All the talk at Oracle OpenWorld last week (#oow14) had been around cloud computing, and yet so many information technology (IT) departments have existing systems that continue to support their organizations. Smiths Medical is a @Capgemini client and presented their Oracle eBusiness suite upgrade. The challenge that most businesses face is how best to leverage your IT in support of the organization’s goals. Our client was face with several key issues, and the latest release of Oracle’s eBusiness contains numerous improvements.
Timing is key to a successful project
The issues facing Smiths Medical IT were an aging hardware platform; out-of-support software; and a short time frame to complete this upgrade. Once you decide to embark on such a program it was clear that the main point in this presentation were: Governance and Business Engagement
Why was this key?
IT touches all parts of their global business. So it was critical to include the business in all decisions around ‘customizations’ and possible business process changes.
There needs to be a strong ‘governance’ to manage all changes from the business. Let’s face it without this structure this program would have failed.
The business was involved in all User Acceptance Testing (UAT). This included over 400 participants.
You have to be organized to pull off this project
Completing this project in 10 months was a success especially when you consider that the upgrade was deployed to over 26 countries and in 14 languages with multiple vendors (including Hardware, Hosting and 3rd party software to reconcile custom objects). The presentation discussed the project timeline and the various aspects of coordination through the project. Our firm plays an integral throughout this story. We provide subject matter ability as well as support through the project.
Always test and test some more
One thing that I took away from the presentation was the amount of testing throughout the project. In the latest release of eBusiness suite there are a few enhancements in the Finance area. Also there was the opportunity to remove custom code. In addition to this Smiths Medical must conform to FDA regulations. So there was a significant amount of ‘validation testing.’
This was a great success as a project for @Capgemini. The true measure of IT project’s such as this upgrade are their impact to the business. Smiths Medical will now be in a place to add new functionality to help the business become more efficient in their operations. Considering that the project took less than one year is a testament to the overall partnership between our companies.
Today we are going through ‘post go-live’ support, and soon we will be planning for the next project and another opportunity to help grow this business via IT. In my last blog post I wrote about how to companies can move to the cloud. As the enterprise software vendors move more of their applications to the cloud I will be curious to experience how this could impact upgrade such as the one present at Oracle OpenWorld.
The challenge ahead for Systems Integrators (SI) like Capgemini is to leverage technology in accelerating business transformation via IT.