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Have You Evaluated All Options to Retain Your Investments in Oracle BI Applications (OBIA)?

Jenish Parekh
January 31, 2020

If you are one of the many Oracle customers who believed in and have invested years into Oracle BI Applications, this article is for you. Many enterprises that have been using Oracle as an Enterprise Business Intelligence Platform are evaluating various options to retain the efforts already invested in Oracle BI Applications (OBIA).

OBIA enables organizations to gain insights and greater value from a range of data sources, including Oracle on-premise Applications Unlimited (E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel), Oracle SaaS Applications (HCM Cloud, ERP Cloud, SCM Cloud and CX Cloud) and non-Oracle sources via custom integration or Oracle BI Applications Universal Adaptors. It has been quite a roller coaster ride for IT departments responsible for keeping their OBIA applications up-to-date. On the other hand, the enterprise data warehouse metrics (at least) and the dashboards delivered by OBIA have gained a lot of trust in business users. As a result, it has been quite a challenging position for IT folks to closely follow the OBIA roadmap and keep their end users happy at the same time.

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Let's take a quick look into the overall roadmap of the OBIA. The OBIA first became globally available around March 2007, and many enterprise Oracle customers started utilizing it. Over time, OBIA evolved and there were many versions delivered by Oracle. A major challenge was introduced when Oracle decided to decommission the Informatica as its ETL tool and introduced Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) as the standard EL-T platform. Upgrading Oracle BI Applications required skills and effort. Major steps in upgrading Oracle BI Applications are the porting, merging, reconciling customizations with Oracle’s pre-configured BI semantic layer (RPD), analyses, reports and ODI ELT customizations. There has been quite a bit confusion about the future of OBIA, as the premier support for the latest OBIA 11.1.1.10.2 is about to end. However, the latest announcements in the Oracle Statement of Direction for OBIA clarifies that the (upcoming) latest release 11.1.1.10.3 will be the point release and will be supported at least through 2030.

On the other end (in-line with Oracle's “cloud first” strategy), Oracle has released Oracle Analytics for Applications (OAX), specifically designed for Oracle SaaS Applications like Oracle Fusion Cloud SaaS and NetSuite. So, if you plan to migrate from on-premise Oracle ERPs like EBS, PSFT, JDE to Oracle Fusion SaaS, it directly impacts your OBIA.

Jade Global has been working with our Oracle customers very closely and have helped them tackle such complex situations. We have applied the experience and knowledge gained through these projects into our proprietary tools and framework. The patent pending tools we have created such as InfatoODI can accelerate the migration from Informatica to ODI while delivering a guarantee to retain the ETL logic you have implemented over the years.

We have also encountered situations where customers did not have deeper dependencies on OBIA. In these scenarios, our OBIPro (a set of assessment tools and framework) helped them expedite the migration and eliminated complete dependencies from OBIA.

There are multiple decision factors that will directly impact your roadmap. There are also multiple options to consider when deciding your path to upgrade or migrate from OBIA and define Enterprise BI and Analytics for your organization:

  • The OBIA upgrade option will migrate you to the latest version of OBIA and let you continue utilizing the OBIA until 2030 on the latest certified Oracle platforms like Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC), OBIEE12c, FMW 12c, Autonomous Data Warehouse (ADW), ODI12c etc.
  • The Re-Engineer/ Replicate option allows you to identify the priority OBIA objects which are most important for your enterprise reporting needs. Furthermore, this method opens the options to select platforms (cloud or on-premise) of your preference, based on your enterprise reporting and analytics strategy.

The below diagram outlines the different paths involved in the OBIA upgrade option versus the Re-Engineer/Replicate option.

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OBIPro has a list of the predefined evaluation criteria and methods to collect metadata. In the scope state, we finalize these criteria and confirm the weightage of each criteria. The evaluation criteria include all important aspects including business objectives, technical dependencies on OBIA, IT pain points, change management, and solution fit-gap analysis. These criteria will identify the top two options which are best fit for the given OBIA system landscape. Next, OBIPro will perform the fit-gap analysis between two target states compared to the current system footprint. The fit-gap analysis will cover the deeper analysis of all the layers of OBIA including ETL/ ELT jobs, DWH tables, RPD models, and reports and dashboards by business areas. The results will be then delivered in Full Gap, Partial Gap and No Gap score models.

Finally, to deliver the confidence score of each option, five decision factors will be compared as listed in the diagram below (TCO, Risks, Maturity, Time to Value and Scalability) Read the blog: Things to Know if you are Considering an Upgrade to the latest Version of Oracle BI Apps and Moving to Oracle Data Integrator (ODI)

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Here are customer case studies where two Jade Global customers each selected a different option when deciding their path to upgrade or migrate from OBIA:

  • OBIA Upgrade Option Case Study : A Jade Global customer had over 600 custom Informatica mappings, RPD development, reports and dashboards. We utilized the InfatODI tool to accelerate migration from OBIA 7.9.2 to OBIA 11.1.1.10.2. The migration time was reduced by 50% compared to manual estimated migration. This was a complete Jade Global-owned project; we managed all the risks and delivered the project on the fixed-price terms Read the full story here
  • Re-Engineer/ Replicate Option Case Study: This example is another Jade Global customer who had also been using the OBIA for a long time. We executed our OBIPro assessment tool to help the customer decide the best-fit option for their organization. The OBIPro confidence score turned out in favor of the re-engineering option, so we helped the customer migrate from OBIA to their preferred platform of choice. The ETLs were simplified and re-engineered into MS SSIS hosted in AWS cloud; and business critical metrics and KPIs were replicated into Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC).

Feel free to reach out to Jade Global by emailing info@jadeglobal.com or filling out the Contact Us form below to better understand our offerings that can help you expedite an OBIA upgrade or migration.

About the Author

Jenish Parekh, Principal Solutions Architect, Analytics and Data Management, Jade Global

Jenish is an Oracle Certified implementation specialist with extensive knowledge on implementing the following solutions for Jade Global customers: Oracle BI Apps, Oracle Data Integrator, Informatica, Oracle Analytics Cloud, BICS, and OACS.

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