Oracle user group warns of support deadline

Certain E-Business Suite customers need to meet a patch threshold to go on extended support

The Oracle Applications Users Group is urging members running an older version of E-Business Suite to ensure they have all the necessary patches needed to qualify for extended support.

Premier support for EBS 11.5.10 expires as of Nov. 30. Customers will be able to go on extended support following that date, but only if they meet certain requirements, OAUG said.

There's little time to waste, according to OAUG.

"The effort to apply these mandatory minimum patch baseline requirements may have a significant impact on your organization depending on how current you are with the technical and functional components of the E-Business Suite of Applications," a statement on the group's website reads. "And the ramifications for both functional and technical team testing, operations and maintenance can be significant."

The group is conducting a survey meant to help users determine their readiness for extended support, which provides similar benefits as premier support, but leaves out certification with most new third-party products and versions.

There's some good news for E-Business Suite customers who meet the requirements for extended support, which typically costs more than premier. Last year, Oracle said it would waive first-year extended support costs for a number of software products, including 11.5.10, due to the bad economy.

Oracle executives have been hitting the road of late, urging E-Business Suite customers to upgrade to more current releases.

But fewer than 10 per cent of all Oracle customers have moved to either Release 12 or 12.1, according to a recent estimate by research firm Altimeter Group. The weak economy no doubt played a role, as IT departments saw budgets slashed and new projects set aside.

Meanwhile, Oracle is just months away from launching its long-awaited Fusion Applications. The next-generation suite combines the best attributes of its various ERP (enterprise resource planning) product lines and includes features such as pervasive BI (business intelligence) as well as a slicker look and feel.

Oracle is positioning Fusion as something its installed base can adopt gradually, versus through a big-bang replacement project. Some 100 Fusion modules will be initially available at the launch date early next year.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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