Hyperion BRIO to Oracle OBIEE 11g/12c for a leading private university on the West Coast of USA

The client, a private university on the west coast, which has been a model and pride of the United States, decided to move out of Hyperion BRIO after Oracle announced the end of support services and enhancement for the product in the future. Hyperion BRIO was used widely for several years across all departments in the University, and several thousand reports and dashboards had been added to the repository, making any transition project a voluminous and complex exercise.

The AS-IS reports and dashboards in Hyperion BRIO had been developed over several decades. They held the collective functional expertise, institutional knowledge, and experience that the University wanted to carry forward into the new system. Therefore, transporting all the existing functionalities and look and feel into the new system was deemed as a critical must-have to minimize training effort, gain greater acceptance, and accelerate the adoption of the new system.

OBIEE 11g / 12c was chosen by the client since Oracle ERP and database products were being used extensively in their environment for several years. OBIEE also provided an added advantage since the client had built a pool of technically sound IT team members well-versed in Oracle products. Business users of the University were familiar with Oracle. This was expected to simplify the change management effort.

Based on these, the client clearly articulated the following goals for the transition project –

  • zero disruptions for University staff and student users due to the transition
  • stringent adherence to the agreed six months’ timeline given since Hyperion BRIO was going out of support
  • utmost focus on ensuring best of breed quality control

The project was kicked-off by constituting an empowered team of individuals from the University and DataTerrain, headed by a leader from the University. This team was tasked to coordinate between numerous internal groups of the University for the successful completion of this transition project. DataTerrain consultants in the team provided advisory support to help users evaluate the repository of reports and dashboards and classify them based on their criticality and other priority rankings. A prioritized list of reports and dashboards for transition was created based on business demand and detailed documentation of their needs. During this exercise, user familiarity with Hyperion BRIO reports developed over several years. Their design imperatives were weighed against the opportunity to make design upgrades and take advantage of the latest features of OBIEE. DataTerrain consultants shared their experience to empower the project team from the university and business users to make informed decisions on a case by case basis. A list of 550 reports and dashboards for transition to OBIEE and a granular plan was created for migrating each of them.

DataTerrain team leveraged its proprietary automation tool to accelerate the transition of reports from Hyperion BRIO to OBIEE. Automation also helped improve quality control throughout the process by allowing early identification of issues and expediting fixes. DataTerrain team brought its experts on board to address existing data and integration challenges faced by the client IT team with the OLTP setup. Besides, DataTerrain subject matter experts also resolved interface issues with 3rd party products seamlessly integrate with the new system – Oracle 11g/12c. These resulted in significant time savings that provided an opportunity for the project team to work on value-added activities that resulted in the following additional benefits –

1.) Early involvement and feedback of business users at critical stages and quality gates to

a. identify and fix issues and gaps
b. assure completeness and quality of reports enabling faster acceptance and approval across departments.
c. enhance the user-friendliness and maintainability of reports

2.) Adequate time to review adherence to the latest technology and best practices and involve users in balancing short term and long term imperatives to

a. make changes to existing reports
b. finetune and improve the performance of reports
c. create templates that can be reused for building future reports

3.) evaluate new security features in OBIEE 11g/12c and implement security best practices

DataTerrain’s early and continuous involvement of end-users ensured they were trained and aware of all critical aspects of the new system. Several users across all departments were trained during different phases of the project, which led to accelerated adoption and trouble-free rollout on time and within budget. Our consultants educated users on industry-leading practices to improve their awareness and make them self-sufficient after handover.

DataTerrain delivered on the customer goal of shifting out of an unsupported product on time with smooth acceptance by the user community. The usage of the new system has continued to grow across the University with the product now supported by the internal IT team.

Transition from Hyperion BRIO to OBIEE 11g / 12c for an Ivy League university on the East coast

An ivy league university on the east coast decided to convert to OBIEE 11g/12c since Oracle announced the end of support for Hyperion BRIO. The University identified that 100 plus reports needed to be converted from Hyperion BRIO to OBIEE 11g/12c during this process. The challenge before the University was to complete this transition in six months without overloading their internal teams, which had limited bandwidth during short windows to work on this critical project.

The client chose DataTerrain to run this transition project due to its in-depth knowledge of the Oracle platform and its extensive experience in successfully executing similar and larger transition projects. DataTerrain also offered the flexibility to ramp up and ramp down its team aligning with the availability of bandwidth from the university departmental teams based on the ebbs and flows of their workloads.

DataTerrain’s flexible and cost-optimized execution methodology
DataTerrain leveraged its adaptive planning and scheduling methodology to create a flexible plan that tracked to the university calendar and adjusted tasks and velocity of transition across departments based on the availability of their key team members. Emphasis was placed on completing independent tasks during the periods when university members were not available and ensuring that all tasks requiring their intervention were loaded on dates when they were available. Team members’ and SMEs’ (Subject Matter experts) availability from DataTerrain was planned to ensure individuals with all the requisite skills were available at the right time to perform the right tasks with the right quality. To optimize costs for the University, these team members from DataTerrain were planned to be reassigned and not loaded on this project during lean periods of the project.

While working with users from various departments to understand and prioritize the reports, DataTerrain consultants identified that automating report scheduling and eliminating resource conflicts was a major pain point that needed to be addressed. SMEs from DataTerrain architected and implemented a solution using the scheduling feature in OBIEE. Using the extensive capabilities of OBIEE, schedules to publish reports at various intervals – daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, etc. and across multiple levels were automated. The approach removed user intervention and eliminated the chances of manual errors or misses. Bursting – a feature in OBIEE 11g/12c was also expertly configured by DataTerrain SMEs to broadcast sets of reports to pre-defined groups of users at scheduled intervals.

The proprietary automation tool of DataTerrain was leveraged to accelerate significant technical steps during the transition of reports from Hyperion BRIO to OBIEE 11g / 12c. Automation assured that the professional standards established based on best practices were consistently implemented for every report and across all users of all departments. Automated validation saved time and ensured the accuracy of data and formats being converted. Pixel perfect reporting needs were extensive across departments, and DataTerrain’s automated tool-based methodology ensured that the converted outputs were perfect to the last pixel. The value added by this was noticeable in areas like check printing, where high-accuracy and consistency were efficiently achieved with limited effort.

To accelerate adoption, DataTerrain involved users early and at every critical interim milestone of this transition project. Timely and specific feedback from users at every step helped to identify issues and new requirements quickly and implement them, resulting in increased adoption and user satisfaction. Regular interactions and hands-on sessions with multiple university teams across departments improved their comfort and understanding of the OBIEE product. They eased change management as reports were rolled out in production. Extensive user training on the features of OBIEE and customization options has also empowered the users to modify reports on demand.

The time saved due to automation was used to implement prioritized report enhancements to roll out new features and improve visual appeal based on user feedback. These quick-wins created a positive vibe amongst the user community that further helped the project team accelerate the adoption and rollout of the new product.

Our client has highlighted DataTerrain’s ability to ramp up and down its technical team to flex execution speeds to match the bandwidth of university teams as the critical success factor for completing this project on-time, within the agreed not-to-exceed budget, and with high end-user satisfaction.