With an impressive history and roots going back to the 1930s, the largest regional carrier in Canada has been raising the bar with its proven record for aviation industry leadership and exceptional customer service. As it continues to expand its services to operate more flights and fly to more destinations than any other Canadian airline it has continued to add experienced professionals to manage the challenging and complex nature of regional operations. The operational and workforce imperatives have grown in complexity as its services have grown to cover 78 destinations across Canada and US through its 4600+ strong and growing workforce. As the organization adds newer business lines offering MRO(Maintenance, repair, and operations) services to 3rd parties and a dedicated division for chartered flights and airline operations, the workforce mix has rapidly evolved. To support the transformation of its workforce management functions, the company invested in Taleo as its workforce management platform with SAP BO(Business Objects) for BI(Business Intelligence) and reporting. The company decided to migrate from SAP BO to OBIEE after Oracle decide to end support to SAP BO on the Taleo platform.
Based on its established track record for delivering complex transition projects of comparable and larger scale, DataTerrain was chosen as the partner to lead this transition effort. The company leadership asked DataTerrain to ensure a zero-defect approach while completing the project in a short time window when Oracle continued to support SAP BO on Taleo.
DataTerrain’s proprietary accelerated automation-led transition approach
DataTerrain team(subject matter experts) deployed their best-practices-based transition methodology and adapted it to the unique needs of the customer. DataTerrain’s proprietary automation tool was also leveraged for this project which was executed in the following major phases –
1. AS-IS Analysis and Planning – DataTerrain kicked off this project with an initial analysis of the SAP BO reports repository using its automation tool. This analysis included information such as business purpose and key users, business SME and owner for each report, run times, frequency of usage, run schedules. It also identified unique BO features used in specific reports and complex queries/functions used. Besides, complex implementations for classes, joins(relationship definition) between classes and objects(measures and dimensions) were identified in the BO implementation for suitable handling during automated transition. Interventions were planned for potential transition issues identified as risks in specific reports. Standardization and improvement opportunities were identified and proactive issue fizzes were planned in discussion with users. The analysis report from the automated assessment was used to create a detailed activity plan with clearly identified dependencies if any on customer associates. Key stakeholders of the customer reviewed and signed off this plan. Calendars of customer associates were blocked in advance to ensure their availability.
2. Automated transition and Validation – DataTerrain SMEs configured the automation utility based on the agreed outcomes from the analysis phase. The BO Universe file and all elements in the source environment were transported to OBIEE RPD using DataTerrain’s automation tool. Individual elements and complex business logic across the reports layer of the BO Universe were translated during the automated transition process. Metadata was transformed from BO Universe to the appropriate layers in RPD – physical layer, business model layer, and presentation layer by using OBIEE best practices and following zero-defect principles. Potential performance bottlenecks were also fixed by DataTerrain SMEs during the automated transition. As a next step, the converted reports and source reports were compared using the automated utility. This automated process covered both report formats and layouts and data presentation to ensure exact translation from source to target systems. This enabled them to identify and fix issues early, saving significant effort for testing by customer associates in subsequent phases.
3. User Acceptance and Rollout – Key customer stakeholders validated the converted reports as a part of the acceptance process. There were no surprises or major issues identified during this phase since key users and stakeholders were involved throughout the preceding phases and participated in key decisions and interim milestone sign-offs. The accepted reports were subsequently promoted to production on time and while BO was still supported.
The DataTerrain Difference
The customer noted the following as outstanding aspects of DataTerrain’s project execution –
1. Best practices and standardization – DataTerrain’s SMEs used the automation tool judiciously to apply OBIEE guidelines to ensure the converted reports adhered to best-practice standards. The tool was also customized based on customer request to implement customer standards across reports. For example, a standardized structure to print parameter values in report headers was automatically applied by customizing DataTerrain’s utility.
2. Accumulated customer knowledge and decades of improvements carried forward – DataTerrain ensured that the overall look and feel of reports was carried forward from BO to OBIEE as required by users. This ensured that years of knowledge and effort to shape the form and substance of the reports were converted seamlessly. This also minimized user training efforts and accelerated adoption.
3. DataTerrain’s domain knowledge – DataTerrain SMEs brought deep domain knowledge and an in-depth understanding of Taleo. This helped minimize customer effort and enabled them to proactively prevent potential transition issues.
4. Global Delivery Model – DataTerrain deployed associates from its global delivery centers so that project activities followed the sun to ensure progress round the clock. This enabled accelerated project execution and successful transition before BO went out of support.
DataTerrain helped the customer to successfully migrate Taleo reporting from BO to OBIEE on time and within budget. The customer has benefited from the enhanced features provided by Oracle for this integrated stack while reducing the Total Cost of Ownership on its global deployment.