Wednesday, 25 March 2020

How we can help you working from home

It is more important than ever, making sure that you youa re supporting your "work from home" employees.  NZ is in a 4 week lock down and I think that Australia is soon to follow.

If you are an existing ERPInsights  customer – you can use this now…  If you are not (I can assist you there too).

We are doing a super special to try and help JDE users in these uncertain times.  If you want to see your usage data, check module usage, usage by city please reach out.  The installation takes minutes (switching out a tools release), and then you will be in an immediate place to provide better insights to management and users on how the JDE base is changing.


The first page of the report is a documentation page, just showing you how to interact with the various components on the dashboard.

You can look at our demo data here, slice and dice on system code or location.

Work through the tabs.



I think I can iframe it also:


Fusion5 are trying to give JDE customers the right information and allow them to react quickly to the changing landscape around them.

Stay safe!



Thursday, 19 March 2020

UBE analysis - long term trend

Something that has given me grief for a long term is understanding the impact of a tools release, package deploy or any technical change on performance.

Another thing I've struggled with is keeping enough batch history to understand my performance trending.

Well - have I got a post for you.

We've been working hard on taking JD Edwards data offline into the cloud - and providing generic reporting over the top of this data.  We are starting with WSJ, but are going to move out to security history and perhaps work centre messages.  What we are going to be able to provide is a seamless window to that data quickly, easily and with more insights.

You'll see below how we use a secure agent to transfer JDE data to bigquery (encrypted at rest and in transit) and provide our clients with a complete reporting suite into their batch history.

So back to my first two pain points - I can keep all the history I want - because it's in the cloud.  And secondly, I have reports like below that allow me to drill down to those "all important" historical cubes to see what the performance of ANY UBE has been over time and reconcile changes quickly.

A demo video can be found here


And here are a couple of screen shots. 

This shows that I initially drilled down on system code to see all of the 31 UBEs, I then chose a single UBE and then a single version.

I wanted to look at the daily average since Nov1 - and there we have it.  A graphical summary.  You can see that performance is pretty consistent.  The below graph represents the rows processed and time taken, which have a symbiotic relationship.



 IF you want to run this as a 1 off with all your UBE history, we can arrange that very quickly.  If you'd like us to carve off your data and keep JDE quick, we can assist you with that too!


Monday, 16 March 2020

Enabling and monitoring work from home

Things are starting to get pretty real with the current COVID-19 pandemic.  I wanted to get down a couple of items that might help people run and manage their beloved JD Edwards environments.

I'm breaking this down in the following sections. 

·        Enabling and Securing JD Edwards for remote access
·        Monitoring JDE access for remote workers
·        Highlight and Identify changes in usage patterns of JD Edwards
·        Focus within on process improvement and automation opportunities

Enabling and Securing JD Edwards for remote access

Allowing your JD Edwards the flexibility to work from home might start to become more important with the changing work environment due to COVID-19.  When working from home it’s critical that JDE is easy to use and that it’s secure.   There are a couple of things that you want to get right.

First things first, edit the front page to not be picked up by google or bing crawlers...  If you don't, people like me will google E1Menu.maf – as see your login page.  There is good content available on how to stop web crawlers and we can certainly assist you too!

This could be more secure.  It’s generally best to put a strong authentication challenge out the front of JD Edwards to prevent WebLogic vulnerabilities being publicly available.

A couple of nice options (depending on your architecture) is to use a web proxy, you can employ Azure (without being hosted there) or AWS (while being hosted there) constructs to protect your internal websites.

These are cloud options for forcing a credential check (based upon your LDAP) before getting the JD Edwards login page.  Basically it's a challenge before you even get access to the internal JD Edwards ports.  I think that this is a good idea unless you are super confident in your security practices.

We like the Azure option, it's really easy to get going with your Azure tenancy (generally O365 will allow it) and you can do an MFA challenge if you want to.

Figure 1:  What an implementation of the Azure app proxy could look like with JDE.

Note that JDE shortcuts are probably not going to work, as they are defined to use the "known" URL, and you'll be using some sort of "proxy" url.  Again, you can fix this with a slightly more complicated implementation of the same.

Fusion5 would be more than happy to assist you getting this up and running from your “work from home” employees.

Monitoring JDE access for remote workers

Once you have users coming in from the internet, you might want to start making sure your workforce is being productive.  Working from home can have technical and other challenges – it’s critical to ensure that you users are not being frustrated or impended by this change.  Fusion5 recommend using ERP Insights to ensure that you know exactly what is being access and by whom.

Figure 2:  Our simple to use dashboards show you what is being used and from where.  You can drill down to individual users, programs or countries.
You can instantly see what programs are being used and from where.  All of the dashboards are interactive, so you can check on any country and system code that you want. 

Figure 3:  Drilling down on Procurement only
Above I’m just looking at procurement access in the last month, but I can choose the date range.

We have reports that also focus on your users and ensure they are able to access the correct applications:

Figure 4:  We can now see week on week individual productivity figures on users
You have the same level of monitoring for your users, selecting a particular user will show their accesses in the current period and also the change that has occurred to the previous period.  This is great information to let you know whether your users are finding it easy and quick when getting back to JD Edwards.

See a 3-minute video here:  showing you what you can do.



Highlight and Identify changes in usage patterns of JD Edwards

Fusion5 can trigger alerts based upon system usage.  If you generally have P42101 – Sales Order Entry opened 1000 times a day, we can send you an alert when this has not occurred.  This type of information is beneficial to ensure that the technology is doing what it is supposed to do. 

Using any of the metrics that you’ve seen in the section above (even batch metrics), fusion5 can evaluate the JDE usage data and warn you if there has been a significant change in behaviour that you want to know about, things like:

  • Number of JD Edwards users below a threshold
  • Number of sales orders processed by R42565 (Invoice print) have fallen below a certain threshold
  • Hours of engagement for JD Edwards has dropped for the United States user base


All of the above can be monitored and alerts sent if there have been breaches of threshold.

Focus withing on process improvement and automation opportunities

Quite often a challenging environment does bring out the best innovation ideas.  It’s important to continue to focus on business improvements if things are getting quiet.  Fusion5 encourages our clients to look at their JD Edwards usage from a different perspective and start to make process improvement changes, for example:
  • Look at the most commonly used applications and use form extensions and form personalisation to drive better performance and better usability.  You’ll be able to measure the improvements with our dashboards.
  • Examine the applications that users are spending most of their time on – per system code.  Once again you are able to use the latest tools releases to make improvements to the user environments without accruing technical debt.  You will do more with less.
  • Deep dive on each of the heavily used applications and see if
    • An orchestration could improve efficiencies
    • An integration would allow for faster data entry and more accurate data transfer
    • An excel Marco could punch data into JD Edwards immediately without errors
    • Run batch jobs automatically with orchestrations


There are so many options to make processes more simple and measure the improvements when using ERP Analytics.
Ask us how we can enable some of these efficiency gains in your organisation.

Friday, 13 March 2020

Corona Inspired Post - making JDE available remotely

I've been really quiet lately, not on purpose - things have been busy at work.  

This is a quick post on making JD Edwards available on the internet - securely!

First things first edit the front page to not be picked up by google crawlers...  If you don't, people like me will google e1menu.maf and find results like this:

xxxx - I don't want to list them out

and more and more...

you gotta follow this:  https://support.google.com/news/publisher-center/answer/9605477?hl=en to stop google and a few others.

But, this is not really really secure.  I must admit I have a couple of tricks that would have me logging into most publicly available JD Edwards instances pretty quick (most).

okay, so my advice to you is - do NOT do this.  You need to do more.

A couple of nice options (depending on your architecture) are:



or



These are a couple of cloud options for forcing a credential check (based upon your LDAP) before getting the JD Edwards login page.  Basically it's a challenge before you even get access to the internal JD Edwards ports.  I think that this is a good idea unless you are super confident in your security practices.

I like the Azure one, it's really easy to get going with your Azure tenancy (generally O365 will allow it) and you can do an MFA challenge if you want to.

This allows you to quickly and easily publish a URL to your staff for remote JD Edwards access - they'll do a couple of logins - but they'll be in!  And you'll feel more secure for it.

Note that shortcuts are not going to work, as they are defined to use the "known" URL, and you'll be using some sort of "proxy" url.  Again, you can fix this with a more complicated implementation of the same.

If you are on AWS, then there is no denying that the WAP-ADFS is teh way forward for you.  This will integrate directly with your ELB's and you can have it up and running in no time (well, in no time if you have a DC or access to your directory in your AWS tenancy).

Also remember that fusion5 have a product that allows you SSO capabilities using Azure Directory services.  The cool thing here is that you can define the security challenge based upon the device, network, user and more.  This allows you to force MFA when logging into JDE over the internet.  Therefore if you do your homework on stopping the crawlers and you have an MFA challenge - you are in a pretty good place if you patch weblogic and JDE.

Stay safe during these challenging times with respect to COVID-19.  Encourage flexibility in work conditions.  If you need to manage and monitor JD Edwards usage - we can certainly help out there too.  https://www.fusion5.com.au/solutions/enterprise-resource-planning/jd-edwards/erp-analytics/





Monday, 10 February 2020

Pristine analysis updated to include update 4 and all Jan's updates

More changes and fresher data.

Update 4 and all of Jan's ESUs are now included in the dashboards.


As promised the dashboard is getting better, now you can see there is a 3rd and 4th page (3 is the best one I think) that allows you to see (in a timeline) the checking activity from oracle.  Basically this is graphing the date time stamps of the last touch of an object as it's nicely packed into an ESU!

For the nerds, the date is actually UPMJ from F9861.  This is a date that does not change on delivery of the object from Oracle.

Imagine if you could look at this data, see all your objects that are actually used (both batch and interactive) and therefore know the impact of being code current - easy, that is what ERP Insights can do for you!

We know all of the apps and reports you run (let's be honest, DSTR, TBLE, BSVW & BSFN changes are easy to manage).  You can then look down the list of objects that have changed since the last time you took patches - you can see how many you are using and very quickly understand the impact of being code current.

A new dashboard just for date:


IF you are an ERP Insights customer, then we can add additional columns for "how many times run in the last month for UBE's and applications). 

My next level blogging (tongue in cheek) has embedded an iframe.


Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Pristine object dashboard - bigquery, datastudio and JDE


I want to make keeping code current easier.  You’ve seen lots of posts of complicated scripts which can compare your code (onsite JDE) with the latest patched JDE.  This is a cool window into how far from code current you are and allows you to be more focussed at upgrade time.

To try and assist with this, I’ve created a public dashboard for you to use and abuse to find out what has changed with JDE and when.


Fusion5 are keeping an up to date pristine, so I’m sharing what this looks like to you – therefore telling you how to quickly find out what is changing and when.

I hope to improve these reports as I continue to develop the solution.

Here is a quick video showing you how to use it




Let me know how you go using it and if you'd like any additional features.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Modernizing the shop floor - AI + camera = actionable insights

I was told a fact that the average piece of equipment on the shop floor in Australia is 21 years old, wow – they just don't make them like they used to.  I tried to back this up with some quotes (https://www.hpe.com/us/en/insights/articles/4-ways-to-bring-legacy-manufacturing-equipment-into-the-iot-age-1903.html) says 20-25, that'll do.

So how can a traditional manufacturing organisation adopt some modern processing capabilities that are being facilitated by modern cloud compute and of course IoT?  The shop floor needs processes to tell you when something is wrong, or validate that an even has occurred without expensive retrofitting of custom hardware?  I think it's very possible - to the point of being simple.  For the purposes of this blog entry, I'm going to specifically talk about image processing to facilitate shop floor productivity.

We've been working on some pretty cool technology in the background.  As a group at ww.fusion5.com.au we have been focused on keeping up to date on the latest cloud algorithms that we can call to create value.   One that I really like is all of the AI processing that you can call on your images (in bulk)

Here is a sample image - let's use the cloud to extract some value from it...  I appreciate that this is not the shop floor, but I'm getting there...  And I love to explain things with images of beer!


Nice, this is a beer list from a great pub that I like to visit.  If I wanted to index the contents so that it was searchable, I need to employ some OCR to rip the text out, I have a demo here:


You should be able to login and use it.

Look what it extracts - amazing!

[ "carringbush hotel victoria pale ale 4.2% 4,6% 3.5% temp bad shepher sold out! thund road sorry.. * drayght bodriggy * speccy juice * krush pale * summer ale *mornington \"twc bir stc gr. 4.7% * kaiju! tropical 'ko 4.7% mt.goat solts out \"r session ipa 5.5% kaiju! signal sun s fixation ipa * xxxx gold 6.4% of 3.5% *coldstream sold pple cider 5% 45% american pale aleale 5.7% billy the mid & raspberry 3.57 grapefruit 150ml 7/\" out \"mt.goat * steam ale sorry! carringbush hotel pe closed on xmas boxing day, new *monteiths r's eve and new year's day. will be open all mt.goat infysed days from 12pm until late. ballast sculpin point ipa * feral biggie juice neipa 6% matso's hard lemon lemonade alcoholic 4,5%" ]

Let's look at what else can be done.



This is a great example of some serialized boxes from my medicine cabinet, probably expired.  But it had me thinking about how this technology really can make things easier.  People could take a picture of their medicine cabinet and this could tell you what is expired or quickly what they do!

[
"prescription on keep out of read 30 tab solone prednisolone each table prednisolo inova l10,12 helpo nsw 2067 code no gujdrugs- la064303 190311b 2022.02 lot 6104550 gtinc01) : 18901079058253 b (10):gvh017006 exp(17):06/2020 sr no (21) : tbukns31589w your assurance of quality healthcare. this product has been developed and manufactured to the highest standards. johnson & johnson pacific australia · new zealand 45 jones street, ultimo nsw 2007, australia and auckland, new zealand for more information call toll free: 1800 029 979 australia, 0800 446 147 new zealand or visit www.codral.com.au or www.codral.co.nz made in australia from imported and local components. 9 300607 1805 10\" batch no: 2 8 7963 11/21 expiry: 60027607 lot 01-2020 exp 2402000706 5152506623 astrazeneca py77012 may2020"
]

As you can see from the above, you get the serials and everything from the labels.  You can easily turn this into indexed data and search on it, as well as audit-able data.



Imagine that you have a camera mounted on a production line and this camera is going to take a video feed of everything in it'd field of vision.

Then, when the data changes, it is going to call a webhook.  Simple…  Right? 

The power of this very simple process is amazing.

We could have a basic web camera on the shop floor that can then ANY analogue  information (a dial or a readout) to a digital signal.  This information is then ready for your data lake or your big data locations for storage.  This data is going to provide you with a wealth of information on the shop floor process.  For example, just say you were a food exporter and you needed to ensure that all of your labels had been printed properly – or you are going to lose your export licence?  This simple solution could do this, very simply.

Running an AI fuelled OCR process on the label above gives the following output:

[
"any meat works co long flat road anytown nsw boneless beef la(*l)+ product of australia *ygs* striploin znuy701 over 4.5kg iw/vac 32307 keep chilled o°c (01) 9 9316710123453 (3101) 000262 (13) 150310 (21)41457354 品質保持期限090613 s/o: 3345rt5 austral 9999 nspecte pkd on 10-mar-2015 17:26 best before 22-may-2015 26.2kg net weight carton id 41457354 est. no.9999"
]

Great, that was simple.  I got my development team to then create a bit of an interface to enable me (or anyone) to extract the relevant data from what OCR wants, of course I call back on a regex:

.*\ss\/o:\s(?<serial>\S+)\s.*pkd\son\s(?<packedDate>\d{1,2}-\S{3}-\d{4}).*\s(?<weight>\d+\.\d+)kg.*

This has been defined to take any picture, AI tears that down, and then the regex is applied to extract 3 named groups of data:

Named Groups
{
"serial": "3345rt5",
"packedDate": "10-mar-2015",
"weight": "26.2"
}

Awesome, so we have 3 named groups identified and extracted.  We now also have an interface to program our orchestration end point:


Okay, so you do not have my entire basic Auth string, but you can see what is being done.

From my named extraction groups, I can place those variables in the orchestration call in JD Edwards (of course this could be any web hook).

And with this simple piece of code, I'm able to complete finished goods in JD Edwards from the installation of a web camera and some smart code behind it.

Imagine reading gauges, temperatures, movement of devices etc – all could be done with the same simple steps.

Plugging the power of the cloud (into the edge if you must) and then helping this data with forecasting and shop floor efficiency.

This is completely generic too, applying this to stock takes very simply.  Using the power of AI to do the counting for you!

I take this to the next level with another example: box counting
produces
[ "aperf free free shipping free free free shipping free shipping shipping free free free shipping free free shipping shipping shipping shipping free free shipping free shipping free shipping free free shipping shipping shipping free stipping free free free shipping free free free shipping erf ship shipping shipping shipping free free lee shipping ping free free shipping shipping shipping drf" ]


With a quick bit of excel, I find that there is 28 instances of the word free...  So I can assume that there is about 28 boxes.  This is a trivial example.  But imagine a single high quality image of a warehouse shelf, if it was properly faced - the ability to stocktake with a single image could be amazing.

You can see that we have stood up the ability to extract ANY data from an image (I've shown some simple examples, but we can train specific models to look for quality issues or interpret images as you need) and record that data immediately into JD Edwards.  ALL you need is the camera (we partner with meraki if you need some help) and we can do all the rest...  Extract the data from the image and get that into JD Edwards (or any system).

At fusion5 we have our #fastfive innovation offering where we come to you and assist you uncover innovation opportunities rapidly.  We run some workshops and then can put together some very impressive POC's with small amounts of money!