How to Retire Oracle E-Business Suite
By Dermot Murray, Inoapps VP of Technology And Drew Edgar, Inoapps Head of Products
Even as Oracle invests heavily in Oracle Cloud Applications, thousands of longstanding customers remain on Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS). As we think of our interactions with these organizations, they typically fall into three camps.
- Already Moved: We have already helped many of our customers migrate onto Oracle Cloud Applications to take advantage of the new capabilities that are available in that platform. And of course there will inevitably be some organizations that have moved to other products and platforms as well during that time.
- Planning a Migration in the Near Future: A growing number of organizations have now recognized the benefit that cloud adoption can deliver, and have embarked on the first steps of a journey to the cloud.
Staying Put: Other companies may stay on the application into the foreseeable future. Oracle is not forsaking customers who rely on this product - Oracle's Applications Unlimited strategy means that support will extend at least through 2032 and shows their commitment to supporting organizations’ investment in Oracle EBS.
Decisions to be made
For those organizations that are planning on migrating to Oracle Cloud, their management teams need to define a strategy to cater for the data that resides in their legacy instance of software.
The CIO will need to consider the needs of many stakeholders - this may include the CFO and the corporate board, as well as being able to meet demands of the internal and external audit and governance teams. These stakeholders will need to be reassured that they will still be able to gain access to the legacy data that underpins that instance of Oracle EBS subsequent to the migration to cloud.
At any point over the period of years that follow, the business may request access to data that was held in that legacy Oracle EBS instance. For example, a tax authority may request records contained in the legacy system to support a tax submission. Transactions that would alter the company’s exposure to taxes in a past period may need to be produced as evidence. Audit and governance teams may request copies of historical documents to support submissions, and the CIO must be confident that they will be able to meet these demands. Or maybe a former employee sues claiming they worked overtime they were not compensated for, and evidence will be required to document hours worked, rate of pay and whether the employee was exempt.
What a company moving off Oracle EBS needs is a straightforward tool to give them access to their legacy data - consider this as an insurance policy against regulatory and legal risks they would otherwise be exposed to.
Oracle EBS Retirement
Some assurance of compliance is important because companies looking to migrate to a cloud platform will typically not move the entirety of an Oracle EBS database to their new environment. A typical EBS instance will have grown over many years and will inevitably include vast amounts of historical data. Much of this data will relate to historical transactions – old customers, suppliers, business units and periods. It does not make sense to migrate all of that historical data into the new production instance. This is not cost-effective, can lead to data quality issues and ongoing performance issues. Most implementation teams will be selective and thoughtful about what data to migrate, rejecting data that will not support ongoing operations or that requires extensive transformation or cleansing, focusing on current transactional data. So, an IT management team must choose whether to:
- Keep Oracle EBS as a legacy platform. This will normally be as a “read-only” solution that can be used as a source for audit and historical inquiries. However, this will saddle a company with not just the license and infrastructure cost to retain that legacy instance, but will also require staff with Oracle EBS skill sets to maintain that application and allow access to legacy data to satisfy regulatory requirements. This solution will often also remain static, outside the scope of ongoing patches and upgrades. This will inevitably lead to an inability to mitigate security vulnerabilities, creating enterprise risk.
- Extract the required legacy data to a data warehouse solution, and decommission the Oracle EBS instance. Many organizations have a corporate data warehouse solution, and it can be beneficial to export the relevant data from the legacy EBS instance into the data warehouse for reporting in the future. However, this will usually require a selective extract, transform and load (ETL) exercise which can be complex, time-consuming and expensive. However, it is also very difficult to know in advance what specific pieces of data you may need later, and a selective extract runs the risk of not including data sets that are required downstream. If it is not migrated in a usable fashion and available for reporting later, there can be serious repercussions.
Inoapps has engaged with a number of EBS customers who moved their ERP platform to Oracle Cloud Applications and kept their legacy Oracle EBS as a static, read-only system. However, they quickly found themselves running into issues with their ability to access data in an unsupported application. Lacking patches and updates, the legacy instance became inaccessible and unsecure. An instance of enterprise software that cannot be updated, maintained and patched cannot be counted on. This is the risk Oracle EBS customers take if they do not have a firm, practical and viable plan for their legacy data.
Allowing a legacy solution - one you are no longer using in production - to drive cost and complexity in your business is at best unattractive and at worst unacceptable. The best way to satisfy regulatory requirements for reporting on historical data is full retirement of Oracle EBS and implementation of a purpose-built solution designed to provide non-technical users with access to your historical data through a collection of pre-built reports or custom reports for specific needs.
Inoapps Archiving for Oracle EBS
Once you make the decision to move off Oracle EBS and onto Oracle Cloud Applications or even some other solution, just Ask Inoapps about Inoapps Archiving for Oracle EBS. This is our application for companies that need to maintain access to their legacy Oracle EBS data while minimizing cost and complexity. We have deployed the solution to many organizations that have retired Oracle EBS, and deliver it as a fully-inclusive subscription solution using Oracle Cloud technologies. Providing the assurance and peace of mind to our customers that their legacy data will always be available allows organizations to focus their attention on delivering the value that Oracle Cloud can offer.
Curious? Find out more in this complimentary whitepaper!