April 23, 2021

Another year has come and gone, and so has the latest incarnation of the INFOCUS JD Edwards conference, presented by the Quest Oracle Community.

This year, Quest has decided to pause the traditional Collaborate and INFOCUS live events and introduce two new events for 2021 that cover the JD Edwards community. These new events are INFOCUS Envision and INFOCUS Deep Dive. While INFOCUS Deep Dive won’t kick off until the fall of 2021, we just wrapped up attending the INFOCUS Envision event held virtually from April 12th – 15th.

So much has changed in the past year that impacts everything we do, including the great information and collaboration that occurs at these virtual events. Whether you were able to attend or not, I think it’s well worth taking a moment to break down the key announcements and the overall impact of the conference.

What were the big JD Edwards takeaways from the conference?

In predictable fashion, JD Edwards began the event with an announcement of an additional year of Continuous Innovation support for their EnterpriseOne 9.2 release. They recognize just how committed our JDE community is to the software. They also announced a new EnterpriseOne Tools release (9.2.5.3), with some smaller tweaks from the larger 9.2.5 Update to Tools.

It is good to know that Oracle is continuing to plan events and updates for E1, and that it isn’t a full court press to the cloud (although there were plenty of Cloud sessions). From my perspective as a longtime JDE veteran, I was left to wonder how much business value and return on investment these could bring to established 9.2 customers.

A notable absence from the discussion was JD Edwards World Software. Nothing at all was mentioned in the sessions that I attended, including the keynote. The support information from Oracle still states that 2025 will be the last year of Continuous Innovation for the A9.4 release, even though there is a sizable customer base.

What worked well at INFOCUS?

Instead of a physical booth, Spinnaker Support hosted a virtual one, so my perspective is informed by being “there” and the keynotes and talks I attended. At our booth, we presented several topics, including security, global tax and regulatory compliance, how to generate savings on support, and more, which generated good interest and interactions.

What hasn’t changed in the switch to virtual is the high quality of attendees. We received many visitors throughout the event. We love to meet up with people from the JD Edwards community. There are so many passionate JD Edwards professionals out there that love the software and are extremely dedicated to it. But while it was good to virtually catch up with colleagues and meet new customers, there still was something missing…

What was not so good?

I mean no disrespect: remotely hosting a large conference like INFOCUS is a huge challenge. But the event for me was not even close to the in-person experience, and everyone I spoke with had the same comment.

From a vendor’s point of view, when you are in person in the booth, you can drive spontaneous conversations with people just walking by. When sitting down at a random table, you never know who you may meet and what you might discuss. The interactions at the live events are more broad and energizing, and I sorely missed all of the after-5 PM discussions, which have been very fruitful in years past.

We normally field many questions around third-party support in casual conversations, so if you missed out on anything you may have wanted to know, please look through our JD Edwards web pages for everything you need. If you can’t quickly find it, email me directly! I would love to talk to you about your system and see how we can save you some money and earn your business.

What are customers saying?

As we all know, JDE has been around for a long time, and the experts are now getting to that ‘retirement’ age. The customers I spoke with were very interested in cost savings but also in staff augmentation to help fill existing or impending skills gaps. We hear about this need for “extra hands” more each year.

At Spinnaker Support, we have a great deal of expertise for both World and EnterpriseOne on all releases that can be a part of your solution. Reach out to just discuss third-party support, managed services, and staff augmentation with us.

All in all, there were pros and cons to this year’s rendition of InFocus. I hope you all enjoyed the conference and have filled out the Quest survey honestly. Let’s hope we can all get together this time, next year, in PERSON!

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