Oracle today rolled out a set of updates for J.D. Edwards World products, part of a move the software maker said was the first step in bringing together each of the company's technologies in the lead up to Project Fusion.
The enhancements will be available to J.D. Edwards & Co. customers this week, and will include the A7.3 Service Pack 16 with measures that will continue to support regulatory compliance.
Oracle said the update was proof that it will continue to support J.D. Edwards and PeopleSoft software while developers work on integrating its acquisitions into a single package known as Project Fusion.
Improvements to the J.D. Edwards update were made in cash flow reporting and audit trails within General Ledger, said John Schiff, the general manager of Oracle's J.D. Edwards World division. Oracle also updated batch headers and added an approval process in accounts payable to monitor the outflow of cash, Schiff said.
"These new additions will enable J.D. Edwards World customers to better comply with regulatory mandates such as [the Sarbanes-Oxley Act] and gain increased insight into financial reporting practices and internal controls," Schiff said. "There is much more clarity regarding SOX than there was 12 months ago."
The enhancements also include the addition of self-service applications to the J.D. Edwards portfolio. Self-service applications allow a company to have a 24-hour system to handle calls from customers instead of having to hire an additional employee, Schiff said.
In addition, customers are given real-time, 24-hour access to purchasing and order status information via the Internet, Schiff said. The new system recognizes customers and displays a personalized experience.
"The enhancements will allow customer service agents to devote more time to customers with special issues and reduce problem resolution time, Schiff said. "Employee self-service features have also been added to provide direct access to financial and human resources information, including payroll, benefits and the status of vacation time."
The announcement also signaled a new step in Oracle's plan to integrate all its acquisitions – J.D. Edwards and PeopleSoft -- into a single package known as Project Fusion.
"[These enhancements] show a commitment that we are not only looking to enhance the existing product line, but that we are also providing a choice in the future to go to Project Fusion," Schiff said.
Schiff said Oracle will provide the J.D. Edwards group of customers a direct upgrade path from J.D. Edwards World to Project Fusion when it becomes available. When looking at Project Fusion, Schiff said Oracle is making sure it can provide a path for customers if and when they choose to move to it.
In developing the J.D. Edwards enhancements and the new service pack, Oracle once again relied upon the input of customer advisory boards, including the World Product User Group and World Product Advisory Council. Additionally, Oracle made the announcement at the Oracle Applications User Group Conference in Grapevine, Texas.
"[Users group talks] have been a way of life at Oracle for a number of years," Schiff explained. "It's been an ongoing process, done over the years, where Oracle has held group talks on a monthly basis with individual customer focus groups."
This story also appears at SearchOracle.com, part of the TechTarget network.