Take off your goggles…
DEFINITION: Seeing Red — Noun 1.) – a state of irritation or annoyance*
When your favorite product is first acquired into the world of Oracle, you might be seeing red. It truly does take some time to get used to the Oracle way of doing things. It does get better. Either that, or you just get used to the Oracle way.
Another cause of seeing red is the ambiguity and mixed messages that many get surrounding Oracle and the direction they are taking your favorite product. This has been and, continues to be the case lately surrounding the confusion with Unifier and Contract Management.
The first message we heard was that Unifier would replace Contract Management (PCM) because it contained 70% of the enhancements requested of the PCM team. Fantastic!
However, people in general are resistant to change and the PCM community sure didn’t seem receptive of Unifier. I heard several people who got a look at Unifier before me rattle off all the things Unifier couldn’t do that PCM could. And it was very obvious they were seeing red.
This is not a new thing in the Primavera world. My first thoughts as I saw my peers react to Unifier was of P3 and the horror of introducing P3e (now P6) to the user community. A campaign started soon after that essentially said ‘take off your goggles’.
Guess what folks? We are there again! Take off your Goggles!
Contract Management is a fantastic application. It can handle most things on your projects that P6 doesn’t. It can help you track and generate documents related to contracts, project communication and the supporting records such as RFI’s, drawings and submittals just to name a few. It has been a cornerstone product in the Primavera world since 1987 under its former name of Expedition. As a user, I have expressed frustration many times over a lack of change or flexibility within the application.
Unifier can alleviate much of that frustration, but it can also add to it. While Contract Management is an application, Unifier is a platform. So what is a platform? It’s the building block for an application or, as Unifier refers to them, Business Processes. What is business process in Unifier? Anything you want it to be….Well… okay, almost anything you want it to be.
The message as of today from Primavera is that Unifier isn’t an upgrade or replacement to PCM. It is a different tool that may suit your needs better than PCM. Primavera has put together some pre-built business processes for Capital Planning, Project Delivery and Cost Controls to date. They are also working on packages for Facilities Management and Real Estate Management.
The hope is that you will soon start seeing a different shade of red. Not the one of irritation or annoyance, but the one of the Oracle Red Stack. Red Stack refers to the areas of Oracle that are available to you including Applications, Middleware, Database, Operating Systems, Virtual Machines, Servers and Storage.
Watch for future articles on Unifier as we start exploring the new tool and pre-built options, or get in touch for a deeper discussion. We look forward to hearing from you!
* (definition of ‘seeing red’ by the Free Online Dictionary (www.thefreedictionary.com/seeing+red)read more
At the time PCM 14.0 BIPE was released many in the PCM community were excited to hear of the retirement of InfoMaker, but at the same time dismayed to hear there was no ‘upgrade’ or ‘conversion’ from their extensively customized libraries. I have started my own personal journey to being equally comfortable with BI Publisher. And it looks like it will be a long journey.
Aligning with the Oracle Toolset — With the acquisition of Primavera by Oracle in 2009, many of Oracle’s other products are being introduced into the applications Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management and Primavera Contract Management. The default database server, application server, content repository and reporting tool have been replaced with Oracle owned products such as Oracle Server, WebLogic, Enterprise Content Management and BI Publisher. Additionally, the introduction of Business Process Management, User Productivity Kit, Fusion Middleware and BI Enterprise Edition into the Primavera applications further extends the power and availability of your work product.
BI Publisher Resources — Many great resources are available for BI Publisher. The most important resources are the product documentation and Oracle’s support team. This will help with the proper installation and integration of BI Publisher with Primavera Contract Management. Failure to get this fundamental step completed accurately will make this journey all the more frustrating. Additional resources I have found valuable include the Oracle Blogs and Community pages, as well as content found on the BI Publisher YouTube channel. Although not geared to Primavera applications specifically, the BI Publisher Fundamentals training from Oracle University gives you a glimpse into the possibilities while giving some comfort with the tool.
“Practice makes Perfect” — With all the resources available, using the tool will be the best way to learn. Rebuilding the stock reports and forms gave me the comfort of using the tool and validation of how the pieces work together. I am not venturing into rebuilding some custom content that I have previously created in InfoMaker. In the near future I see working with the new template and output options available and seeing how they fit into Primavera Contract Management.
Conclusion — While sad to see my trusted friend InfoMaker disappear after a 15 year love-hate relationship, I see the power of BI Publisher being a great reason to embrace the future and this this tool. While this journey is nowhere near the end, I do see that I will continue to use the resources I have mentioned to make the travels a little less uncomfortable, even if that means circling back many times. Hope to see you on the road…
Collaborate12 — I will be presenting on this topic at Collaborate 12 in Las Vegas, NV. My presentation will be one of several on the topic of BI Publisher. Be sure to check out this conference.read more