Previously, we discussed the release of RightAngle version s17 and the many compelling reasons to upgrade as soon as you can.
However, when you upgrade your energy/commodity trading and risk management (E/CTRM) system, it’s undoubtedly a significant investment in time, money, and effort. The upgrade process carries some risks, such as prolonged business processes and broken functionality. Depending on the age of your current E/CTRM system, the change impact on your business can be major.
That’s why it’s critical to have the right partner at your side during this process—to identify opportunities to streamline processes and improve efficiencies; to redesign scenarios and enhance the system, when necessary, to best suit the needs of your business; to reduce the potential for costly mistakes and painful disruptions to your everyday operations; to shorten the timeframe for your upgrade; and to help train personnel and make sure your organization leverages the new system to its full effectiveness. There is no room for error—you need your upgrade done once and done right. It can impact every aspect of your business for years to come.
What constitutes “the right partner?” These are the questions you should ask any technology consultancy vying for your business in upgrading your RightAngle system:
1. Do you perform an upgrade assessment prior to starting work? No consultancy can help you extract the maximum value from your E/CTRM system if it doesn’t first take the time to understand your operations, pain points, opportunities for enhancement, and requirements for your new system—essentially, defining the scope of your upgrade and creating a project plan. As part of this assessment, the consultancy should interview management and users, examine your current system and custom code, and document business scenarios. Ultimately, the consultancy should help you decide whether to perform a strict technical upgrade, re-implement your business in the new system, or perform a combination of these options. For each of our clients’ upgrades, capSpire spends a few weeks on-site meeting with representatives from each business function to complete this assessment and define a project approach that maximizes value for the upgrade.
2. What is your depth of RightAngle experience? It’s not enough for a consultancy to cite a certain number of years of experience or a certain number of upgrades performed. You need more specifics:
- What version(s) of RightAngle do you have expertise in? It is critical that a consultancy has deep knowledge of your base software version and your target software version. All versions of RightAngle from s9 and before are entirely PowerBuilder applications. Versions s10 through s16 have a mixture of PowerBuilder and .NET applications, while s17 is the first entirely .NET application. Regardless of which software versions your business is transitioning to and from, your consultancy needs to be proficient in both versions to minimize issues. capSpire’s projects include implementations, enhancements, and technical support from all PowerBuilder versions through the latest .NET versions. We’ve performed more s16 upgrades than any other independent consultancy. And we’re one of the few consultancies that is already familiar with version s17 because we’re part of an elite group that has had access to beta versions of the software during the testing phase.
- What types of upgrades do you perform? Does the consultancy mostly do strict technical upgrades or can they re-implement entire businesses in the new software version? Depending on the needs of your business, and how well your current system functions and aligns with future goals, re-implementation requires more effort and expertise, but it also delivers more long-term value. capSpire performs both technical upgrades and re-implementations. Our consultants have a collective 600 years of experience working with RightAngle software. In our time implementing, upgrading, and enhancing clients’ RightAngle systems, we’ve come to understand what works and what doesn’t. We apply our extensive lessons learned to each project we undertake so your upgrade runs smoothly.
- Which industries have you worked with? No one wants to be the guinea pig. Don’t you want your consultancy to have a deep understanding of your type of business and to have worked with similar businesses on their E/CTRM systems? Furthermore, your partner should be able to list a current or previous client who works with your specific commodity. This is critical when it comes to redesigning business processes, identifying efficiencies, and recommending enhancements to make the system work even better for you. capSpire’s RightAngle consultants are experienced in the energy industry and across numerous commodities, including crude oil, refined products, natural gas liquids (NGLs), coal, iron ore, natural gas, and soft and freight.
3. Do you deploy tools and accelerators to expedite the upgrade process? From the simple technical upgrade to the more complex re-implementation of business scenarios, there are a variety of accelerators that a consultancy can bring to a project to expedite it. The value of each accelerator depends on the type of upgrade that is most suitable for your organization. For the vast majority of upgrades, a querying type of tool that identifies code objects and/or data to upgrade can help. These queries are useful not only during the development phase, but they come in handy when you are simply trying to size the project effort. On the other hand, a pre-existing interface built against your desired version and targeting a specific system would only benefit you if your project scope includes such a systems interface.
capSpire has a suite of upgrade accelerators that spans both the database queries that help in identifying code objects and data to upgrade, as well as the existing custom reports, rules, and interfaces (e.g., GlobalView®, Transport4, etc.) that greatly speed up the delivery of your upgrade. Our .NET custom rules library can also quickly turn your static rules into ones that are configurable.
Could capSpire be the right partner for your RightAngle upgrade? To learn more about our RightAngle expertise and our capabilities and tools that mitigate the risks of an upgrade, please click here. To discuss an upgrade assessment, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
capSpire provides the unique combination of industry knowledge and business expertise required to deliver impactful business solutions. Trusted by some of the world’s leading companies, capSpire’s team of industry experts and senior advisors empowers its clients with the business strategies and solutions required to effectively streamline business processes and attain maximum value from their supporting IT infrastructure. For more information, please visit www.capspire.com.