Recently I had a client decide to implement a major architecture change to their production environment. Of course, this change was going to be made to their production environment, during financial close, and on a weekend. As managers of EPM Systems surely know, there is no ‘good time’ to push major system changes. In this case, the change was moving all the EPM components to a new database (DB) server.
A quick look around the software industry today will show even the most casual observer of trends that things have changed, and changed quickly. Not so long ago most software projects were complex entities that required the involvement of both the business and IT resources. Many large implementations were driven by IT as most projects required large hardware and software investments. There was a requirement for significant IT investments, in both time and resources, to get the systems installed, tuned, and to keep them running and functioning. The move to Software-as-a-Service has allowed many departments to deploy software in a much quicker, and less IT driven process. So from a business perspective, the good news is that IT is gone, right? You no longer have a need to open tickets, wait on the server guy, or even worry about what the hardware is doing…or do you?
Regular readers of my blog posts will know that I like to spend a fair amount of space talking about the ‘how’s’ of owning and managing an EPM system. In all honesty, anyone can purchase a software solution, and many companies do, but the real test comes during implementation and support. Over my many years of consulting I’ve noticed that clients who enter the implementation stage with a support and maintenance plan already in mind tend to be more successful. The same success also follows clients who start a project with some sort of future product lifecycle in mind. But what happens when your company hasn’t had the luxury of time to be proactive, or if you have inherited a system that is out of date through an acquisition, or being used for cross-purposes? Now is the time to have an open conversation around these intricacies. The following article, and a Q&A panel I am hosting next week hope to answer some of those questions. So here are some opening thoughts to get the dialogue rolling:
In the previous part of this blog series we shared three little known points around Exalytics. These discoveries were learned while implementing some of the largest North American deployments of Exalytics. These blogs are meant to be the precursor for a webinar around the entire topic of Exalytics. You can find the first blog here, the following four points are the second part of our open discussion.
In a few weeks time I’ll be delivering a webinar about Oracle Exalytics. The goal of the webinar won’t be to encourage you to run out and buy an Exalytics server, but rather to educate the public on the pros and cons of Exalytics. As the EPM Infrastructure Practice Manager at CheckPoint, I and my team have been engaged with two of the largest ongoing Exalytics implementations in North America. We have a number of lessons learned about Exalytics and its surrounding technologies, such as ZFS and Exadata.
In the first part of this blog I discussed the dilemma facing decision makers as they look to the future of EPM within their environments. I discussed the myriad of choices the modern CIO faces with ‘how’ and ‘where’ to deploy a Hyperion EPM solution. I covered the ideas of TPS (Time, Place, Source) and gave same insight into the value of delivering more within each of those categories than has been traditional. Today I’m here to talk about how we go about achieving that.
The title above may have you wondering what business software and jungles can possible have in common. In a strict sense, the answer is very little, but a close look at the ever-shifting IT landscape and the analogy pretty well explains itself. I’ve been working with IT infrastructure, and in particular ‘Hyperion’ infrastructure, for the past 20 years. In all of that time, I really cannot think of the IT world being less settled than it is today. We’ve had changes in the Hyperion world over the years. We’ve moved beyond simple consolidation software (those Enterprise days) to analytics (Essbase and Arbor) to multi-server and Java based technology (I’m looking at you Hyperion System 9) and then into virtualization and hosting. But all of those states of sea-change were gradual, and in many respects the EPM world was behind-the-times. What we are seeing now is a game of catch-up in EPM world, and in all of the business facing systems that feed EPM or that EPM feeds.
I look back at the calendar, I almost can not believe the year is closing. It’s true that time flies when you’re having fun. This week marks my seventh anniversary with CheckPoint Consulting and it has been an immeasurably rewarding experience in too many ways to count. Since 2008 I’ve had the pleasure of working with a phenomenal team of colleagues and friends, working in exciting and challenging client environments and experiencing the cutting edge of technology. Since joining Checkpoint I have been a part of over 20 projects that included upgrading.
Managed Services is an IT term that crops up more and more often these days. In a lot of cases, this is a term that is contrasted with the more generic term Support.
These days everyone is talking about ‘cloud’. It’s the hot buzzword in IT. Everyone is interested in going there, is already there or is never planning on attending that party. While it is an exciting time, it is also a time with a lot of confusion over terminology in the market. This seems like a good opportunity to talk about what cloud, SaaS, hosting and all of the various names and terminology mean. We’ll start with the basics and work our way forward from there.