Planning your BI4 Upgrade
Things to consider
When you plan your upgrade, consider the following items and include them in the upgrade process.
Skills and Enablement
Although BI platform 4 is compatible with most existing BI content and its design is similar to XI 3.1, there are some fundamental differences in user and administrator roles:
Scope and Methodology
BI 4 offers various upgrade options, from a full system copy to incremental upgrades. Your strategy will depend on your organization's technical and business requirements. Your upgrade assessment must account for factors such as the size of your existing deployment, the time zones it serves, how many users and BI applications run on it, or how much downtime the business can cope with.
Smaller environments that serve a few hundred users are more likely to be candidates for a full system upgrade. However, some smaller organizations still prefer to use a staged upgrade due to the business-critical nature of BI.
Important: In terms of scope, it is not necessary to simultaneously perform a platform upgrade (sometimes called a technical upgrade) and modify your existing BI applications (for example, to implement new features) in the same project. The two tasks should be performed as different projects in order to manage scope and risk.
Architecture and Sizing
Because of changes in the BI platform, such as the adoption of 64-bit support and new capabilities such as monitoring or analysis, you must plan a revised sizing and architecture blueprint. Planning and executing this task early in the upgrade process will allow for proper provisioning of new infrastructure to support BI 4.
Note: Some degree of server tuning will be necessary even for your sandbox or development environments, in order to process some of your existing large reports.
Testing and Validation
Additional investment in testing reduces risk. Your upgrade plan should include multiple stages of testing:
User acceptance should cover all business-critical analytics (typically, executive dashboards and operational reports) and a good sample of BI applications across the different report structures that are used typically.
Impacted IT processes
The following table summarizes the IT processes that may be impacted by the upgrade process. Actual impact will depend on the degree to which these processes rely on the BI Platform infrastructure in own business.
Promotion Management Process
Portal and Customization
Setup and Configuration
Backup and Restore Procedures
Tracing and Diagnosis
Auditing and Monitoring
Update and Patching Process
Choice of a Client Tool
Access to SAP BW
OpenDocument and Drill-Through
Portal and Workspaces
Secure your success
It is important to engage SAP or a Partner because of the scale of changes and innovations introduced by the upgrade. You should engage the following four parties in the early stages of the process, before you determine your scope and draft a plan:
|Your Account Team (for instance, account manager, global account director, client partner)|
These individuals are your first connection to SAP. They will support your success even if you have no immediate licensing plan. Your account team can help you discover new features in BI 4 and new business opportunities that these features enable. The account team can also help you with questions such as the following:
|SAP Active Global Support|
SAP support provides essential business continuity. Even older SAP BusinessObjects releases merit services included in their support contract, so it is important to keep up with the latest innovations in system monitoring and root cause analysis. Consider some of the following tasks:
|SAP Services and SAP Partners|
Each upgrade project is unique. In most cases, there is only one upgrade of a BI landscape to BI 4. The great amount of experience acquired by your team at the expense of your own project has a poor return on investment. Thus, even if you generally do not seek external help, you should consider engaging SAP services for your upgrade project. See this video for more information on SAP upgrade services.
Note: When you seek limited assistance, give priority to the areas discussed on this page: assessment, planning, sizing, and architecture.
|Rapid Deployment Solutions||From best-practices, to pre-defined content and packaged services, our BI 4 Adoption RDS helps customers reduce time-to-value. Soon, the package will be extended with specific content for customers upgrading from previous SAP BusinessObjects releases.|