Column5 and I have seen a lot of things over the years in the EPM space. I have been working on the technical side of BPC MS since 2000, BPC NW since 2007, and BPC NW on HANA since 2012, having implemented it around the world over 1000 times.
I have a dream to, at some point, write a book of everything I have seen over the years. If investors knew what was really going on deep within some of the world’s datacenters, I think some heads would be rolling! I won’t mention ANY NAMEs but some of them are the who’s who of worldwide companies!
I keep running into the same thing over and over and over again, whether it is hosted by a 3rd party or implemented on-site at a client. The challenges start with a common element that is surprisingly easy to fix: No one seems to take care of the servers and technology!
Recently we have been working with customer hosted by a well-known SAP partner and performed reviews for them. On every single one so far, over 10, the systems on the back end haven’t been touched since 2011! That’s right, the database, operating system, applications have not had any service packs or patches installed since 2011. How is that possible I keep asking myself?
How can a customer pay for someone else to take care of their servers and nothing is done for over 4 years? At two customers with this same hosting partner, they had NO WORKING BACKUPS! How can someone not do backups to ensure if something happens they can get the system back up and running? This is an automated process that you just need to spend 5 minutes making sure it completed! These two customers had to go back months and manually rebuild the models.
To get a “best practice” experience, you have to first make sure the basics are covered. Here are some of those basics I’ve recently seen…
- Running out of disk space
- Bad disk performance
- Nothing updated
- No backups
- Network cards not completely configured
- No database maintenance
- Service account denied access to server services
- Over allocated hardware (too many virtual machines)
None of these problems have anything to do with EPM software, and yet the perception is often that the software is the culprit because that is the point of interaction for the users. All of the things I have seen have caused, or at least contributed to a negative impact on stability, performance and user adoption. So when I hear someone tell me they’re convinced their EPM software has a problem, it is often revealed that whoever is taking care of the system isn’t really taking care of it properly.
So what can a company do to ensure the system is properly cared for and maintained appropriately?
We can help in a few ways:
- Hosting BPC or other EPM, ECC or any other product for that matter on our SAP Certified hosting platform Amazon Web Services through Column5. We know how to and DO take care of these products and technology stack. This is a turnkey solution. In fact we can do it for 50% of what is would cost you internally with the servers and resources required.
- Have your IT resource take our Technical Training. This is a hands – on class at our Headquarters in Arizona or On-site at your office. This includes over 30 hours of instructor led hands-on classes and includes over 20 documents written by Column5 on every aspect of the back end from sizing to maintenance, troubleshooting and performance tuning
- Let us manage your servers for you. We can be your IT team or work with your IT to properly maintain the systems.
WEBCAST ON-DEMAND: Customer Roundtable: BPC Performance Issues
Sometimes finding an answer to your BPC performance question can be like hunting for a needle in a haystack – time consuming and often frustrating. Column5’s Technical Services team will be hosting an open forum to get all of your BPC performance questions answered. This session will be an open dialog among customers exchanging ideas about their BPC Performance issues. Though mediated by Column5 experts, this session will be driven by customer questions, answers and contributions.
Charles Dagaev began his SAP BPC career with exposure to the software in 2001 with OutlookSoft, the original creator of BPC, and worked at SAP until 2008 when he came over to Column5. He is certified as both an Application and Technical Consultant for the software, having performed over 1000 technical implementations of the BOBJ Analytics software products across every different business vertical worldwide over the past 14+ years. He currently runs the Global Technical Services group at Column5 with a team of SAP Analytics (EPM/EIM/BI/HANA/NW/BW/MS) resources, all of whom have been the Subject Matter Experts (SME) in the numerous areas of the aforementioned software including NetWeaver, HANA, and Microsoft technology stacks.
Charles Dagaev, Global Technical Services, US Team