A leading supplier of poultry, pet, and animal nutrition products with a diversified business in the US recently completed a successful transition to Oracle Cloud against challenging odds. Operating multiple hatcheries, feed mills, company-owned farms, and processing plants, unique and evolving requirements existed for reporting, BI, and analytics to support its growing business. Add the complexity of managing various stakeholders, including hundreds of poultry growers, farmers, and local farming communities, and the challenge multiplied for the client’s legacy BI (Business Intelligence) system on Oracle Discoverer.

With Oracle announcing the end of life for Oracle Discoverer, transition to OAC (Oracle Analytics Cloud) was determined to deliver significant additional value to its business. Other than the driver to move out of unsupported software, some of the significant benefits expected from OAC include:

  • Delivering improved insights to business users using data visualization
  • Improving data-based decision making by using business scenario modeling in OAC
  • Accelerating business velocity using mobile analytics to deliver timely and personalized analyses
  • Enhancing performance management and reporting at the enterprise level
  • Simplifying data preparation and management using AI/ML

Bridging the generation gap between Oracle Discoverer and OAC and bringing the right expertise in both was determined as a critical success factor for this accelerated transition. DataTerrain was selected for its dedicated pool of subject matter experts in both technologies and demonstrated ability / established credentials in handling such complex transitions.

Zero business disruption approach ensured seamless transition

Based on DataTerrain’s philosophy of ensuring Zero business disruption and minimizing impact to users, DataTerrain planned and completed this transition in these major phases –

1.)    Initial assessment and detailed planning – DataTerrain used its proprietary automation tool to perform an initial assessment of the AS-IS customer landscape. This tool created a list of reports and provided insights into the owners, frequency of execution, events, triggers, last run date, execution time, number of outputs/workbooks generated, dependencies, destination files and folders, unique characteristics, and functions used for each report. The tool also identified duplications and redundancies, outdated and obsolete reports. This information was used to create a detailed transition roadmap for each report and elaborate on the activities and timelines for each step in the project plan. Reports requiring interventions, customization, and user-defined changes were also identified and activities were planned based on individual requirements. This detailed plan was reviewed and signed-off by the customer project manager and project sponsor, and the DataTerrain project manager.

2.)    Automated transition and validation – The DataTerrain automation tool extracted and converted all significant components, elements, and objects from Oracle Discoverer like reports, hierarchies, filters, conditions, joins, calculations, items classes, roles, and security. During the transition process, Discoverer metadata EUL was converted to OAC RPD and Discoverer workbooks were seamlessly converted to OAC reports while maintaining the original look and feel. The automated tool validated every element by comparing the outputs in the source and target systems to ensure adequate quality control and save time. This time saved was used to customize and make changes to identified reports, addressing some long-pending high-priority needs of critical users. During this transition, performance bottlenecks were also proactively identified and resolved. To prevent delays due to technical issues, DataTerrain created an SME (subject matter experts) pool consisting of experts in Oracle Discoverer and OAC. This team played a crucial role in early identification and resolution of issues in extracting, translating, and converting business logic from Discoverer to OAC.

3.)    User acceptance and rollout – Key users were involved during every critical stage in the process, and a train-the-trainer approach was followed to accelerate training and acceptance. Since the look and feel of reports were preserved AS-IS from Oracle Discoverer, adoption was more comfortable and quicker in OAC.

Benefits to customer

After this project was successfully completed within the agreed budget and the agreed timelines, the following significant benefits were noted to be provided by DataTerrain –

1.)    Bridging the expertise gap – DataTerrain’s ability to stand up a team with experts in major technical areas like Discoverer and OAC helped to identify and address issues early and very effectively.

2.)    Accelerated execution due to the Global delivery model – The high velocity needed for this project was provided by the global delivery model, which ensured that project activities were being executed round the clock across DataTerrain’s global delivery centers.

3.)    Accelerated user adoption and value adds – User adoption of OAC was greatly accelerated because DataTerrain’s automation tool preserved the original look and feel of reports, minimizing the training effort required. The customizations and performance improvements led to high user satisfaction, and the quick-wins eased the rollout.

DataTerrain enabled a swift and seamless move of BI and analytics out of the unsupported Oracle Discoverer to the cutting-edge OAC. The scalability and flexibility provided by OAC have reduced the maintenance and keep-it-running effort for our client. This additional bandwidth is now used to exploit user-friendly OAC features like improved self-service and advanced visualizations with mobile analytics to improve business outcomes.