July 27, 2016 | Chris Polston | Manager of Technical Support Services
Increasingly more JD Edwards shops are contacting us regarding support for their IBM Blue Stack. The IBM Blue Stack for EnterpriseOne Technology Foundation includes DB2 for Linux, Unix, and Windows (LUW), WebSphere Application Server, and WebSphere Portal.
In late 2010, Oracle warned it would terminate technical support for IBM Blue Stack products running on all versions of JD Edwards (JDE) EnterpriseOne. The deadline is fast approaching and many impacted JD Edwards shops running on IBM are still investigating their options. In his IT Jungle article entitled Blue Stack Deadline Looms for JD Edwards Shops, Alex Woodie outlines four options for Blue Stack users who are losing Oracle support on September 30, 2016:
- Obtain technical support for Blue Stack from IBM.
- Support the IBM Blue Stack in-house.
- Switch from IBM Blue Stack to Oracle’s Red Stack.
- Switch to third-party support, i.e., from Spinnaker Support.
- Obtain Blue Stack Technical Support from IBM
Obviously, IBM has the technical ability to support its own products, but at what price? Will IBM support your specific version of the stack? Will an expensive software migration or upgrade be required? As Mr. Woodie warns in his article, one could foresee finger-pointing between IBM and Oracle should software incompatibility issues arise.
- In-House Support
As Mr. Woodie writes, building in-house support expertise is a risky maneuver. Maintaining a staff that provides full-time operational and technical support for enterprise applications, databases, servers, and portals sounds like a great cost-saving initiative. This approach has been tried by many JDE shops over the years in an effort to escape Oracle’s 22% annual maintenance fees – with mixed results.
- Replace Blue Stack with Oracle’s Red Stack
Oracle’s Red Stack consists of Oracle Database on Linux or Windows and WebLogic Server. This option is most feasible for JDE users who wish to stay on the latest application releases (versions 9.1 or 9.2) and to remain in-line with Oracle’s roadmap direction. However, such a switch involves complex infrastructure changes, such as a major migration that may include new ERP application software licensing costs, new servers, and operating system upgrades. And, as with any major migration, one must consider cutover costs like testing, configuration, tuning, and staff re-training. As Mr. Woodie concludes, a switch from Blue Stack to Red Stack constitutes the very definition of vendor lock-in and can cost JDE users future bargaining power.
- Make the Switch to Spinnaker Support
As Mr. Woodie highlights in his article, tapping a third-party Blue Stack support vendor could prove a very attractive option for JDE EnterpriseOne customers. Saving at least half what Oracle charges for software maintenance and technical support (under no Blue Stack limitations), while receiving superior customer service, makes for a strong argument to switch.
But, which third-party support vendor comes with the highest credentials? Our Spinnaker Support team has built one of the most unique and impactful JD Edwards application services companies in history. Here’s why:
- Since inception in 2008, we have delighted hundreds of JDE shops in almost 80 countries, providing maintenance for every JD Edwards version and product – from World through EnterpriseOne. In the process, we have saved JDE shops nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in maintenance fees. We are still the fastest provider growing in our space.
- Spinnaker Support is the first and only vendor to blend third-party maintenance, managed services, and consulting. Over 40% of our substantial customer base has leveraged more than one of our service offerings.
- Spinnaker Support has built one of the deepest benches of JD Edwards expertise in the industry. This talent has been assembled with the sole mission of delivering best-in-class technical, functional, and advisory support for any organization that runs JD Edwards. Plus, that expertise considers virtually any surrounding or connecting technology like Blue Stack and iSeries. We have been servicing many customers using IBM products for years.
Over 2 decades working in IT, I have built networks, managed datacenters, and worked on every version of JD Edwards. I am proud to play a leading role at Spinnaker Support, focused on JD Edwards and surrounding technologies- the ‘E1 ecosystem’. I help our clients with day-to-day operations, strategic planning, and the consulting projects that turn those plans into reality. In all my time, we’ve never approached a customer issue by first trying to prove “it’s not our fault.” We chase the problem wherever it leads – whether it’s JDE, IBM, or something else. We take care of what you have (and are happy with). We do not dictate upgrades; it is a rewarding challenge to be able to consider all options for our clients. We work with your IT team and your other vendors to keep the system running for the business. We advise our clients everyday on their application and technology architecture roadmaps and help them advance to their desired cloud or on premise destinations.
Tip of the Day: If you’re on JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and Blue Stack, look to Spinnaker Support for support now and for years to come. Don’t get caught flat-footed.