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Leave Work Friday, Come Back Monday — Your PLM System Is Upgraded

volleyball“With Arena’s cloud-based PLM solution, you leave work on a Friday and come in Monday and bam — you’re upgraded. No pain to you or your IT department. It’s like waking up on Christmas morning to discover exciting presents are waiting for you.” — Solution Architect Mark Andres

For anyone who knows cloud-based product lifecycle management (PLM) implementations, especially when it comes to data migration, knows Solution Consultant Mark Andres is “The Man.”

He’s a migration expert who double-checks data’s background. If approved – he stamps the passport and sends data on its way. Nothing gets past his watchful eye.

Data migration is just one of the necessary evils of any PLM implementation. How easy the migration really is can depend on how good the PLM software’s import/migration tools are, and how knowledgeable the implementation guru is to make the process thorough and painless. Migrations are not always easy. People like Andres are often assisting customers who have previously only worked in the world of Excel spreadsheets.

To Andres, there’s no doubt that cloud offers serious implementation benefits over on-premise solutions. In last week’s blog post, Andres focused on the installation benefits of cloud. This week he’s focusing on upgrades, patches, and maintenance.

Arena: How painful was the last upgrade you did on a non-cloud based big box PLM system?

Andres: The number of issues were incredible with hours and hours of calls with the vendor’s support team.

Arena: Did you test the upgrade process?

Andres: We tested it numerous times before our ‘go live’ upgrade. Then came the weekend where we ‘attempted’ to go live — we were almost finished and were doing our preliminary testing when we found the vendors ‘secure’ vault was deleting our files anytime we accessed them.

Arena: What a nightmare. I assume after hours of analysis and little to no sleep you had to roll the upgrade back.

Andres: Yes. Later we learned this was partly our own fault: we hadn’t ‘fully’ replicated our storage vault since it required 4 Terabytes of space and it was deemed ‘too expensive’. Well, we found out the hard way, you really ‘must’ have two complete duplicate environments to thoroughly test regardless of the cost. No short cuts.

Arena: I’m sure the customer was not thrilled with that, correct?

Andres: Yes. The following Monday I was on the phone with their customer support group to find out that our ‘vault’ setup (a supported configuration) had a known issue ‘we didn’t know’ about (because again we were trying to save money and cut corners). We lost weeks, let alone the frustration and impact to our business which was depending on this upgrade. We had to start the upgrade process all over again from testing to deployment. We finally did end up getting our replicated storage vault from that point on. But it was a challenge.

Click here to read part one of Mark’s thoughts on PLM and the value of cloud versus on-premise. Tune in next week to read part three of this series in which Mark focuses on how cloud makes patches easy.