August 28, 2019 | Michelle Wilkinson | Senior Director, Marketing
Last week’s INFOCUS 19, run by the Quest Oracle Community, is the “premier deep-dive conference for the JD Edwards community.” We love that it’s in Denver, our backyard, so to speak. The event is a casual way to connect with our loyal JDE customers, network with attendees and other vendors, and inform users who may be unfamiliar with our third-party support and managed services.
As with COLLABORATE, Quest’s other large Oracle event, INFOCUS helps us to take the direct pulse of the user community. Our team members staff our booth, attend sessions to keep up with trends and learn new skills, and visit with other long-time attendees and colleagues.
I asked our attendees – each of whom has decades of JDE experience – what they learned this year and what they found most useful from the event. Here are their insights.
Mark Kreutz, Vice President, JD Edwards Global Support Services
This year’s event was as enjoyable as ever. The community remains strong, and there was palpable excitement around the new tools. Everyone was there for a purpose, to look for a solution to an issue or get help working through a project.
The content was relatively thin, though, as 2019 appears to be a year of refinement rather than a year of innovation. It was good to hear from the Oracle leadership throughout the week – however, I suspect that the audience was disappointed that the roadmap presentations were mostly a review of what has led up to now and that not much “new” feature/functionality will be released in the next updates for 9.2.
For sure, each Tools update refines Orchestrator, but there’s not much new for the application (business users) outside of usability improvements. It seems this is the trend for the next year. There was an abundance of talk centering around “future-proofing your application”, but not much revealed about the future of the E1 application.
Oracle is making it fairly clear that they are turning attention away from World as we’ve seen over the past year (the only World sessions were on migrating to E1). If you are not ready to migrate from World just yet or want to discuss options for supporting your World environment, then contact our team to see how we can help.
Chris Polston, Manager of Technical Support Services, JD Edwards Support
I noticed a couple of trends. First, about half of everyone attending was there for the first time! I saw many younger faces in the crowd, which I see as more proof that the JD Edwards E1 product is not “that old software.” E1 is modern, powerful, and ready to help businesses succeed, and it is good to see the E1 community continue to grow and expand.
Second, the sessions were well-done. Plenty of good ideas exchanged. As at COLLABORATE this year (which I also attended), Orchestrator was the HOT TOPIC for JD Edwards users. Orchestrator is now bigger than Cloud as a topic for INFOCUS. I attended excellent sessions on how to install and use this powerful new feature in E1. My favorite was the session on using Orchestrator and a Raspberry Pi barcode scanner to do warehouse management for 10% the cost of previous solutions. It was new, innovative, and very engaging.
Karen Blazek, Director of Customer Success
As always, INFOCUS was a very upbeat conference, with positive customer feedback regarding sessions, attendance, and vendor participation/selection. I primarily met users and customers at our booth, and I also heard the excitement around Orchestrator and enhanced usability.
I asked many booth visitors my favorite question: “Why do you stay with Oracle?” The standard response was that they feared losing access to the continuous updates for Tools, including the Orchestrator fixes and enhancements. To my mind, this is a short-term perspective, given that most critical Tools updates have now been completed. With no new application functionality or plans for a new 9.2xx release, there’s no better time than the present to consider third-party support.
Some final thoughts
It was my 8th INFOCUS, and I love attending to catch up with other vendors in the JDE community. And I look forward to seeing familiar faces walking through the exhibitor showcase. It is always interesting to talk to attendees to find out if anything has changed in their organization or with their JDE environment, to educate further about our services, and to get their perspective on the conference.
To Chris’ point, there did seem to be a lot of new faces, which is great news for the user group. The energy was high and the attendance was great.
We look forward to INFOCUS 2020 (August 25-27)!