages, and Toolkits

Regardless of the choice, companies always have the right to expect their partner to provide them with moderators in addition to advice and testing.

For example, many partners have developed services to help retire R12.1. Such is the case with Claremont’s “Emergency Call Center” mentioned above, which offers a global valuation on a fixed price package ranging from project management to CEMLI analysis and evaluation. Infrastructure or even workshops to analyze business processes and see what R12.2 can bring you.

Apps Associates, in turn, offers an “upgrade package” for R12.2 or a range of accelerators for SaaS to migrate to Oracle Cloud.

Especially for the cloud, tools can help identify custom objects and configuration data in Oracle E-Business Suite environments, extract source code and data elements and migrate them to the Oracle Cloud.

Finally, once the migration is complete, customers can request automated release management services to run regression tests on quarterly updates. “This is also one of the biggest problems facing EBS customers migrating to Oracle Cloud,” warns John Schmottlach.