It's no secret that Oracle E-Business Suite users everywhere have R12 on the brain The upgrade still faced by some 70% of users was a big point of confusion earlier this summer at the OHUG conference. When asked, most people didn't know the details of the project or where their organization was in its undertaking. Let me try to dispel here some of that confusion by outlining the simple high-level view of the project.
What is R12?
This is version 12 of Oracle E-Business Suite, and its both a technical and design upgrade to the previous version, 11i.
Why do we have to upgrade?
In short, version 12 is cooler than version 11. Happens all the time in tech -- new features and new functionality that promise to make some aspect of your functional or technical use of EBS so much more productive. In R12, there are net-new products that didn't exist in 11i like the Oracle Advanced Planning Command Center and the Demand Signal Repository, both of which should excite the value chain planning users! There are loads more, too, across all business functions. As well, R12 has more than 300 net-new features and bug fixes since 11i.
Another reason you should consider upgrading is because Oracle's extended support for prior versions is starting to run out. Basic support for 11i is running out -- to keep it going, you'll have to pay for this now as a premium service. But the "buck" will eventually stop in 2013 when Oracle stops supporting 11i altogether.
When should we upgrade?
Where most people I talked to at OHUG acknowledged, "we need to upgrade soon," you'll want to keep in mind that end date of 2013 for the premium-service of extended support. Consider too that this project takes many organizations 6-12 months to implement, and you're looking at a project start date by the end of this year or early next year.
What's everybody else doing?
Adoption of R12 has been slow to be sure -- the long, costly project just hasn't been a top priority for most in the weak economy. A recent survey by SearchOracle estimated that only about 5% of users were on R12 a year ago, and they estimate another 30% are on R12 now today. Again, though -- if the conversations I had at OHUG this year are any indication, I'd say that this number is actually a bit inflated. What does this mean? It means if you haven't yet upgraded, then you're in good company. Most users - -maybe 70-75% -- are expected to prioritize this upgrade over the next 12 months.
Don't leave R12 expertise in your organization to the project management group. As a functional or technical user of the application, you will have valuable information to share with project managers as inputs to the upgrade. With these basics, you're off to a good start to understanding the project and what it means to your organization.
For more tips on executing a successful R12 Upgrade, check out a couple of my previous blog posts, "The 10 Commandments of a Successful Oracle R12 Upgrade" and "Automate Your Migration to Oracle EBS R12: Follow the Quest Leader".