Another major factor of pre-planning is reporting. There's been a lot of report development over the years in Crystal and other mediums, so when an organization says they have five thousand Crystal reports and four thousand of them will be moving forward, that's a pretty overwhelming task. What is our approach to help an organization figure out how to plan a forward-looking reporting strategy?
Well, it differs from W.I.C.E. because when you look at things like interfaces, there are hopefully no ad hoc ones created by the business users. However, since the reporting and analytics function in CloudSuite is totally different from Lawson, the paradigm has changed. The majority of those five thousand Crystal reports you referenced are data needs that can be solved within the application itself. We don't really need a report to get lists, filtered or joined, of information out of the application anymore. This means that by volume, the great majority of reporting needs will be available within the application.
It’s important to remember that we are still in a pre-planning phase here. We really want to understand the level of work effort required for our implementation of CloudSuite and to figure this out, we need to know the critical data needs that must be available on day one of Go Live. Our reporting assessment is going to focus on known gaps between an organization’s needs versus what actually comes with CloudSuite, making sure to highlight big ticket items.
For example, an organization might have a report that is produced annually and has a very specific format. It combines data in certain ways that we know will require some level of report development. We dig into that to give it a high-level work effort estimate, ensuring that the required time and resources have been included within the CloudSuite project and are aligned to make that work available as part of the phase one data. Another important factor here is understanding how the phasing will appear to each organization. Some organizations go big bang, which is a choice that depends on a lot of different factors. We favor a phased approach. It works well for us and our customers primarily because it allows the organization to digest the system over time, something that is especially important for IT. Not having those direct resources is something to consider. Remember, a lot of lift comes from IT and it can make things difficult, especially in terms of development and integrations.
We are often asked whether there's some throwaway work if we go live on one CloudSuite and on the other. The answer is yes, but it's actually pretty minor compared to the overwhelming amount of real work that needs to be done. Some organizations already have a live GHR on-premise – when you’re switching to the cloud, there's a stage that involves getting that from on-premise to the cloud.
This is just an example of one of the many nuances that matter in terms of pre-planning based on what an organization has today, the business drivers, the different sunsetting applications, and some other factors like when you have open enrollment or when your fiscal year closes. It's an important thing to be able to coalesce within the organization and figure out what makes sense before presenting it to executives and potential implementation partners.