Oracle Announces End of Support For JD Edwards EnterpriseONE Technology Foundation

Long title. What’s this about?
In short, back in 2010, Oracle announced the withdrawal of JDE EnterpriseOne Technology Foundation. The final nail in this coffin comes on September 30, 2016, when technical support officially ends.
What this means is that for many customers (and I’ll get into particulars shortly) there’s a requirement to make a critical decision to either move to Oracle’s Red Stack, or procure new IBM licenses in order to remain on IBM’s Blue Stack.
There’s a variety of customers running the stack, and nearly as wide a variety of options for how companies may have deployed their JDE solution. WebSphere with DB2 is the original and most common. WebSphere with Oracle as the backend is another common combo. And there’s a variety of other blends of supported web/application servers, database servers and related middleware.
Regardless of the configuration, in most cases, these products were part of the bundled solution that customers licensed from Oracle, and now a decision point’s been reached.
This doesn’t mean Oracle’s dropping support for IBM products. This does mean there’s a change in the way they’re licensed.
So what is “Technology Foundation”?
To quote from Oracle’s documents verbatim: Technology Foundation is an Oracle product that provides license for the following components:

  • JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Core Tools and Infrastructure, the native design time and runtime tools required to run JD Edwards EnterpriseOne application modules
  • IBM DB2 for Linux, Unix, and Windows, limited to use with JD Edwards EnterpriseOne programs
  • IBM WebSphere Application Server, limited to use with JD Edwards EnterpriseOne programs
  • IBM WebSphere Portal, as contained in JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Collaborative Portal

Technology Foundation is also referred to by the nickname “Blue Stack.”
If your license for JD Edwards EnterpriseOne applications includes an item called “Technology Foundation” or “Technology Foundation Upgrade,” this affects you.
If there are any other terms like “Oracle Technology Foundation,” then this change does NOT affect you. This is also different then the foundation for JD Edwards World.
So what now? In short, if you have Blue Stack, you should contact TxMQ or IBM immediately to acquire your own licensed products to continue to run your Oracle solution. TxMQ can offer aggressive discounts to Oracle customers subject to certain terms and conditions. Contact us for pricing details. We can help with pricing, as well as with any needed migration planning and implementation support.
Contact [email protected] for immediate price quotes and migration planning today.
Image from Håkan Dahlström.

America Needs An Education On Software Asset Management (SAM)

I recently had the privilege of attending (and co-sponsoring) the IBSMA SAM Summit in Chicago with some colleagues. It was a fantastic event with great sessions, a wonderful format and venue and amazing networking opportunities.   Representatives were in attendance from all of the major software vendors and many tool companies, alongside SAM consultancies like TxMQ.
What I noticed right away, though, was the skewed attendance. It’s wonderful seeing so many foreign firms travel thousands of miles to attend a conference in the US, but I’m really surprised by the lack of American and Canadian firms in attendance.
I have a theory I’ve been forwarding on why. Like many of my theories, this one’s based on a limited sampling of statistically insignificant data sets. So please give me a lump or two of salt for starters.
First, some contextual background: It’s clear to any informed American that we, as a nation, excel at many things. We eat well, spend well, vacation well, enjoy the finer things in life when we can afford them (and oftentimes when we cannot), and we love kicking problems down the road. Denial is more than an art form. It’s a social science.
Social Security reform? Not my problem – let future generations deal with it.   National debt? Please. My kids and grandkids can pay that off. The environment? Fossil-fuel consumption? Hardly seems to be an issue for my generation.
And US management is too often focused on putting out fires, instead of building fireproof things. So it shouldn’t have been a surprise to see so few American firms interested in understanding and investing in compliance improvement and best practices.
We must work to change the culture of America at a macro level, that much is clear. But we can all work today to change the culture of our workplaces to embrace SAM and declare it a must-do effort – not a future “nice to do if we get audited” thing.
Software Asset Management should NOT be undertaken as an audit-defense practice, but as a part of an overall corporate strategic leadership. Corporate best practice should be to have a tightly integrated leadership organization that includes a SAM leader alongside corporate-compliance officers, security officers and financial overseers.
From software-renewal-agreement negotiations to better alignment between software usage and needs, SAM brings tremendous goodness to organizations.
I’ve written separately on much of the value of SAM, as have many others, so I won’t get into a deep-dive here. But I will say again that a well-run company, with a solid SAM program, delivers greater value to its shareholders by:

  • Minimizing waste (like unused software and entitlements)
  • Maximizing efficiency (by limiting the wasted time replatforming out-of-compliance software or applications)
  • Creating a more positive environment for stakeholders (there’s less stress and worry because there’s less uncertainty and confusion around assets and their allocation or disposition)

Let’s all do our part to help educate our workplaces on SAM as a necessary part of corporate governance and leadership. I’m ready to start the conversation: mailto:[email protected].

About Software Audits And Software Asset Management

Gartner, Inc. expects a four-fold explosion in the adoption of Software License Optimization & Entitlement (SLOE) solutions worldwide.
In the 12 months prior to September 2014, software-license audits reached an all-time high. It’s estimated that organizations now have a 68% chance of being audited by at least one software vendor this year (up from 54% in 2009).
Gartner advises it’s not whether a software vendor such as IBM will audit you, but when it’ll happen.
TxMQ has completed a number of Software Asset Management engagements and audit-remediation projects. There’s no way to avoid the reality that audits are painful exercises. The amount of staff time and resources that companies expend to get through audits is staggering. Even a small company can spend many thousands of employee hours and pay fees to partner firms like TxMQ – all while auditors, lawyers and accountants get their pounds of flesh.
The reality is that managing software usage and entitlements is an incredibly complex process for companies – a lot like managing your own personal taxes. All major vendors like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Adobe, VMware and the rest operate with increasingly complex rules around virtual usage, cloud usage and non-production usage.
Our philosophy at TxMQ is this: Most of us have a tax planner or accountant to handle our personal taxes (and audits if they should happen). Companies should use a partner to manage their software-asset entitlements, usage and compliance.
In all likelihood you’ll be audited by one of your vendors. How prepared are you to come out squeaky clean? What can you do to minimize the audit pain points. How can you prevent a re-audit? If you have a partner firm that’s responsible for reporting software usage and entitlements, maintaining clean records and handling “true ups” for overages, any audit will be a breeze.
You wouldn’t go through an IRS audit without your accountant. Do you really think it makes sense to go through a software audit without a partner on your side?
TxMQ works with companies to put a Software Asset Management (SAM) strategy together to help mitigate the risk and exposure you face. We have options from full management all the way down to as-needed license reviews. There’s an option to fit every situation and need. Most companies prefer a managed-service solution, whereby TxMQ actively engages to manage software usage, but also puts in place best practices for change management, SDLC compliance and more.
In many cases, TxMQ uses tools like IBM EndPoint Manager, which further extends a company’s capabilities to:

  • Cut costs and downtime while securely managing datacenters and distributed servers
  • Reduce cost, risk and complexity of managing desktops, laptops and other devices
  • Ensure continuous security and compliance and keep companies out of the negative news
  • Maintain audit readiness and continuous license compliance with always-on Software Asset Management
  • Manage BYOD policies and the mobile enterprise

There’s no downside to a conversation. Let TxMQ begin with a no-obligation discovery call to review situation and help you put a plan in place to minimize your compliance exposure. Contact us before the auditors contact you.
(Image by Simon Cunningham)

How Do You Support Your Software?

Software/OS services & support not your core competencies? We support more than just WebSphere.

In today’s reality of constantly evolving technology, managing software support is critically important. There are never-ending changes to core products, changes to deployment options (on-premises, cloud, hybrid), and a new generation of changes is most certainly lurking around the corner. Especially in IBM’s Systems Middleware world.

The effort to support this endless hodgepodge has grown increasingly complicated. In point of fact, most companies run multiple versions of software on different operating systems, which makes support options even more confusing. That’s why more and more companies are facing hard decisions about whether to continue their vendor-support agreements for software and OS, and why more and more companies are running unsupported software and OS, even if it’s occasionally side-by-side with a newer, supported version of the same.

That’s why more and more companies are partnering with TxMQ for support of their IBM environments, WebSphere systems and far more.

TxMQ is uniquely able to design and deploy support solutions across almost any software/OS environment. And we’ll design a solution that fits right – whether it’s short-term support until the patch/upgrade is finished, or long-term permanent outsource options and partnerships. All options are available 24/7/365.
In addition, we’re one of the few firms that supports legacy mainframe, systems I and P (aix), alongside Linux (all major flavors), Solaris, Windows and other variants. So yes, we’re a lot more than just pure IBM.
A few other notes about our capabilities…

Additional Offerings
TxMQ support customers can also take advantage of reduced rates for TxMQ services, discounted purchasing of IBM software and hardware, and related services like software asset management (ILMT, SUA, SCCD), patch management and other managed services.

Implementation Support
TxMQ’s deeply technical talent can also help with planning for upgrades, replatforming, license optimization and integration services. In select cases, we can also work with in-house development teams to offer support for custom home-built applications.

Custom Solutions
TxMQ engineers and developers can work for you, or with your teams, for custom-application development needs. As with the above services, customers under support agreements with TxMQ are entitled to these services at a discount.
Let’s start a conversation on the advantages of getting back to basics and focusing on your core competencies, then letting TxMQ worry about your support.
Email [email protected] or [email protected] for more information, or call 716-636-0070 x222.

How (NOT) To Buy Enterprise Software

Whether you’re in IT, or in a line of business (LOB), at some point in your career you’ll likely be given a budget with authority to acquire enterprise software or an integrated solution for your company.
You and your team will do an analysis, possibly have a “bakeoff” of some sort to eliminate a vendor or two, and ultimately make a selection of what you believe to be the right enterprise solution.
Maybe it’s a cloud-based black-box type of solution like Workday or Salesforce. Maybe it’s a platform product, like WebSphere Application Server or SharePoint, used to support other solutions. Maybe it’s none of the above. Regardless, the proposal will inevitably include a component to stand up and install supporting services, plus after-support.
Do yourself a favor: Spend the time during your internal evaluation to ask your team and your leadership if you truly have budget to extend beyond the basic enterprise software acquisition cost.
Here at TxMQ, we’ve noticed a trend the past few years, and it’s a challenging one. We see more and more companies slash budgets for services other than the bare license cost of the software. That usually means the company’s left with acquired software products they’re not necessarily able to stand up themselves, let alone support and integrate.
In many cases this isn’t so problematic. After all, some solutions are certainly straightforward enough. Yet even cloud-based tools like Salesforce are, in fact, extremely complex systems that require extensive pre-planning, integration and ongoing support. This role can be tough to manage internally, and is oftentimes better suited to a solutions provider like TxMQ.
TxMQ has helped countless companies fix bad or poorly planned installations of enterprise software – installations that went south because budget was restricted solely to the license. We’ve seen outages, lost revenue and actual firings due to poor planning – again, only because budget was cut to the bare minimum and only covered the software-license cost. And the corrective engagements are costly – for the demands on internal staff and dollars spent on consultants. In nearly all cases, these costs could have been avoided with upfront planning for the installation and deployment of the solution.
By planning, I mean understanding internal needs, skills, integration points, storage needs, security, networking and more.
It was Abraham Lincoln who was famously quoted as stating: “If I had 6 hours to cut down a tree, I’d spend the first 4 sharpening the axe.” If you’re being asked to acquire and install a solution – whether it’s enterprise software, hardware or hybrid – don’t just grab the axe and start swinging. You’ll hurt yourself, likely break the axe and end up with a very damaged tree.
Save a tree. Email TxMQ today.

The Difference Between Software Asset Management & Software Asset Managed Services

Do you need SAM or SAMS? The distinction’s important.
SAM is Software Asset Management – a big-brush, cost-control effort that typically describes internal efforts to optimize the software investment. Every business needs SAM.
SAMS is Software Asset Managed Services – a more intensive effort that involves the hiring of outside consultants to document, manage and optimize the software investment. SAMS delivers an impartial eye to the enterprise software stack and relieves licensing and regulatory burdens from internal teams. At the same time, SAMS is built to scale so the consultants can smoothly assume a growing management responsibility for the environment. Internal teams are further unburdened from the day-to-day environment problems and are free to focus on business development, new applications, creative solutions and continuous improvement.
Is SAMS right for your business? If you struggle to implement SAM, or if the cost of maintaining your environment is spiraling out of control, then you probably need SAMS.
Assess Your Assets
You need to know what’s running on your stuff. It’s just that simple. But the quest to find the answers can be surprisingly difficult. Some software’s inactive but still deployed. Employees may have downloaded unlicensed copies to fight a vital fire. Auto-renewal payments for licenses may be festering on a former accountant’s laptop.
The effort to control and optimize your software investment starts with wanting to know what you don’t know. TxMQ utilizes the following workflow in its Software Asset Management (SAM) business line. It’s also the initial stage of its Software Asset Managed Services (SAMS) program.
Step 1: Enterprise Discovery
Your business needs to know exactly how many servers are in use. Are the servers spread out geographically? Internationally? What software is deployed? Is it active or legacy? Is it single-sourced? Mixed? Open-source? How sophisticated is security? Is there a single sign-on for the software? What’s the server-level security? How do employees access the servers? What’s the nature of the business?
Step 2: Document The Software
This step determines exactly what software is installed on the servers, the versions, at what levels, how many instances, and how many seats?
Step 3: Determine The SAM Products To Install
Is the goal to manage the assets, or simply audit them? The choice of SAM products and tools is important.
Step 4: Determine Audit Level
Does the enterprise what to perform a simple audit, or a complete audit that includes update histories, patching and software-lifecycle analysis.
Step 5: Develop Reporting Process
Are there limitations to the audit? Who prepares the report? Who sees it?
TxMQ specializes in middleware management and application integration. Licensing is a huge part of our business. We can help. Call or email now for a free, confidential consultation. Reach us before the auditors reach you!
Photo by Daniel Iversen