The Cloud’s Hidden Costs

Companies that move ERP applications to the cloud often incur costs they didn’t expect and these extra costs may add up to more than what companies get back in benefits. cloud with dollar sign By now everyone has heard about the perceived benefits of moving applications to the cloud. Those include upfront capital cost savings for hardware and software licensing as well as for maintaining physical space, including floor space, air conditioning, electrical power, and so on. Furthermore, cloud-based applications can always run on up-to-date technology without the costs or management distraction of making sure upgrades happen on time and on-budget. All that said, however, a cloud migration may still actually cost your organization much more than if applications run onsite, especially ERP applications. Here’s why: Upfront cloud migration costs are high and return on investment will take years to recover. If you are already running ERP applications, or you have other applications that are not “cloud enabled,” then you have already paid those upfront capital costs — and very likely those costs are fully depreciated. In that case the smart financial move is to get the ...

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7 Key Things to Look for in a PeopleSoft Upgrade Specialist

PeopleSoft is decommissioning support for version 9.0 in 2015. This means that now is the ideal time to upgrade to version 9.2. Getting started on your upgrade now will ensure continued support on your older version until the migration is complete. Let’s face it, you will be engaged with your PeopleSoft upgrade for 6-to-12-months. Finding the right partner to help with upgrade tasks is crucial, and though many vendors look great on paper, they sometimes fail to live up to client expectations. Here are seven things to consider when you look for a PeopleSoft upgrade specialist:
  1. Does the vendor mask subcontractors as its own permanent employees?

Some IT vendors have big names but no actual, in-house experience with PeopleSoft upgrades. More and more IT vendors are asking independent subcontractors to complete W-2 forms so they can pass the subcontractors off as full-time employees. Look for a PeopleSoft upgrade specialist that will deliver with permanent full-time employees who truly stand behind their work.
  1. Is the vendor filling you with unnecessary fear, uncertainty and doubt?

IT vendors create a lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt – what we call the FUD ...

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Infrastructure Capacity Planning

Capacity Planning

Capacity planning refers to identifying the changes needed to be made to the environment to maintain this predefined user experience over the lifecycle of the application. In its simplest terms, the changes can refer to adding any combination of additional CPU, Memory, Storage or Network capabilities along with suitable configuration changes to the hardware configuration as and when identified to be required. Capacity planning consists of anticipating demand ahead of time and recommending suitable changes to the environment in advance of actual needs. Since DSI has long and in-depth experience with various application technologies and hardware platforms including Unix/Linux, we can provide optimal capacity planning and expert advice on sizing in view of anticipated growth. DSI consults with key power users and management, and we also review statistics from various subsystems such as the operating system, storage and network over a period of time.Our consultants have the knowledge and wherewithal to interpret the numbers and establish thresholds and to extrapolate the stats for future growth

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ARE BABY BOOMERS A RISK TO ERP SYSTEMS?

Posted by: Cara Cullen Over 4 million baby boomers will turn 50 in 2015. Every day for the next 17 years, 10,000 baby boomers will reach age 65. How will baby boomers reaching retirement age affect your business? Especially in the database management and ERP system world, there can be problems when key employees retire. Here are 5 issues that are exacerbated by experienced baby boomers reaching retirement age:
  1. Relying on your in-house knowledge repository. Who are the "go-to” experts in your company? When they leave the company, will all of their knowledge go with them?
  2. Doing a manual task because you don't know how to do it through the system. Often, it takes too long to figure out how to adopt new efficiencies via functionality through the system. Usually, because it is not up-to-date with the latest release or maintained properly. If ample support is not in place, it is likely that users will revert back to manual processes which decreases ROI.
  3. No procedure manuals. No one reads the manual until the one with the knowledge leaves! Companies that DO document business processes tend to do it when the ERP system is adopted. Years later those manuals are ...

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THE TROUBLE WITH OUTSOURCING IT

Posted by: Cara Cullen lightbulb-iconMany IT Directors or Managers believe "outsourcing” to be a dirty word.It means that you are replacing employees with an outside agency, that you lose control of your server, your host and essentially no longer have an internal IT department. At Dimension Systems, Inc. these concerns could not be further from the truth. In fact, we don't even use the word "outsourcing” – our clients recognize it as "insourcing”. From a recent article in TechRepublic, here are the top concerns regarding "outsourcing” IT, and why these are not a factor for DSI clients: Real Cost: When you schedule an appointment with your IT company, you're going to be charged for travel time both ways, not to mention the learning curve involved while your outsourced engineer learns on the job. In fact, over 99% of DSI client issues are handled remotely. On rare occasions, one of our staff would be on site for a planned upgrade which is usually scheduled in advance. Time Factors/Priority: When you have an emergency, you will have to wait until your IT partner is able to get someone there. Where do ...

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IT OUTSOURCING PROVIDERS…

"WHERE'S THE VALUE?"

Posted by: Cara Cullen icon_help_largeI recently read an article in CIO Magazine titled "3 Ways toOvercome IT Outsourcing People Problems” by Stephanie Overby which begins by asking the question "Do your IT outsourcing services deals fail to deliver more than the basics?” Having been in the IT outsourcing business for the past 25 years, I understand that for organizations with revenues under $2B, outsourcing baseline services does not provide as much value as when focusing on complex ERP applications such as PeopleSoft, Lawson Software or SAP, or database and infrastructure support. Frankly, most companies under $2B do not encounter the level of complexity that is seen in larger organizations using more of the features delivered by the software. However, this results in an intersting dilemma. Is your company taking full advantage of the delivered software? Early on in new client engagements, we often encounter situations where end user issues can be resolved by expanding application usage to automate some of the daily tasks. On new client engagements, one of the first things we ask end users is "what are some of the most time ...

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GOING LIVE… AN UPGRADE FROM EPM 9.0 TO 9.1

Posted by: Babu Nadagouda upgradeDimension Systems recently completed an upgrade to the Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) system at a major university. As a project manager, many of the technical aspects of the project were similar to things I have encountered in the past; however, there were some challenges that were unique to this project. Steps like performance tuning for the data conversion were similar to past projects. The size of the organization and the nature of the organization’s EPM added complexity to the project. Also, getting the "owners” of various source modules to feeding into the EPM database to collaborate was challenging. "Owners” were reluctant to commit time and resources for integration as well as unit, system, and load testing. We managed to get through these potential "mine fields” by diligently following the project plan and having the attitude that "the customer is always right”. In addition, the implementation team met with surprising "push back” when we suggested new ways to enhance the overall performance of the database. To my surprise, the "go live” took longer than what we experienced during our test moves, even though we had presented ...

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SOME DAYS IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS

oracle-peoplesoft-homeMy colleagues and I provide PeopleSoft technical support to several business areas. In addition to project support, I look forward to answering emails and caller inquiries. I rely on my technical experience and listening skills to decipher and solve business problems. I try to confirm the underlying issue quickly and keep my communication in the user’s terms. It’s motivating to help managers, DBAs, and users alike—remotely assisting from our support center in Walled Lake, Mi.  Here are some recent samples of how I help each day beyond my ongoing duties.  "Rather than asking IT to write a custom program to load a job row, I thought I’d give the mass update a try. Can we take a look at the mass update process?" We’ve created mass update processes for several clients. This one required knowing when a rule gets triggered. I suggested that we review the high level steps and I would verify when PeopleCode processing, audit record management, and the HCM Benefit Administration updates are triggered. I gathered my thoughts on working with JOB data and mass updates and we began. I ...

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USING BETWEEN CLAUSE TO COMPARE IN ORACLE

USING BETWEEN CLAUSE TO COMPARE ALPHANUMERIC VALUES IN ORACLE

Posted by: Regina Guminik, We use between clause in a SQL statement to see if a value falls within a range. This works fine for numbers, and characters. But, if you have both numbers, and characters in a string then you will see unexpected results. Let us say we have a table with ranges. A1 to A99 is range1. A100 to A199 is range 2, and A200 to A299 is range 3. CREATE TABLE RANGES (FROM_VALUE VARCHAR2(10), TO_VALUE VARCHAR2(10), RANGE NUMBER(1)); INSERT INTO RANGES VALUES (‘A1′, ‘A99′, 1); INSERT INTO RANGES VALUES (‘A100′, ‘A199′, 2); INSERT INTO RANGES VALUES (‘A200′, ‘A299′, 3); Now, when we run the below SQL SELECT RANGE FROM RANGES WHERE ‘A100′ BETWEEN FROM_VALUE AND TO_VALUE; We expect it to return range 2. However, it returns two rows – 1, and 2. This happens because strings are compared character by character, by converting the characters into their equivalent ASCII values. So, in this case, when A100 is compared to A99, it believes A100 is lesser than A99 as A1 is lesser than A9. To avoid this issue, you should separate characters from numbers in alphanumeric strings and compare ...

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A TYPICAL DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PEOPLESOFT SUPPORT ANALYST

Posted by: Ramesh In my role as part of the Remote Development and Support team, I encounter a number of issues that users encounter on a daily basis. The following is an example of a typical day. oracle-peoplesoft-homeAn accounts payable client using PeopleSoft financials calls to tell me that something is not working, she doesn’t know what the problem is or what she did that could have caused the problem and she wants to know why she does not getting the expected results. After some research, I determined that the problem resides in a custom voucher load process that populates quick invoice tables. The file with the invoice information loads correctly and the voucher build creates vouchers from the quick invoices without any issues, but the vouchers do not get paid. It turns out that the vouchers that she submitted are for single pay vendors but the custom voucher load process does not populate a quick invoice table (PS_VCHR_BANK_QV) needed for single pay vendors. So, I modified the custom program to populate the missing table with default information and tested the process to ensure that it worked as expected. ...

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