An international home improvement retailer has grown the scale and complexity of its operations over 39+ years to be # 1 or # 2 in every market it operates. Its footprint of 1400 stores across 8 countries employing 80000+ associates is built on a diversity of skills and workforce mix. As the market and consumer behavior evolve in the new normal the company has created a strategy focused on growing its e-commerce sales with a mobile-first service-oriented customer experience, adapting store formats, and continuing to lead its peers in responsible business practices. Workforce transformation was a key imperative for delivering the organization’s strategy and the leadership invested in Taleo as the workforce platform, with SAP BO for BI(Business Intelligence) and reporting. The company decided to migrate from SAP BO to OBIEE based on Oracle’s advice as SAP BO support on Taleo was being sunsetted.
The company chose DataTerrain for this project based on its track record for executing large-scale and complex transitions for global organizations. The project charter included the following key pointers –
1. Fast-track project completion to complete transition while SAP BO continues to be fully supported by Oracle
2. Ensure zero business disruption during the transition
3. Provide adequate documentation to minimize maintenance and support effort to minimize TCO(Total cost of ownership)
DataTerrain’s proprietary automation-led lift and shift methodology for accelerated transition
DataTerrain team(Subject Matter Experts) used their experience gained over numerous successful transitions to quickly customize their best-practices methodology to the unique needs of the customer. DataTerrain’s automation tool was configured for the customer’s unique environment and the transition project was executed in the following major phases –
1. AS-IS analysis, planning and preparation – As the first step, DataTerrain SMEs performed a thorough analysis of the SAP BO reports repository using the automation tool. Key information like business purpose, business SMEs, report owners, report execution times and frequency, batch schedules were considered for this analysis. Unique BO features and complex functions/queries that need to be implemented differently in OBIEE were identified. In addition, the following were reviewed using the automated tool to flag potential transition issues – complex implementations for classes. joins or relational definitions between classes, measures, and dimensions(objects) were noted, and appropriate actions were defined in the plan to address them. The analysis report created by the automation tool was used to create a detailed activity plan and agreed with Oracle.
2. Automated Lift and Shift transition and validation – DataTerrain’s automated utility was configured to prepare for the automated transition based on the analysis and actions from the previous phase. The BO universe in the source environment and all its elements were transported to OBIEE RPD by following OBIEE best practices. During this process, complex business logic and individual elements across report layers of the BO universe were translated and metadata was transformed to the appropriate physical layer, business model layer, or presentation layer in RPD. The converted individual report formats, layouts, and data presentation were automatically validated to ensure exact one-to-one lift and shift from source to target systems. Any issues were identified and fixed early in this process to minimize customer effort in subsequent phases.
3. User Acceptance and Rollout – The validated reports from the previous phase were reviewed by key customer stakeholders as a part of the acceptance process. Since key users’ involvement was ensured throughout the major steps from project kick-off, no major gaps were identified during this phase. The target environment and approved reports were rolled out to production users after customer acceptance.
The DataTerrain Difference
Following the successful on-time and on-budget completion of this project, the customer team and Oracle noted the following as the critical success factors for successful project execution by DataTerrain –
1. Automated utility for Lift and shift preserving accumulated knowledge – DataTerrain’s automated process carried forward the look and feel of reports from BO to OBIEE. This ensured that accumulated knowledge gained over decades of refinements was seamlessly retained and users could begin using the new environment with minimal orientation.
2. OBIEE Best practices – The converted reports and the entire transition process adhered to OBIEE best practices recommended by Oracle and this ensured a smooth transition, easier adoption, and low technical debt.
3. Global Delivery Model – DataTerrain deployed its global delivery model to accelerate the round-the-clock execution of project activities and optimize the overall cost of this transition.
4. DataTerrain’s close working relationships with Oracle – DataTerrain’s reputation as a reliable partner and its close working relationships across layers of the Oracle organization enabled a faster turnaround for fixes required during the transition.
DataTerrain converted the customer’s Taleo reporting from BO to OBIEE with optimized cost while meeting or exceeding the standards laid out by Oracle and the customer. This has helped the customer reduced their Total Cost of Ownership on their Taleo platform investments and they have benefited by using its latest features.