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Information Technology Manager at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Highly flexible but lacks some balance between the cloud and on-premise versions
Pros and Cons
  • "There is essentially one solution for every industry within Oracle — you won't require a third-party solution."
  • "Oracle E-Business Suite uses an old technology (Forms), which is Java-based."

What is most valuable?

The flexibility to scale up is very good. Regardless of the customer, customization is not as complicated as it is in SAP or even ISS and other products. 

There is a range of modules available in Oracle which you can switch on as you progress in your organization. You don't have to necessarily take a lot of time to kickstart the implementation. You can just start with basic HR, finance, and purchasing. Then, later on, you can extend the application landscape with more modules as you progress. There is essentially one solution for every industry within Oracle — you won't require a third-party solution. Still, if you wish to use a third-party solution because the price is too high or because of a specific technical requirement, then you are free to do so. 

What needs improvement?

I currently work for a company that specializes in aircraft maintenance. There used to be a module in Oracle called CMRO. Now, the current situation is that they are pretty much closing down that module. Roughly eight or nine years back when they started it, they were anticipating a good number of customers but the reality turned out to be different — that's why they closed down that module. That created a lot of trouble for a lot of companies. Truthfully speaking, that is the reason I moved towards ISS. Although it's not as popular as Oracle or SAP, ISS focuses on industries. ISS provides us with an industry-based solution, geared toward aviation, field service management, or manufacturing for example. 

Oracle E-Business Suite uses an old technology (Forms), which is Java-based. If you're using a functionality that is based on Oracle Forms, then the client machine needs to download an applet in order to use that function. Often I've encountered, during support issues, that the client machine, if it is a little obsolete or an older version, the Java versions cause trouble. Wherein if you look at the modern cloud perspective or modern software in general, it's mostly web or browser-based. That's one thing that Oracle should consider on-prem.

There is still a huge amount of customers who are on on-prem. Upgrades should have a business case. I don't want to upgrade just because Oracle has come up with a new version — I should have some benefits. We are one of those customers who are not interested in shifting to the cloud for various reasons. Because of this, we have to live with this old Forms technology. Oracle should try to offer a balance between both versions instead of pushing customers to the cloud. This seems to be a strategy that both SAP and Oracle follow.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Oracle E-Business Suite for more than one year. In total, I have more than 10 years of experience with Oracle. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Oracle E-Business Suite is definitely stable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Regarding their technical support, my personal experience over a period of two to three years is that you'll begin to notice a pattern regarding what time you should raise a service request so that it reaches the right place. Whether it goes to India or to Egypt — these are the two most popular centers for Oracle support. But if you manage to hit the right people, the support is there. 70 to 80 percent of the time, I receive a solution to my problems simply through the technical repository — within the portal itself. I prefer to do it like this rather than by creating a service request and waiting for a response from a potentially inexperience staff member. I'd rather just depend on the documentation. The documentation is very rich. The Oracle community is big.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was quite straightforward. I have worked with SAP, Oracle, Dynamics, and now I'm using ISS. With all of them, you need to have some basic expertise before you jump into the pool, otherwise, your life could be complicated. If you have that basic guidance and experience, it's not complicated when it comes to Oracle. Still, there are prerequisites for each of them — especially when it comes to Oracle. You need to have had hands-on experience with PL/SQL or developer experience with Java.

The best part about Oracle is that it has openly published its documentation on its implementation checklist — how to follow, configure, etc. For this reason, it's much easier to implement Oracle compared to ISS or SAP, for example. This is due to the fact that they insist that you need to follow their documentation and it's not publicly available everywhere. This makes things a bit easier when it comes to Oracle.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you're buying a license, support is roughly 22% of the price of the whole product. So, in the first year, you'll definitely get support. Some companies, over a period of time, try to knock off the Oracle support costs because it just keeps growing. Every year, according to their published price, it will increase from three to five percent from the last year. Now, imagine you bought a product worth 1.5 billion; what would be the support cost in the first year? And then plus 5%, plus 5% — it goes on, and on. You'll come to a point where you feel you're wasting money because support is support whether I am paying for five users or 500 users.

There is a solution for all of your current problems in Oracle E-Business Suite, but the constraint is the license. I'll give you a live example. Let's say I bought an employee self-service. What I would get is a bunch of licenses that I can use on the web version on my local internet. But with the current model of digitalization, you know that the employees would prefer to have some sort of mobile app or at least a desktop site. So, if I want that to happen, then I'd need to buy another set of licenses. The same self-service on the mobile version.

These are the pain points with Oracle. The license is normalized or broken down to such a level that it becomes a pain. Regarding a new customer, unless he's been using this solution for two or three years, he won't get used to these licenses. There is a good chance that he'd become exploited by Oracle's account managers in terms of licenses. Oracle's licenses are not straightforward.

Personally, I have worked on several projects where I have had to help customers understand Oracle licensing — it's not simple in SAP either. There are pros and cons to both solutions. Sometimes it could be beneficial and sometimes it's troublesome. That is something I feel that Oracle should try to simplify.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of seven. 

Oracle E-Business Suite is not for small businesses as, over a period of time, you will incur a huge cost when it comes to hosting. It's not just about application licensing, there is also hosting infrastructure, etc. It's not the functionality that's the problem for small entities, it's the overall cost. Smaller companies should go for something like AppDynamics, SAP Business, or NetSuite. 

Oracle is best suited for large organizations — from medium to large. It's a great solution for companies who grow quickly and need the best scalability possible. Unless you have a minimum user base of 3,000, you shouldn't be using Oracle.

Oracle is for medium to large-sized companies that are projected to grow in one or two years. Otherwise, it will become a pain point for you because the IT expenses will shoot through the roof. As a product, as a functionality, if you check this particular prerequisite, I would definitely recommend it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Maggie Van Wyk
Chief Financial and Operating Officer at Aicrem Square
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
User-friendly, flexible and easy to customize, and offers good support for different industries
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is the user experience, where you can create your own queries, it sends you alerts, and it's very flexible."
  • "I would like to see the HR features enhanced with respect to localization for South Africa and other countries."

What is our primary use case?

We are a consultancy and we use this solution to provide services for our customers.

Over time, I have used JD Edwards for a variety of use cases. One of the very recent ones was converting from strong discrete costing to actual costing in a manufacturing setting. Some other examples are capital asset management and AP automation.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the user experience, where you can create your own queries, it sends you alerts, and it's very flexible.

The interface is very user-friendly. As long as you apply logic, it is easy to do the technical stuff. It is structured well so you don't always have to depend on technical people to do things like create reports.

It has the latest features in terms of embedded mobility and orchestration.

The integration with other products is easy to do.

Customization is easy to do, as long as you stick to their rules. It can be customized in a cloud-based deployment, as well.

There are tools in place that allow users to update the system themselves, without any technical support.

Support for developers is easy because they have their own toolset. They have options for using SQL, RPG, and different languages, depending on the hardware that you're using.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see the HR features enhanced with respect to localization for South Africa and other countries. They have perhaps 12 localizations but I think that for countries like South Africa, where the payroll system is unique, they should start investing more heavily.

I would like to see more training documentation, or alternatively, training that you can do without having to go offsite. Unfortunately, when training with Oracle, it is quite expensive. Also, the instructors come from India and the dialect is very difficult for people from South Africa to understand. Consequently, a lot of people feel that it's a waste. It could have been very good but they didn't understand what the trainer was saying. This is a big thing that I would like to see more with. The documentation that they have is good, but it's very expensive so people would rather not buy it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with JD Edwards EnterpriseOne for about 20 years, since 2000. Prior to that, I had been using JD Edwards World since 1991.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

EnterpriseOne is used on a daily basis and the actual solution is very stable, whether deployed on-premises in on the cloud. Stability will depend on who did the setup, as with any system. When you try to take short cuts then you end up short anyway.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is absolutely easy to scale this product. We have about ten users in the company.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have a little bit of experience with similar products from several vendors, including Microsoft Dynamics and SAP. I have found that the user experience is much nicer within JD Edwards, compared to anything else that I have seen. It is not rigid and allows you to change or customize things within the framework that is provided.

NetSuite is a little bit cheaper than JD Edwards, although they are catering more to smaller enterprises rather than medium-sized organizations. They compromise certain functionality or applications. A lot of the applications out there are good for startups, but the moment that you start diversifying, you have to start looking either at add-ons or re-implementing different ERPs. The trend lately is not to just replace everything. Rather, have additional or complementary products that suit your needs

With JD Edwards, it is a fully integrated system so you can run just certain modules, but it's optimized if you use the full ERP system. For example, if you need procurement, work orders, and financials, then there is a benefit to moving everything into one system.

How was the initial setup?

Provided you understand the framework, it is quite easy to install and set up. After this, it is easy to maintain and manage. The length of time required for deployment depends on whether you have a proper blueprint because all of the processes are embedded. With all of the blueprints available, for a new installation, it can take between six and nine months.

The deployment will also depend on the state of your data. It may already be clean, or it maybe needs to be pre-processed before migrating. I would say that every situation is unique. You can do the majority of the setup offsite, just by getting all of the business processes in advance. Then, when you start UAT and other testing, you go onsite and go live. It's not that complex. I came from a financial background and moved into the IT sphere, which was not that difficult to do.

The maintenance is done with our in-house team. Normally, you have one person for every module. However, on the technical side, you only need one person because everything has been automated and is orchestrated to do a lot of the work for you. It just pops out some reports and alerts as it monitors the system for you.

What about the implementation team?

In some cases, we used assistance from the vendor during the implementation, although we have also deployed it ourselves. These days, a lot of the migration, upgrades, or updates are done internally.

When it comes to supporting our customers, we are able to do functionality support because we've got in-house business analysts who do the actual applications. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing is for mid-market businesses, where it is cheaper than Oracle Cloud, EBS, or SAP. It is very much on part with Dynamics, although Dynamics can become quite pricey in the end.

The cost of licensing depends on the modules that are being used. It varies because some of them are user-based, whereas others are employee-based. 

There is a lite license and a normal license. People who use it full time, like in procurement or for someone doing purchase orders, use a normal license. On the other hand, when you get people that only do approvals, for instance, then they can get a lite license and it's a little bit cheaper.

What other advice do I have?

Most of my experience is with on-premises deployments, although I have also worked in an environment where we hosted it on the cloud. If you have a cloud-based deployment then it's managed and maintained by the vendor, although you can still have your own customizations that are unique to the business.

The vendor continuously improves this product, basing their changes according to the feedback provided by customers. At this point in time, it is difficult to asks for specific features because they're very compatible with any other system in the market.

They are very strong in the manufacturing, construction, and engineering industries.

My advice for anybody who is implementing JD Edwards is to make sure that all of your processes are stabilized and standardized. Follow the best practices. Make sure that the processes are not coming from somebody who had good ideas 60 years ago but in reality, are no longer effective.

The best thing to do is make sure that the data is clean and you have the blueprints for the business processes according to best practices.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Terry Jones
President at I2R, Inc.
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
This complete cloud-based business suite solution competes for the top spot among similar products
Pros and Cons
  • "The guidance SAP offers for implementing the product is clear and the online resources are great."
  • "There have been some pain points in moving from SAP to S/4HANA, but the company seems to be staying on top of those issues."

What is our primary use case?

The business suite that I have got the most experience with is SAP, but they are making that transition into S/4HANA. With S/4HANA, they got both an on-premise and a cloud-based solution, so you can buy it in the cloud on a subscription service or you can have it on-premise. On-premises allows you to manage your own site solution, which a lot of big companies might prefer to do. But then Microsoft Dynamics 365 is also a cloud-based solution that you pay a monthly subscription per person fee — or whatever arrangements you can work out. I think NetSuite is the same way.  

Unfortunately, I have not been directly involved in developing any larger use cases for S/4HANA or 365 or NetSuite. That has been a frustration for me over the last seven or eight years. My move to do an independent consultant was actually to get back into the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) environment and the opportunities just have not been there to further explore the possibilities. It has been kind of frustrating because I have had to focus mostly on continuous improvement and other areas. But even though I spent 10 years in the SAP space, it seems like now I am too far away from where I should have been in working with the product. When I look at these cloud-based solutions in comparison, I have been following SAP and S/4HANA since it started. At least from my point-of-view, SAP is leaps and bounds ahead of anybody else in that space by far.  

They are not going to be a perfect ERP solution for everyone, but they look like they are going to try to stay as close to that as anyone can. What they are doing as a total ERP package can support the whole enterprise.  

What is most valuable?

The SAP online help is excellent. Their guidance and what they offer in terms of a roadmap for your implementation is a huge benefit from my perspective. I have gone through the Microsoft side as well on their Dynamics approach trying to work with 365, but what S/4HANA offers is a much more clear pathway towards implementation to me.  

When you start looking at IoT (Internet of Things), these cloud-based environments and analytics that those cloud-based solutions offer are unmatched and on the leading edge. It is going to be transforming for a lot of companies.  

What needs improvement?

It is my understanding — and not my experience — that they were having problems around the supply chain management. Some of the clients who bought it may have had some problems getting things to work properly, but whether it was the product or the users, I am kind of fuzzy on that. The claim was there was an issue with the supply chain management on the manufacturing side. There were a few hiccups that some customers may have experienced with the newer S/4HANA solution. I think all of that has been resolved over the past year. I have not looked back at that issue much recently, but that is because I have pretty much written off that I am ever going to fall back into that particular space in my business as I go forward.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with products like this over the past 10 years. My work with SAP has just been spreading out over the last eight years. I work with it in the training environment and using the training version has different components of the system. I have gone through training courses on the parts that I use. Really, a problem management piece of it has gotten in the way of actually implementing the system in projects.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From my experience and understanding, it has been pretty reliable for me and I haven't heard much at all about stability problems from people I talked to directly. The only supposed problem I had seen or read for anyone having to do with reliability was the supply chain issue some people claimed to have.  

In all, it seems to be a reliable solution.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability of SAP and any of the other products competing against them head-on should not really have any scalability issues unless it comes to budget.  

How are customer service and technical support?

I have had no direct hands-on contact with the technical support other than what they provide online. I find what they provide online for technical support is pretty straightforward, to the point, and it solves any issues I might have. The guidance they built into implementing the systems is pretty clear.  

How was the initial setup?

In the instances that I have dealt with personally, there is never an issue, but I have not been deploying on a larger scale.  

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This category of products are all pretty much in the same price range. It would be hard to say that lowering the price would be an improvement for any one of these companies because they are all kind of comfortably competing in that range.  

The price of SAP S/4HANA varies based upon what you are implementing and what you are planning to turn on. I do not know the exact pricing right now as I have been looking at it over the last couple of years, but I have seen some pricing in the $129 to $159 range per user per month with the cloud-based solution.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have worked with all three of what I consider the major competitors. With S/4HANA, SAP is playing against Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Oracle's NetSuite.  

What other advice do I have?

The advice that I would give to others looking into implementing the S/4HANA cloud is to prepare your organization on the front-end before you even go down the path of any ERP implementation. Get your organization right-minded in the beginning, then go down the path. You need buy-in and training. Companies talk about doing that, but they do not do that. That lack of follow-through is why they end up failing with their implementation.  

On a scale from one to ten, where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate the S/4HANA Cloud as a good, solid eight or nine. Choosing between the two, I go with eight. That gives them something more to shoot for.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Find out what your peers are saying about NetSuite ERP vs. SAP S4HANA Cloud and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
563,148 professionals have used our research since 2012.