Company officials said the latest suite, Version 12, is a proof-point in Oracles Applications Unlimited program that promises continued enhancements to its individual suites—Oracle E-Business, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel—as Oracle works toward Fusion Applications.
Fusion Applications, due around 2008, brings together the concepts of all the suites, Oracle officials said.
EBS 12 is designed to add more global capabilities for customers operating various divisions in different countries and regions around the world. For example, a Strategic Network Optimization module helps users evaluate, on a continuous basis, the cost and revenue implications of decisions that affect their global supply chain.
At the same time, a Projects Portfolio Analysis module enables users to prioritize—and fund—global projects using classic what-if scenarios. Customers are also able to perform profitability analysis at different levels—products, channels, segments—with the ability to drill down to the individual customer level.
In addition, EBS 12 looks to bring a more process-centric approach to global work by pulling disparate methodologies into single locations. In the financial arena Oracle has added the ability for a single transaction to create multiple accounting entries to comply with local and corporate GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), which in turn lets companies better consolidate reporting. At the same time, some upgrades in Oracle Compensation Workbench will show all forms of compensation for employees in a single place, regardless of location or organization.
To help users better implement their software across regions and divisions, EBS 12 comes with a centralized business rules repository so users can review and audit accounting business rules all in one place. To better manage implementation and upgrades, EBS 12 pinpoints system administrators with specific instructions based on their already implemented products and patches.
On the integration front, EBS 12 includes a Web services repository that catalogs the services exposed in the suite—reportedly hundreds at this point. Oracle is also in the process of certifying the latest suite on its namesake Fusion Middleware platform to help users better manage processes that move across applications.
On the process front itself, EBS 12 adds support for industry-specific processes. The communications vertical, for example, will find support for ongoing maintenance of customer service—upgrade, downgrade, suspend, resume or disconnect services. The high-tech and manufacturing sector will better be able to comply with regulatory requirements in Japan and China with support for charge-based Shikyu and Golden Tax.