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Oracle E-Business Suite Upgrade Options
Many Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) customers are still at crossroads in their strategic direction for their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) implementation. Oracle E-Business Suite R12.1.3 went out of normal premier support at the end of December 2021. Customers that are still at version 12.1.3 are now paying for Market-Driven support, which comes at a premium. If you are paying for this costly option, you are most likely either in the process of upgrading to EBS 12.2 or migrating to a SaaS option such as ERP Cloud. Most likely these are also the customers whose projects are delayed as a result of human resourcing constraints or due to complex customizations in their existing EBS systems.
All is not lost — there are some excellent options available to 12.1.3 customers where they just need to adjust their roadmap and take advantage of some different platforms and options.
Roadmap for EBS 12.1 customers
First and foremost, E-Business Suite customers need to evaluate their options -keeping both short and long-term objectives in mind while being guided by Oracle’s Support deadlines:
- Oracle EBS 12.1.3 Market-driven support ends by end of 2023
- Oracle EBS 12.2 support ends in 2032
Inherently, deciding to stay at version 12.1.3 comes with risks but you do have options available.
Lift and Shift to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)
As a first step, I recommend moving your Oracle infrastructure to a Cloud platform such as OCI. Take this opportunity to move away from legacy platforms like AIX, Solaris, and HP-UX to Linux and avoid any costly hardware refreshes. This will significantly reduce your hardware and operating costs, which can be allocated to other areas such as upgrades or migrations to SaaS. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is the best-suited Cloud platform for Oracle Workloads because of its offerings including Oracle RAC, ExaCS, DBcS, and EBS Cloud Manager. These tools & services automate many routine day-to-day tasks for Oracle Workloads, resulting in an overall reduction in human capital. Regardless of whether you upgrade or not, moving to the cloud is an important first step.
Upgrade to Oracle EBS 12.2
If you noticed on the EBS 12.2 support dates, there are still another 10 years of support available from Oracle for this product line. If you are choosing to continue to run your business on E-Business Suite as your ERP platform, this is the version to upgrade to. However, an EBS upgrade to 12.2 is no small task. It involves significant effort in re-engineering your customizations and interfaces because of the new Online Patching feature. As a result, you may want to evaluate if it makes more sense to divert the budget and resources from an upgrade project to a SaaS migration project. Evaluating the risk is important if you decide not to upgrade.
Plan your SaaS journey
Going with SaaS options like Oracle ERP Cloud, Oracle HCM (Human Capital Management) Cloud, and Oracle SCM (Supply Chain Management) Cloud will help you convert your IT spending from Cap-Ex to Op-Ex. There will be no need to buy expensive servers, storage, and network switches every 5 years and you will be able to support your SaaS-based (Software-As-A-Service) ERP solutions with a lean staff. If your E-Business Suite is already at a supported version like 12.2, then you can plan your SaaS journey at your pace. The cost advantages of moving to SaaS ERP are significant enough to not ignore it as a viable option.
Move High Maintenance Modules First
Most customers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. An upgrade is difficult and time-consuming and implementing a SaaS solution is also expensive and resource-heavy. There is another option that can help you with your journey to a Cloud ERP solution while reducing your risk of staying at EBS 12.1.3.
Start with moving your high maintenance modules to Oracle SaaS applications. These are typical modules such as HRMS and EBS Tax. With ongoing changing tax rates and regulations, these modules need constant patching updates. It is these modules that require a valid Oracle support contract and be on a supported version such as 12.2.
As a first step, we recommend moving your HRMS module to Oracle HCM Cloud and EBS Tax to a third-party tool such as Vertex or Sabrix. If you have credit card payment processing in EBS, move them to options like CyberSource or CardConnect.
Migrate Other Modules
Once the high maintenance modules are migrated to cloud options, you can migrate other modules like Finance and SCM to SaaS options, at your own pace. These modules require less maintenance and can be supported with internal resources or a good partner like us to help mitigate the risk of staying on 12.1.3.
Be 100% SaaS
One important consideration with SaaS-based applications is to implement a middleware platform for integrating your SaaS applications with your on-prem or third-party services. Oracle Integration Cloud is a good platform that has built-in support for not only Oracle Cloud Applications but also third-party applications such as Salesforce, Workday, etc. And if you want to extract data out of Oracle Cloud Application, then Oracle Data Integration Cloud Service will help you. Oracle Cloud has a full suite of services that can complement all your Cloud SaaS applications.
I hope this article provided you with some insights into the options available for your Oracle E-Business platform. Do let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.