Out of FOCUS

Posted: Mar 29, 2012

It was with a great deal of excitement and anticipation that I greeted the announcement of Quest’s consolidation of their regional conferences into one applications-centric summit in Denver, birthplace of JDEdwards. Christening the affair “InFocus” harkened back to the halcyon days of JDE, when annual “Focus” conferences were held in the Denver Tech Center and later in the Denver Convention Center. Quest’s strategy of bookending the mega-conference “Collaborate” in the spring with a more targeted JDE “InFocus” in the fall, made perfect sense. Additionally, holding the gathering in Denver guaranteed easy access to all levels of JDE resources, allowing the conference to concentrate at a more tactical, application specific level. This approach would complement the more strategic “Collaborate” perfectly.

 

So, when I recently learned that InFocus would be an “EnterpriseOne Only” affair, my disappointment was immense! Once again World Software would be on the out-side looking in, the bast**d step-child begging for table scraps! Since the day in the mid-90’s when Ed McVaney announced that all World customers would be migrating to OneWorld (later EnterpriseOne), we have been fighting for World Software to be treated with respect, on a par with its more celebrated brethren. We have repeatedly refused to accept that the cause was lost, even when there was little reason for optimism. Perception is reality in the software business, so when a new version of World Software was released, a little over 5 years ago, notice was served that World was “not quite dead yet!” Combined with the support strategy of “Applications Unlimited” World Software had achieved a measure of hard-fought sibling parity, in its treatment by parent Oracle.

 

That is why the news of Quest ostracizing World Software from InFocus came as such a shock. We were back in the game; racle had committed resources to World Software. The snickers and derisive comments from our peers, regarding our software choices, were beginning to dissipate; replaced with a grudging respect. This news opens old wounds, and once again makes it easy to pick on World Software as some backward afterthought.

 

But wait; it gets worse!

 

In investigating why Quest committed this travesty against World Software, I was informed that the World “leadership,” both the World User Group and JDE World, participated in making this decision! How could this be? No amount of short -term rationalization can undo the potentially long-term damage of this misguided decision. This unilateral withdrawal of articipation
confirms the worst fears of the silent majority of World customers who believe that Quest has nothing to offer them. If participation in Quest events by World customers is low, perhaps we should examine whether we are providing the means, or the content, that appeals to these customers. This conference could have been a way to connect with long-time World ustomers, by reminding them of the productive meetings that used to take place in Denver under the Focus umbrella, with a promise to provide content that is more than just a veiled attempt to coerce an upgrade of some kind. But that opportunity has been lost.

 

There are a few thousands of companies running World Software, yet only from the same hundreds of companies participate in Quest. Abdicating our responsibility to provide meaningful content is not the way to grow participation in our user group. We should be embracing these kinds of meetings, if only to demonstrate that we are STILL HERE! To be sure, leadership is also about picking your battles; but if we fail to compete for the hearts and minds of the uninvolved, we will never reach them. If we do not have the vision to build it, we have no hope that they ever will come.

Posted in: JD Edwards

Tags: JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, JD Edwards World, Functional, Technical, C-level/Executive Management (CEO CFO CIO etc.), Senior Management (President Director etc.), Middle Management (Supervisor Manager etc.), Non-management End User (AP/AR Customer Service etc.), Technical Expert, Technical/Technical Support, Quest Asia, Quest Australia/New Zealand, United States – Northeast, United States – South, United States – Central, United States – West, Canada, Central America/Caribbean, South America, EMEA, Other

2 COMMENTS

  • Darrell Hawkes
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  • Turner Industries Group
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  • Manager of Business Systems and Business Intelligence
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  • Posted on: May 24, 2012 05:30

Thanks Dave! It's always nice to start the week off with a little levity! As a World customer, I would love to go back to Denver and relive FOCUS memories again. The reality is that times have changed, World customer attendance at COLLABORATE, Regional, and Special Interest events has declined in the past decade and recently stabilized in 2010 and 2011. The reality is that the (elected) leadership of the World community (still independent of Oracle and Quest) along with the Quest Board and Staff worked together to make the best decision for the World community. The focus is to position the World community to provide extraordainary content and networking opportunities. Keeping World at the COLLABORATE conference for allows more room for World content, exposure to E1 content for those interested in migrating, and the full support of Oracle/JDE for content. InFocus does not take anything away from the World community, it provides more opportunity for us at COLLABORATE. As participation in the World community grows, I am confident that the World User Group, Quest, and Oracle/JDE will be more than happy to consider adding content to the InFocus event. But for right now, I vote that we focus all of our resources in one place (COLLABORATE) and make it a great opportunity for new and renewed customers to participate, learn, and engage. To sum it up... keeping World customers at Collaborate12 is veryFocused!

  • Jesse Howard
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  • Quest International Users Group
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  • Content Manager
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  • Posted on: May 24, 2012 05:33

Post OpenWorld 2012, the World community will have opportunities to share best practices, hear from Oracle and partners within the World ecosystem during the World Virtual Conference hosted by Quest. This event will be a great way to jumpstart World participation around the globe by having education and best practices avaialble in live webcast format while also becoming available OnDemand for viewing throughout the year. This event will launch in October 2012 and run through December. Quest is excited to offer this opportunity and welcomes the entire World community. For more information on how to become involved or if you are interested in presenting, contact onlineeducation@questdirect.org or me directly at jesse.howard@questdirect.org.

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