TUG Buzz! for January 17, 2018


[article] The changing role of the technology team in ERP implementations (Part 2)

In November, I described several areas where the role of the technology team in ERP implementations has changed in the last ten to twenty years. Here is part 2.

Importance of data
ERP and other application implementers have historically considered focus on People, Process, and Technology as the foundation for success. In the last several years, it has become apparent that Data is a fourth and equally important element.

Data, including its definition, conversion, integration, and governance have become critical to the success of the implementation and the ongoing usability of the ERP system. Although the data is owned by the business, they generally require support from the technology team in supporting data governance and enforcement of data standards.

Downstream systems
Due to changes in master data or the business meaning of data when you implement a new ERP, combined with the integrations, you may have many changes to data in applications you connect to/from.

One of the causes will be data re-numbering. For example, if you change significant master data such as customer number, vendor number, or part number, you will likely have a business requirement to update existing data in other systems besides the ERP.

In addition, when implementing ERP, the business may take the opportunity to change the meaning of the data. For example, the existing ERP may have Acme Toronto, Acme Vancouver, and Acme Calgary all set up as separate vendors. In the new ERP, the business may choose to eliminate these three vendors and instead create a vendor called Acme Canada with three sites in Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary. You can see that this would have an impact on the way that integrations to/from other applications are designed; and the potential for changes to existing data in those systems.

Data cleansing
Data often requires cleansing in order to accommodate a new ERP. In addition to correction of issues with existing data, the business may want to develop data for the ERP that exists only in spreadsheets today. The technology team is often called upon to support data assessment and may also need to provide tools and processes to support data creation and standardization.

Workflow can enforce controls and retain documentation of approvals, and is built into modern ERPs. In a cloud environment, the notification emails will be crossing multiple corporate firewalls. Similarly, if you are using your ERP host or another external party to provide integrated services such as invoice scanning, there will be technology-enabled processes crossing internal and external environments. Your technology team will need to be involved in the security design and implementation.

If your existing ERP system is customized, you know what a challenge it is to keep up with upgrades, as modifications need to be re-established with each upgrade. With cloud ERP, it is easier to push back on the business when they want to customize, as cloud lends itself to adherence to the vendor’s standard offerings. However, where there is a real business need, you may need to develop the customization outside of the ERP, leading to another system and interface to manage, and the necessity of supporting business questions on differences between the two systems.

System cutover
Along with the transition of business functions to the new application and processes, there will be a number of technical steps involved as well. Cutover tasks may include turning off/on interfaces and scheduled jobs, and providing updated charts of accounts and other master data (e.g. customer numbers) to other systems and business partners. It is also common to prevent data updates in legacy applications by modifying user roles when the new ERP goes live.

Stay tuned
There is more to cover on the changing role of the technology team in ERP implementation. Watch for part 3.

Debbie Gallagher is a project manager and business analyst.
She can be reached by email at gallagher.debbie@gmail.com. Previous project management articles are archived at http://debbiespmtales.blogspot.ca.

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January Meeting of Members

Two weeks from today!
(Wednesday January 31, 2018)

LOCATION: Monte Carlo Inn (Downtown Markham)

7255 Warden Ave (at Denison Street)
Markham, Ontario L3R 1B4


John Valance

John Valance
(President & CTO - Division 1 Systems)


ADMISSION: Free to all TUG members ($60 non-members) + FREE PARKING

AGENDA Wednesday January 31
4:00 - 5:00 pm Registration
5:00 pm

Session 1: IBM i SQL Stored Procedures and Application Modernization Among the many modernization technologies available on IBM i, SQL is perhaps the one best known by RPG developers. This session won't focus on how to write SQL statements, but rather how to write scripts that combine SQL statements...
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6:00 - 7:00 pm Buffet Dinner
7:00 pm Session 2: Connecting the Dots - Web Application Development with PHP, HTML and CSS
New to web development, or trying to get started? Have you taken a PHP course, but are having trouble understanding how to build complete applications for the web? Or maybe you're a manager trying to get an understanding of how web applications work at a high level....
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  Register at: www.tug.ca/rep/signon.php

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Plan to join your peers for two days of intensive professional development, networking and fun at TEC 2018, where we intend to "TEC it to the Limit!" To celebrate our 25th TEC, your TEC committee has arranged for a special new venue (The Toronto Don Valley Hotel) and are inviting the world's top IBM i speakers. We will be providing sumptuous meals, digital handouts, free parking, and much more... Mark you calendar now for Wednesday & Thursday May 30 & 31, 2018, when you will be able to deepen your knowledge on the latest IBM i technologies.

Please note: Our "Uber-Earlybird" promotion has been extended! If you register from now through January 31, 2018, TUG members can take advantage of a $150 discount on the admission fee.

Our developers are working on an enhancement to our new registration system which will allow you to sign on and register multiple people on a single order. However, for the time being, each attendee must create their own profile and register individually. Nevertheless, if you want multiple registrations to be combined on a single invoice, let us know and we will accomodate you. (Sorry for the temporary inconvenience.)

Register for TEC2018 at: www.tug.ca/tec/Reg

Conference Prices:

    Full Conference Rate:
        • TUG Members $695 (plus HST)
        • Non-members $795 (plus HST)
    Early Bird Discounts:
       TUG members save $150 on a full conference registration
        until January31, 2018 or $100 until March 31, 2018


TEC 2018 PDF flyer

TEC is the Toronto Users Group’s annual Technical Education Conference. We have a very intense lineup of topics including, but not limited to:

    • IBM i & RPG IV Application Development
    • Performance Management
    • Web and Mobile Development on IBM i
    • Modernizing your IBM i Applications
    • Accessing and Optimizing IBM i data
    • IBM i System Management
    • Client Connectivity
    • Database Design & Normalization
    • Open Source Languages
    • Virtualization
    • IFS

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Register (as a TEC EXPO sponsor) online at:
www.tug.ca/tec/SponsorRegForm.php Read More

Download the Sponsor Invitation (PDF) at: www.tug.ca/tec/TEC2018_Sponsor-Invitation.pdf Read More

Download the TEC 2018 conference brochure (PDF) at: www.tug.ca/tec/TEC2018_flyer.pdf Read More


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TUG's New Meeting Registration System

We have a new system for registering for TUG meetings. You no longer have to enter your contact information every time you register for a TUG event. You just create a profile using your email address and create a password. Then when you want to register for a TUG event, you simply sign on and click a checkbox beside the event you plan to attend. (Or if you need to cancel, you uncheck that checkbox to unregister for the event.)

Here’s how it works:

  1. Follow the link to SIGN ON / REGISTER below, or on the TUG Web site main page, or on the TUG Agenda page.
  2. Click “CREATE PROFILE”, fill in your contact information, and click “ENTER”.

            (A verification email will be sent to the email address that you supplied.)

  1. Close the current window and follow the verify email link in order to activate your new account.
  2. Enter your email & password and click SIGN ON.
  3. You can now click on a checkbox beside an event for which you want to register.

            (For future events, repeat steps 1, 4,  and 5 only.)


• For more information about an event, click the + sign beside the event.

• To see whether you are already registered for an event, sign on and look at the check box beside that event. If there is a check mark there – you are registered. If you are unable to attend, please make sure to cancel your registration (by unchecking the checkbox). Thus, you can help save our members’ money, by allowing us to make an accurate count of seats and meals required.

• At any time, you can sign on and EDIT your PROFILE.

• Optionally, you can add additional email(s) to your profile. This is a good idea because, in case one of your emails becomes inoperable – you can still sign on with an alternate email & password. (By the way, you can use the same password for multiple emails if you wish).

• The email(s) that you use to sign on do not affect your subscription to the TUG Buzz, or other email lists from TUG. This is a separate process. To subscribe, see “SUBSCRIBE TO TUG BUZZ” under the “FUNCTIONS” pull-down menu.

Phase II:

• We are currently wortking on Phase II enhancements. The main new feature to be incorporated will be the ability for a person with a profile to register other people for an event. (For example, you could register a foursome for Golf, or register multiple people for TEC, to be combined on a single invoice.) The registrant will receive an email to let them know who registered on their behalf.

• If you register someone who does not have a profile, that person can create a profile at a later date, and their registration info will be linked up with their profile info.

• For the time being, each person wanting to register for a TUG event will have to create their own profile. Sorry for the (temporary) inconvenience..

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iDev Cloud

Sign up now for iDevCloud! You will be able to:

  • Share between multiple developers
  • Get private library and storage
  • Have access to most of the IBM i development tools
  • Have all compilers for IBM i tools available

The Performance is monitored by system managers with adjustments as needed. The system is accessible at anytime from anywhere in the world. Just a computer and an internet connection are needed. Any work done on the system stays on the system until removed by its owner.

Contact Leo Lefebvre at leo@tug.ca to get started.

(*Free startup for TUG members.)

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