5 ways to make your software upgrade easier
The thought of upgrading enterprise applications is often a scary one – after all, these are business-critical systems that your employees rely on 24/7 to get their jobs done. But our incremental parallel upgrade process (IPUP) mitigates risks to ensure that your information is available when your people need it.
One bite at a time
The “incremental” piece of IPUP is critical because, even if you’ve deployed your document management software solution enterprise-wide, you can upgrade it in small chunks. This makes the task of upgrading manageable for your IT staff, reducing the burden and stress.
IPUP also empowers IT staff by allowing them to identify specific areas of your organization – or increments – and upgrade them one at a time, even though they may all be part of the same solution.
How is this possible? It’s all because of our database – we’ve designed it from Day 1 to be able to accommodate multiple versions of our software suite running in parallel.
For example, as you upgrade your Accounts Payable department to OnBase 15, your other business units can continue to use the OnBase 14 software they’ve been using – without interruption!
And, if you should run into an issue with your AP users, have no fear! Rolling back to a previous version is as simple as pointing to a new URL.
The hardest part of the entire process might be determining how to identify your increments. This, of course, depends on your business processes, but we’ve seen many organizations successfully do this. Here are the top five ways:
1. By module.
If your organization is set up so some products are used only by specific groups of people, it might make sense to upgrade one product at a time. A good example of this is some of our vertical or industry specific products, such as Electronic Plan Review (Government) or GI Capture & Reporting (Healthcare).
2. By department.
One of the most commonly used incrementing strategies is to upgrade by department. One thing you’ll need to consider, though, is those users who use OnBase for multiple functions.
For example, you may decide to upgrade your AP department before your HR department, but be aware that your AP manager likely performs some HR functions in the solution as well – so, for a time, she may need to access separate instances based on the tasks she needs to perform.
3. By business process.
Similar to the departmental approach, you may decide to upgrade one business process at a time. For example, you may want to upgrade your HR onboarding process first to take advantage of some new functionality or bug fixes as quickly as possible. Again, you’ll need to be aware of those users who perform multiple functions and ensure that they have access to more than one instance so they can continue to access all of the information they need.
4. By region or office location.
This is a very popular incrementing strategy for larger organizations with multiple locations, such as hospital systems. Not only does it allow you to focus your efforts in one area, it also allows you to apply the lessons you learned early in the upgrade process to the locations you are planning to upgrade later on.
5. By user champions …or detractors!
Is there a user in your organization who loves OnBase and can’t wait to get their hands on the latest version of the software? Leverage their positivity by upgrading that user first and have her spread the word to the rest of the organization about how great the new software is.
Likewise, do you have a user who is traditionally not excited about change? Upgrade that user first to ensure his experience is a positive one, and turn a potential detractor into a promoter.
Once you’ve created a plan and upgraded your first increment, you are able to validate that the upgrade was successful before moving on to the next one. This phased approach is all about mitigating risk – and keeping your business running without interruption.
For more information on the IPUP, request a copy of the Mitigating Risk in OnBase Upgrades whitepaper or download a copy from the OnBase Technical Community today.