J.D. Edwards Shops Get New Maintenance Options
Published: October 31, 2006
by Alex Woodie
Users of Oracle's J.D. Edwards ERP software last week gained two new suppliers of technical services and third-party maintenance. Infocrossing launched a comprehensive support offering for J.D. Edwards and PeopleSoft customers, while LegacyMode joined an increasingly crowded field of third-party maintenance providers.
Both Infocrossing and LegacyMode announced their new third-party maintenance offerings during last week's Oracle World conference. But the two companies have widely different backgrounds and business plans. We'll take a look at both of them and explain what they offer to J.D. Edwards shops.
Infocrossing is an established, publicly traded IT services firm with 900 employees, revenues of about $230 million, five data centers, and many years of experience managing AS/400s and mainframes, and the critical business applications that they run.
Last week the New Jersey company announced a new "managed application services" (MAS) offering to go along with its hardware outsourcing, ERP software outsourcing, business process outsourcing, and healthcare services outsourcing businesses. Under this MAS offering, Infocrossing will provide practically everything a customer needs to maintain a PeopleSoft Enterprise, J.D. Edwards EnterpriseOne, or J.D. Edwards World environment, including: installing, hosting, and managing the hardware; installing, managing, and maintaining the ERP software; and providing practically any type of technical services demanded by these environments.
It's a soup to nuts offering, but it's not necessarily "new," says Lee Fields, Infocrossing's executive vice president of marketing and business development. "We're not creating this from scratch, but formalizing it, and letting the world know that we're in this business and eminently qualified to be in this business," he says.
In the technical support arena, Infocrossing plans to offer basic ERP services, such as maintenance, tax and regulatory updates; application set-up; administration and change management; incident and problem management; and routine and custom software enhancements. Customers that need a higher level of ERP support can choose from the list of "enhanced" technical services, which includes application availability management and disaster recovery support; Web and application server support; database administration; performance tuning; and capacity planning.
Infocrossing is also introducing functional support for the PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards applications. This list includes business process expertise; knowledge transfer to client; application and module configuration; as well as identification, research, and testing of bundles, patches, and fixes. Lastly, the company offers cross-platform services, such as service desk assistance, the iTracker Web portal, account management, executive sponsorship, and transition management.
Jim Turner, director of product development for EAS, says the company's experience managing OS/400 systems--the company has more than 100 LPARs in management, he says--as well as its rigorous change management procedures and its employees' product-specific knowledge helps qualify the company to handle this type of outsourcing. "We're in a good position to leverage what we already have," he says.
Users can expect to save 10 to 30 percent when they outsource elements of their IT management to Infocrossing, Fields says. Mid-size companies, especially, should look to outsourcers for economic advantages, he says. "Everybody's outsourcing something," he says. "If you're not outsourcing something, customers are asking why."
For more information on Infocrossing, visit www.infocrossing.com.
Another company throwing its hat into the J.D. Edwards maintenance ring is LegacyMode, a Laguna Beach, California, company that's been offering third-party maintenance for PeopleSoft Enterprise products for the last three years.
Last week, LegacyMode announced an expansion of its third-party maintenance offerings to include the rest of Oracle's enterprise software products, including Siebel, J.D. Edwards, and the Oracle E-Business Suite. The company says it will provide patches, fixes, regulatory updates, and general software support and maintenance services for the entire range of Oracle application products.
On its Web site, LegacyMode claims its unique "consultative methodology" separates it from other third-party maintenance organizations, such as TomorrowNow (which is owned by SAP), and Rimini Street, which was recently created by former TomorrowNow executives.
Technology contributed to LegacyMode's consultative method. The company says its "application encapsulation through virtualization" technology is a patent-pending emulation environment that enables applications to be placed into a "digital bubble," called "Digital Formaldehyde," which allows the application to be run in perpetuity with decreasing costs over time.
LegacyMode's business plan is also a bit different than other third-party maintenance providers. Under its new Fractional Maintenance Stream Ownership for Support Professionals program, which was also announced last week, the company aims to hook technology professionals up with paying ERP customers.
"This is our way of giving back to the support industry professionals who've spent the last 10 years deploying and customizing these critical systems," says DL Daniels, founder and CEO of LegacyMode. "It's an annuity for enterprise application support professionals."
LegacyMode's support and maintenance offerings start at $50,000. See www.legacymode.com for more information.
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