Many current users of G.O.L.D. are considering an upgrade. Benefits of the upgrade are rather obvious such as (a) Eliminating the risk of running unsupported hardware, operating systems and software in the business and (b) Reducing the overall cost of long term maintenance and (c) Leveraging new features brought in by the software vendor Symphony EYC.
Recently Simplain had the opportunity to participate in a major upgrade of G.O.L.D. Central to release 5.10, the highest available version. This article provides some a ringside perspective of the upgrade process.
ROI and Business Value
It is tempting to use the quick and easy path towards upgrading from a completely I.T. perspective. The problem with such an approach is the lack of business involvement and the risk of foregoing genuine ROI opportunities from the upgrade process.
There are many benefits of having an analysis phase up front both from a technical and business functional perspective. In this phase we can identify numerous direct and indirect opportunities arising from the upgrade.
ROI from the upgrade is typically realized from...
Leveraging new functionalities within the latest version;
Addressing existing pain points by utilizing new features and/or business processes;
Updating hardware, operating systems & databases;
Implementing new customized software modules to support the company's unique requirements and initiatives. When packaged together, these aspects of the upgrade can quickly gain momentum inside the organization and it will further benefit from the economies of scale resulting from the consolidation of the enterprise-wide change management and testing efforts.
Typical Upgrade Work Streams
Work streams can obviously be based on the scope of work, but in a typical upgrade are likely to consist of the following elements:
Hardware and Operating System Upgrades
Database Upgrade Planning
G.O.L.D. Configuration and Parameterization
Change Management Planning
Upgrade of Custom Components
Upgrade of Integration Components and Middleware
Upgrade and Testing of Alerts and Reports
Teaming & Execution
In the upgrade project Simplain participated in the core upgrade team consisted of leads from the Retailer, Symphony EYC and Simplain.
The Retailer's Team was instrumental in the planning and coordination efforts as well as identifying all the components and areas to be upgraded and tested. Their team members helped make key decisions during the upgrade pertaining to the implementation of new functionality and change management.
The Symphony EYC Team led the implementation efforts from a business and management perspective. Their team identified all the business areas and processes impacted during the upgrade plug managed all the product deliveries, installation and upgrade of customizations that existed in the current implementation.
The Simplain Team led the upgrade efforts for all custom components and integration software both on the G.O.L.D. side as well as the middleware and upgrade of alerts and reports. Our team also enhanced some of the custom software to provide added value to the business users. We also installed Simplain's new Alert Management module to replace and upgrade all of the current alerts.
In the end, what started as a mandatory upgrade project by the I.T. team due to technical necessities turned out to be a winning project for the entire company.