After spending several months rewriting our main V7 process to V9 (and about a month from full QA testing hopefully), the main user community is suddenly balking at the process. Now I have to list pros and cons of upgrading from V7 in favor of V9. I know several technical reasons, but this sudden change of attitude has thrown me off kilter and I'm not sure how to answer from a user's perspective. (Especially considering they've seen issues, raised here and some with OpenText, there things down load / display / refresh correctly. Also the more difficult thing is some forms are slower on V9 than V7. (Telerik controls are a large portion of that, but its a huge form I cannot get them to agree to split into smaller forms tabs/wizard.)
Any suggested reasons would help me get a list together. I believe this has been discussed here or on ProcessMapping.au before, but if so I cannot find it now.
I rewrote our processes in v9 which required months of user testing and therefore justification was needed. Fortunately management understood that technology changes, and there is no guarantee what is supported today, will be supported tomorrow and therefore proactive action must be taken.
To end user;
1) Had the opportunity to (collaborate and) improve the existing processes.
2) Better reporting tools to give greater visibility.
3) New interface.
3) Support in general.
4) Later version IE compatability.
5) More functionality with coding.
6) Seemless webservice integration with other systems by using libraries.
1) Requires redevelopment of processes (which depending on complexity can take months).
2) Requires testing of the redevelopment, as it if were a new process.
3) Costly to the business (based on 1 and 2).
4) Requires development of a process or means to convert the v7 data to v9 folders. (I did this with a process and flags.)
5) Business interruptions on process migration.
Management understands. Its the business which needs convincing so I'm trying to gather information. Thanks for the feedback as it gives me a bit more to work with.
I suppose the biggest "Pro" (longterm) from an end user perspective is that by sticking on v7, they'll soon reach a time when that version isn't supported. Which means any defects/new features/fixes the user wants wont get done. Like running a vintage car and spare parts are hard to come by when it goes kaput :smileyhappy: (I know frm experience lol)
The biggest "Con" from end user perspective (longterm) will be performance lol. v9 is noticeable clunkier than 7.6 - some of it due to new features like Panels, which allow for dynamic UI but aren't implemented as full AJAX controls, leading to client side clunks.
On a short term, I agree with Ryan above - the migration will be a pain because opentext doesn't offer a seamless tool or methodology to migrate in-flight tasks over. Users will for a while at least, be stuck with 2 systems. You could ease that pain by somehow building a custom UI that consolidates folders from both systems into a single view - but thats more work anyway.
C# support, visual scripting, web service integration, mobile phone aspect, new software support (windows server 2008/2012, sql server 2008/2012), perhaps Opentext buying Metastorm can be seen as a pro. If they don't like the Metastorn interface and they want to invest in the "look", use the ECL. In fact if you want to unhook and seperate parts of the system and not be 100% Metastorm this is the way to go. Write your own form / todo watch list / use web services etc…
The biggest cons of not moving is deciding what to do next… What are the other options for not going to v9? Staying on v7 old technology? What is the next best BPM system that's honestly easier or superior to MBPM? Things of that nature, for example we saw a K2 presentation and realized it wasn't nearly as mature a product.
We didn't do side by side, that seemed like it could've introduced additional problems. Yes, we had minor issues and we had anticipated such. Our main processes we migrated was all ECL based (I never felt like a truly developed a Metastorm form), but when we got v9.3 - I had an opportunity to do an admin form and busted it out in like 3 days. I was actually impressed with that. I still think they have an opportunity to make the UI performance / look / feel a lot better.
That being said I'm so glad it's friggin over.
Oh after reading a different post - a huge con is diagnosing deployment and validation errors is terrible.
RE: "mobile phone aspect"
I was looking forward to that and had implemented "response" solutions using native MBPM and mobile. Alas, with 9.3.1 Blackberry is no longer officially supported, so I have to bail on that solution. We have a lot of users who have Blackberry devices – like many places it a BOYD location. (Blackberry was officially supported 9.3.0 and before, though there were issues if working through a BES in 9.2 I believe was resolved in 9.3.0 but didn't have a chance to verify.)
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