Planning Your Next Enterprise Software Upgrade

When you start planning an upgrade for one of your enterprise software applications, such as Perceptive Content (ImageNow), Kofax TotalAgility, or OnBase, even the smallest changes can have huge impacts. That’s why it’s important to bring together the right people, including IT, business owners, and end users, to effectively prepare for all possible changes.

Based on extensive experience with these applications, RPI Senior Consultant Chris Tan and Project Coordinator Sean LaBonte will share recommendations and best practices for planning and executing your next enterprise software upgrade.

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Transcript

Chris Tan:
Welcome to webinar Wednesday, a new webinar series hosted every first Wednesday of the month. Before we begin a few housekeeping items. The webinar will be recorded and shared on our blog and our YouTube channel in a few days. For those of you dialing in today the slide deck will be shared via email immediately following the webinar. We also have a moderator standing by to take your questions so please feel free to submit those via the go to webinar interface. If you have any ideas for additional webinar topics or something you would like to see presented please let us know.

This is the last webinar for today. On June 6th we will review our RPI Lawson COM object integration, AP agility for Kofax KTA and the OnBase Approval Manager. Please visit www.rpic.com/webinars to register online.

My name is Chris Tan and I’m a Senior Consultant here at RPI with six plus years of experience delivering ECM solutions primarily focused in the healthcare space. I reside here in Kansas City and I am a husband and a father of two.

Sean LaBonte:
My name is Sean LaBonte. I’m a Project Coordinator with RPI. I have managed multiple client projects including upgrades, heath checks and new solution designs. While I don’t happen to be a husband or a father of two I do happen to be the Kansas City’s most eligible bachelor.

Today’s agenda we’re gonna cover a little bit about us, RPI and how we go through upgrades and which upgrades we have gone through. Why some businesses do upgrade, planning and upgrade project from a project management standpoint and Chris will kind of go over upgrade and delivery and cutover. At the end we’ll have a Q and A segment as well

Chris Tan:
RPI consultants is a comprehensive professional services organization with over 18 years of experience designing, implementing and supporting ERP, ECM and data capture solutions.

We have roughly 80 full-time employees based out of our office locations in Tampa, Baltimore and Kansas City. We offer many different services and specialize in product partnerships with companies like Hyland, Kofax and Infor.

In terms of RPI and upgrades we have performed over 36 upgrades this past year. Upgrades can be done on your own, but we are typically engaged to advise due to our often repeated experience with these types of projects. Upgrades can be big or small, largely dependent on the scope or timeline. Our services include offering ad hoc support and advice for internal staff, upgrade training and most common facilitating the entire upgrade project.

Now we will discuss various reasons to upgrade your environment. There are a lot of reasons to upgrade an enterprise solution including the opportunity to take advantage of any features and functionality.

Software end of life is probably the most common reason to upgrade. Customers wanna stay supportable with the software vendor. New features and functionality are also a major reason to upgrade. This includes end user features, new clients and platform updates. Fixing bugs and ending user frustration is also a common reason to upgrade. Finally, software compatibility with third party applications as well as staying on the cutting edge are also reasons for an upgrade.

In terms of types of upgrades vendors often make the distinction between a patch low effort minimal changes and an upgrade, high effort, significant changes. This distinction doesn’t always make sense as some of the patches take just as much work and testing. An in place upgrade is upgraded in the application on an existing hardware in your environment. A hard cutover is creating a net new environment and transitioning your database and documents to this upgraded environment. Lastly, a phase rollout option is supported in software such as OnBase where not all clients and components have to be on the new version.

Sean LaBonte:
Okay. Now that we’ve discussed why to upgrade let’s go over the next steps where we can take a high level look at some of the keystones of planning for a successful upgrade. You always wanna start out with building your foundation. Either give yourself a clear vision behind your efforts by defining your purpose of objective statement. This is going to give you your requirements and to find the why for your end users. This is gonna start leading you into developing a high level project plan where you wanna start building out some of your phases for example. Right now, you’re in planning. You’ll move to a test server, UAT, Go-Live. Just some very high level overview there.