We are in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution. Under the umbrella of the Internet of things, more and more devices and machines are becoming connected to one another through the Internet. From an industrial perspective, this leads to huge opportunities for creating a more intelligent and efficient supply chain. What role does JD Edwards play in this development at present, and how will it do so in future?
Following mechanisation, mass production and the digital revolution, we are now in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution. Its focal point is the Internet of things (IoT). Intelligent machines and advanced analysis techniques are being combined in order to optimise the entire production and supply chain. The link to BI platforms makes it possible to respond much more rapidly to market developments and even to implement measures based on predictions. With all business units being able to semi-automatically or automatically respond to one another and to external data, the chains are becoming intelligent and more efficient. One day, they will be able to organise themselves entirely. In addition, more insight is being provided into the various operations throughout the chain, thereby enabling processes to be addressed and rectified before any problems arise. This is the theory. Oracle is putting it into practice through JD Edwards. Pilot projects are being conducted with partners as they make their transition to this new industrial reality.
The JD Edwards Application Integration Server and the IOT Orchestrator enable all manner of IoT devices to be directly connected to JD Edwards. As well as substantially reducing the amount of manual work involved, this cuts down on the margins of error and increases efficiency. Today, many devices are fitted with sensors that record anything from temperature to speed to location. This would, for instance, enable the mileage of a delivery van to be charged directly to a customer. Sensors send this information to JD Edwards without human intervention. The data can be sent periodically or when a certain threshold is reached. By way of example, a machine could automatically issue a service order for preventative maintenance once it has been in service for more than 100 hours. In the same vein, shelves in stores or storage spaces could indicate when new goods need to be ordered. The system would then automatically send the order for the products.
The open JD Edwards system makes it possible to respond much more quickly to market developments and implement the solutions mentioned above. The waterfall model is traditionally employed in industry. A step-by-step plan is used to define requirements, develop products, test them out and put them into production. In today’s world, flexibility is essential. Companies have to be able to think outside the box and react accordingly. The open structure of JD Edwards facilitates this. The use of agile development enables IoT solutions to be implemented in production much quicker than ever before.
For most companies, a world dominated by IIoT (industrial Internet of things) is still some way off – even if it is on their radar. However, the JD Edwards IoT Orchestrator proves that it is possible to harness the benefits of IIoT right now. Furthermore, the Oracle JD Edwards Application Integration Server has an open structure (see figure 1), enabling it to be integrated with IoT and mobile devices quickly and conveniently both now and in the future. A great practical example is provided by AACo, the largest beef cattle production company in Australia. The company uses these applications for asset management purposes, namely by monitoring cows and water pumps so that decisions can be made in real time. Thanks to JD Edwards and devices such as smartwatches, employees can see where the cattle are, for instance, or view the status of the water pumps. This provides the company with much more control over its assets. Another benefit is that AACo is no longer a group of disparate enterprises – all elements are fully integrated into the whole.
In partner discussions with customers, it appears as though many companies are already expressing an interest in solutions such as these. The pioneers are now placing their trust in IoT. It is expected that many more companies will embrace IoT over the next couple of years. Estimates state that more than 50 billion devices, machines and objects will be connected to one another by 2020. JD Edwards is ready for this future, both through its own applications and as a platform for applications and third-party technologies.
Jack van den Brink MSc is Partner & Chief Innovation Officer at Quistor Digital. Jack has been working in the IT industry since 1986.
Quistor is Europe's largest Oracle Platinum partner specialized in JD Edwards ERP software, Oracle Business Intelligence, Oracle Technology and 3rd party JD Edwards add-on products. Expert knowledge and reliable delivery performance are a solid foundation for the continuous growth and success of Quistor.