TUG Buzz! for April 2, 2018


[article] The changing role of the technology team in ERP implementations (Part 3)

In November and January, 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 3, the final installment.

Single sign on
This capability makes life much easier for the end user. Although it is easier to implement than it used to be, it still requires set up, testing, and support by the technology team.

Disaster recovery
In a cloud environment, you won’t be managing databases and servers any more. The scenario where your entire data centre collapsed and you lost all your systems at once will change to multiple application-based or vendor-based scenarios. You need to re-think what disaster recovery planning and testing should cover. You also need to verify that participation in disaster recovery planning and testing exists in your contracts with cloud vendors.

IT controls
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.

Application support model
With ERP in the cloud, the internal support team no longer needs to be heavily weighted toward database analysis, operating system, and hardware experience. Instead, the team’s focus will be on the business process, how the application supports the business process, and reporting and data governance. This is a significant shift in mindset and skills for many IT support managers and staff.

If the existing ERP is supported by manual processes, your business users will certainly want to automate more when the new ERP is implemented. E.g. on-line workflow to replace email approvals. As a result, the number of ERP users you support is likely to be higher than it is today.

Vendor management
Given the number of areas where your IT organization now relies on vendors (ERP, integration, disaster recovery, IT controls), it is evident that a key responsibility and skill set in your operational support model is vendor management. This may be an area in which your team requires bolstering if you have not been outsourcing or using cloud very much to date.

Technology is so ingrained in business processes today that there’s no such thing as a fully manual business process any more. Having the business define the new processes and handing off requirements to the technology team is not a workable process. Business analysts have to participate fully in the business process workshops, identifying requirements along the way for everything from mobile device needs to interface and data conversion requirements.

In addition, your technology team for the ERP project, whether internally available or contracted, needs to support a wide variety of requirements that didn’t often exist two decades ago: mobile technology, browsers, firewalls, single sign on. In addition, the approaches to disaster recovery, IT controls, and application support likely need to change.

As you can see from this article and the previous two, the role of the technology team in ERP implementations has changed significantly. So, if you are implementing ERP soon, and it’s been ten or twenty years since you did so, you should anticipate and plan for all or most of these differences.

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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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.

Note: TUG members can take advantage of a $100 discount off the regular (non-member) 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 TEC 2018 at: www.tug.ca/tec/Reg

Conference Prices:

    Full Conference Rate:
        • TUG Members $695 (plus HST)
        • Non-members $795 (plus HST)
 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 Golf Tournament 2018

On Tuesday June 26th, 2018 we are back at St. Andrews Valley Golf Club in Aurora for the 30th Annual TUG Charity Golf Classic.

Register now at: www.tug.ca/golf

Proceeds to Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

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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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