Posted by Muneeswara C Pandian
September 17th, 2008

Product Upgrades are situations where we are moving from one version of the product to the latest version of the same product. Upgrades happen

  • to ensure support from the product vendor
  • to leverage new features provided by the latest version in terms of performance and user experience
  • as some other new product which is being added to the architecture doesn’t talk to the existing versions

Product Migrations are situations where we are moving from a platform of one vendor to another vendor’s platform. Migrations happen

  • as ‘BI Standardization’ initiatives drive organizations to move towards a common platform to operate BI systems at a lower cost and provide uniform user experience
  • because of bad experience with the current product not meeting the business needs in terms of performance or usability or product support or license cost
  • to be triggered also because of the recent mergers and acquisitions which lead organizations to think of a ‘safer’ platform

Upgrade a Challenge? With newer versions of every major product especially the ones like Business Objects, Cognos under go such a rapid change that the newer versions of the same product comes out on a different architecture with entirely new set of components, no longer upgrades are upgrades they have become effort intensive product migrations almost similar to moving from one BI product vendor to the another BI vendor.

Let us call either upgrade or migration as ‘Upgrade’ as any such initiative is for better upgraded experience of the business and the IT.

Can we do this upgrade next year? , a common dialogue when an IT team requests for a Business Intelligence Product Upgrade. Upgrade is one of the key items that would definitely come up for discussions during BI budget allocation in every organization. Fears among the business subsist that Upgrade projects would involve many of their hours without much benefit to them. For the IT Upgrade is a bigger challenge due to the unpredictability involved in the problems they would face during the course of the project and ensuring minimal disturbance to the business team. Hence the BI initiatives related to Product Upgrade get through multiple scrutinies before budget approval. Such projects are seen as an IT initiative and clear definition of business benefits becomes difficult to build.

Let me know your thoughts…

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