Oracle UPK sunset – are you prepared?

Mike GrahamBlog, ProductLeave a Comment

As someone who relies on Oracle UPK (User Productivity Kit) to drive user adoption, enhance employee productivity, and improve ROI for your Oracle EBS, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and other applications, will you and your organization be ready for UPK’s end of life?

Here are 6 questions to consider before UPK support ends:

  1. Does your IT department know that continued use of UPK may present security issues?
  2. Did you know that UPK’s last major update (12.1) was in 2014 and the final service pack was in 2019?
  3. Does it make sense to use UPK on your application projects, Oracle or otherwise?
  4. Does UPK work well with non-Oracle applications, particularly cloud-based?
  5. With the uncertainty of UPK’s continuing viability, does the UPK user interface look and feel old and dated and not reflective of what you expect of today’s applications?
  6. How do you assess alternative digital adoption solutions and what do you do with your current UPK content?
a company with a phased retirement program
1. Does your IT department know that continued use of UPK may present security issues?

Oracle UPK has not indicated they will be continuing to issue technical updates for browser and Operating System updates which are required of any software to ensure security and functionality availability. This places a burden on your IT security team to validate security and upon the UPK administrator(s) to validate continued functionality. In many companies, software vendors must issue technical updates to remain current with browser and security updates and is required for continued use.

What is your company’s policy? Have you checked with IT security? How will you validate functionality and the availability of workarounds?

2. Did you know that UPK’s last major update (12.1) was in 2014 and the final service pack was in 2019?

As an extension to the first question, UPK has not seen meaningful enhancement since 2014 and since that time, things have changed in the world of digital adoption and EPSS.

  • Applications have moved to SaaS and Cloud.
  • Desktop-based applications have become challenging for IT leadership to support.
  • Learning and Development teams are stretched thin with the demands of the digital workplace.
  • New learning management technology like xAPI/TinCan has become the new standard for analyzing learning data but is not captured by UPK.
  • Tools have emerged that offer much greater ease of use as compared to the heavy skillsets needed with prior tools like UPK.
3. With the uncertainty of UPK’s continuing viability, does it make sense to use UPK on your application projects, Oracle or otherwise?

Last fall, Oracle announced extending support and enhancement of key Oracle products like Oracle EBS, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, Siebel and Hyperion through 2031 at lease. See this link: (https://www.oracle.com/support/lifetime-support/applications-unlimited.html).

Does it make sense to use UPK on releases and upgrades for these products given the uncertainty for the continued viability of UPK?

4. Does UPK work well with non-Oracle applications, particularly cloud-based?

Since UPK was developed as an on-premises and partially desktop EPSS technology, the explosion of Cloud technologies has occurred. The new concept of the Digital Workplace involves Cloud applications that enable better collaboration, project and task management, content management, sharing and communication. Major applications like Salesforce, Workday, Oracle, SAP, Infor, Dynamics and AthenaHealth are in the cloud. Newer digital adoption solution technologies were built to handle these dynamic applications, UPK was built for the time before these applications.

5. Does the UPK user interface look and feel old and dated and not reflective of what you expect of today’s applications?

The look and feel of the work you do reflects on your company and on you. The look and feel of 2020 has progressed dramatically from the look and feel of the early 2010’s. UPK’s look and feel, the application’s UI itself and the content it generates, is rooted in the late 2000’s. Even without the added complications of a product no longer developed and soon not supported, do you want an outdated look and feel to be reflective of your work and your company’s image?

6. How do you go about assessing alternative digital adoption solutions and what do you do with your current UPK content?

As you assess the options for your digital adoption strategy, have you considered what you will do with the large amount of content you generated with UPK. Is it all out of date and irrelevant or is it still useful with the applications you used it on? If your UPK content is still largely relevant, you should assess alternative solutions that can effectively import and convert that content without re-creating it. An example of our UPK conversion tool can be found here:

Other conversion considerations are:

  • Can odarc files be loaded and converted in bulk or only one at a time? A more effective approach is bulk conversion of your UPK content.
  • Does the conversion into the new solution’s output format capture the nuances of the UPK formats? Even though UPK is old, it was a powerful tool and converting it’s content requires a robust converter.
  • Will you new tool import the content at a low enough level of granularity (source vs. publish) to allow efficient editing?
  • If editing of the converted content is required, does the new solution’s editor allow this quickly and easily?

There are two different approaches to in-application digital adoption solutions – field level and process level. This buyer’s guide may be helpful to learn some of the important considerations as you seek an alternative solution. Click on the image to download the guide.

Here’s just a few UPK team members that have decided to join the Epilogue team:

  • Mark Overton – previous VP of Development for UPK
  • Tom Casillas – previous Lead for Technical Support for UPK
  • Bob O’Neill – previous VP of Operations for UPK

We truly believe Epilogue Opus is the top consideration as you transition off UPK.

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