Oracle EBS Investment Priorities

Nadia Bendjedou 09-May-2024 12:37:45
Oracle EBS Investment Priorities


Author: Nadia Bendjedou

Job Title: VP of E-Business Suite Product Strategy, Oracle

Bio: Nadia joined Oracle in 1991, and her main objective is to help customers understand the value that each release of the Oracle E-Business Suite brings to them.

If you missed the first two instalments, you can read them here: part 1,  The Continuous Innovation of Oracle EBS or part 2, Oracle EBS Release Support. In this final part of our 3-part series, we sit down with Nadia to discuss where EBS is investing and what to expect next...

Q) What's new in EBS, and where are you focusing your investments for the future?

Our investment priorities have remained consistent over time (we're proud to say that), and we're committed to continuing this approach within the EBS portfolio. Firstly, we're dedicated to modernising the user experience, ensuring it's intuitive, action-oriented, simple, and productive.

This includes initiatives like modernising the user interface (UI) technology known as OAF, and up taking the latest Oracle UI standards, known as Redwood UI, in the later release of EBS 12.2.13. In addition, back in 2018, we introduced a new set of capabilities known as ECCs (Enterprise Command Centers), which offer more than just reporting or dashboards. They're designed to redefine how users interact with the E-Business Suite daily. ECCs represent a pivotal aspect of the new E-Business Suite user interface, along with mobile applications and an increased emphasis on HTML rewrite where it makes sense. These enhancements aim to empower users who rely on the system for their daily tasks.

Secondly, we're focused on serving business owners' needs by enhancing process automation, streamlining business operations, and facilitating regulatory compliance. We're committed to addressing customer feedback and continuously improving the suite to meet evolving requirements. Our goal is to ensure that the E-Business Suite remains a robust solution that aligns with the dynamic needs of modern businesses.

Lastly, we're prioritising operational efficiency by optimising how you run and maintain your E-Business Suite environment. While we've already made significant strides, such as the shift to updates in online patching in 12.2, our other highest investment priority is to fully leverage the capabilities of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) to maximise the value of your EBS deployments. At Oracle, we believe that OCI will become the de-facto standard for deploying EBS workloads in the next 3-5 years. 

Q) How do you decide where to add new functionalities in EBS being such a mature product?

That is an excellent question. It is sometimes hard to think what else I can build in EBS, being such a mature product, as you say. Within the scope of EBS we believe we have accomplished most, if not all, we wanted to do in the scope of EBS. We have no plans to build new modules, new applications, or address new industries, but our goal today is to make sure our customers are successful with the EBS footprint they are running. We want to hear from our customers. We want to listen to their challenges and how we can help to ease that, sometimes as simple as building a new API, sometimes enhancing the UI, sometimes enhancing existing features or adding more reporting, etc... We are open to customers' feedback and input. What features will help you in your business? What enhancement would increase your efficiency?

For that purpose, we started this process, referred to as “ideation”, in 2014, delivered through our Oracle support communities (47 EBS communities in My Oracle Support). Since then, we have had 24,000 users engaged by submitting enhancement requests. These enhancements and new ideas are opened to a voting process as done in today’s social media. Customers and peers can vote up or down, add comments or even propose a workaround. At each cycle for the new release, our Dev teams evaluate the ideas and the voting and plan the highly voted ideas for future releases. We have delivered over 36% of the ideas (a total of 800+ features up to 12.2.13 in Nov 2023) that have received more than 20 votes from organisations.

Let me give you an example of a customer enhancement request we delivered in the last few releases in Order Management and Inventory Management. Many customers had upvoted the ability to “Cancel in-transit shipment.” We started by addressing the return and cancelled internal sales orders between organisations. Sometimes, a company has many organisations, and they order goods internally from each other. One of the things customers told us is that they want the ability to return or cancel some sales orders.

  • So, in 12.2.11, we added a new feature, the “Return of Internal Sales Orders”. That was easy.
  • In 12.2.12, we added “Return of Internal Sales Orders with In-transit” to describe in-transit inventory when transportation time is significant. We also added “Cancel the entire Order.”
  • In 12.2.13, which we delivered in November 2023, we added the “Cancel individual order lines”, but we went further and added the “Cancel partially received lines”. We did not stop there. Also, in 12.2.13, we added a new feature to “Cancel In-transit Internal Org Transfers (entire order or individual lines). The 12.2.13 features may sound small, but they made a big impact on our customers, and many applauded them at conferences when they heard that. So, this is just an example of how our customer’s voice is important to us.

PS: Please remember that you usually transfer material to in-transit inventory when transportation time is significant. You can transfer material from your current organisation to another organisation or from your current organisation to in-transit inventory.

To learn more about “Customer Voting” and My Oracle Support Communities, please refer to:

Q) You talked briefly about Enterprise Command Centers (ECC). Can you please explain more about them and how EBS customers can adopt them?

If you look back in history, most ERP systems have focused for years on the transactional side of the system, automating processes, enabling workflow for a paperless office, etc. So, for decades, the focus has been more on the business owner and business processes and a little less on end-user productivity.

In addition to the robust EBS core transaction functionalities delivered yearly in 12.2.12 and 12.2.13, our EBS customers are getting unprecedented innovation that represents a breakthrough in both reporting and the way end users interact with EBS. This is powered by a new platform called Enterprise Command Centers (ECC) that helps EBS users identify and act on priority transactions without custom operational reporting. These ECC dashboards provide visibility into critical business data along with visualisation and exploration capabilities, all embedded within your EBS applications. In other words, ECC would replace your discover reports and custom reports that are costly to maintain, and which provide little user interaction and no ability to drill down into the real-time transactions.

This does not replace your data warehousing solution as these ECC dashboards are running on open transactions, live data from your operation EBS system, such as unpaid invoices, unshipped orders, unreconciled bank statement lines, identify and act on product quality issues, etc… This type of open transaction/data would not have moved to your data warehousing or reporting system yet. ECC allows you to have a conversation with your data while it is still in your operational system.

If you haven’t had a chance to experience the powerful features of ECCs yet, they represent the forward-thinking of the new EBS, delivering new levels of productivity and efficiency. This is the new EBS, continuing to deliver innovation and value to drive efficiency for our customers. ECC release cadence—delivering innovation faster.

I believe that the DSP team has extensive experience with these key capabilities, as they have been working with customers to deploy these ECC dashboards.

Q) How are you delivering these ECC dashboards?

Since the first ECC release in October 2018, we have been releasing two ECC updates per year. This allows our EBS customers to adopt the latest ECC release without updating the EBS transaction system. The most current release to date is the ECC April 2024 release.

For example, customers on EBS 12.2.7 can upgrade to the ECC release of April 2024 while still on EBS 12.2.7. In addition, we wanted to keep the ECC release cycle separate from the core transaction system because we are rapidly developing new features and expanding the existing capabilities, and we don't want to slow down the innovation coming from the ECC dashboarding capabilities.

Another reason that we deliver ECC separately is to ensure that EBS customers can take advantage of and leverage the latest ECC release on any release of the E-Business Suite (starting from 12.2.4). Therefore, you can apply the latest ECC update from April 2024 against your E-Business Suite 12.2.4, 12.2.5, or 12.2.6. We don't ask you to move to 12.2.13 to benefit from the latest innovations. That is why we want ECC to have its own release cadence, even though it is tightly integrated with E-Business Suite.

ECC was first introduced in 2018. You may have noticed that ECC is not included in the E-Business Suite code release cycle, which is 12.2.9, 12.2.10, etc. Since the first ECC release in October 2018, we have been releasing two updates per year. We wanted to keep the release framework separate because we are rapidly developing new features and expanding the existing capabilities. We don't want to slow down that innovation, and we don't want you to have to wait to experience the benefits. Another reason that we deliver ECC separately is to ensure that E-Business Suite customers can take advantage of and leverage the latest ECC release on any release of the E-Business Suite (starting from 12.2.4). Therefore, you can apply the latest ECC update from April 2024 against your E-Business Suite 12.2.4, 12.2.5, or 12.2.6. We don't ask you to move to 12.2.13 to benefit from the latest innovations. That is why we want ECC to have its own release cadence, even though it is tightly integrated with E-Business Suite.

Q) What’s included in the latest ECC update?

With the latest release of EBS and ECC (April 2024), we offer over 145 dashboards across the suite with 36 command centers. Every area of ECC has a functional footprint. Some highlights include Financial Management, Order Management and Logistics, Manufacturing and Human Capital Management. Customers asked us to focus on these areas, and we listened, delivering the features most in demand.

ECC is one of many innovations delivered by EBS as we continue our commitment to empower customers to optimise their operations, improve decision-making, and drive business growth.

To learn more about ECC, please refer to:

Q) You also discussed Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). Can you explain why EBS customers are choosing OCI for their EBS Workload?

With OCI, you can keep the EBS system you know while taking advantage of the operational and cost benefits of the Oracle Cloud. Oracle E-Business Suite Cloud Manager—an automated migration and provisioning tool only available on OCI—facilitates rapid deployment while keeping your EBS historical data and key customisations and integrations.

So why OCI? It’s simple. Customers appreciate the Oracle-on-Oracle story. We (Oracle) own the infrastructure, we (Oracle) own the Database services, and we (Oracle) own our applications such as EBS. Please remember that EBS is designed to run on a local area network (LAN), with the database and application tiers collocated. This is because EBS processes generate significant network traffic between the database tier and the application tier, making performance very sensitive to the network characteristics of the connection, especially the latency. The best performance is expected in an environment where the database and application tiers are situated in the same OCI availability domain (data center).

Following migration to OCI, you can incrementally optimise your application ecosystem with OCI services, such as application integration, which connects your EBS applications, SaaS, and custom applications. You can also leverage the power of Oracle OCI AI and generative AI functionality across our full stack of cloud infrastructure and data platforms for a fully integrated experience.

Again, I know that DSP has helped many EBS customers migrate their EBS systems to OCI, and we see more and more customers adopting OCI with many “go-lives” every week.

Most new EBS implementations today deploy their system on OCI from day 1. I like to call these customers “Born in the Cloud.” However, I strongly believe that OCI is becoming the most optimised and de facto standard deployment choice for EBS customers in the next few years.

So, the real question is why not OCI for EBS workload?

To learn more about EBS on OCI, please refer to:

DSP would like to thank Nadia for participating in this blog series and giving us such useful insights into the world of Oracle EBS! If you would like to connect with Nadia on LinkedIn, here is a link to her page - Nadia Bendjedou on LinkedIn

At DSP, we can help you with whatever your scenario is. Whether you are looking to migrate your Oracle EBS to OCI or deploy Oracle ECCs, we are here to support you. Check out our Oracle EBS Updates services.