CBA Inc

Archive for Contract Management’ Category

5

Jul
2013
Comments Off on Seeing Red?

Seeing Red?

KEEP CALM and TAKE OFF YOUR GOGGLES

KEEP CALM and TAKE OFF YOUR GOGGLES

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)

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8

Nov
2012
Comments Off on Convert Date Function – R_SB_09 Report in PCM

Convert Date Function – R_SB_09 Report in PCM

A friend reached out to me this week with a new wrinkle in report R_SB_09 where the date format in the received column was wrong. Instead of 10/28/2012 appearing it was showing up as 28/10/2012. My first inkling was to look at the presentation or layout side of the report and look at date format. Much to my surprise, there wasn’t any formatting. Hmm, must be an issue with the data model? Sure enough, when I edited the data model and looked at data, received was 28/10/2012 and sent right next to it was 10/28/2012. Suspicion confirmed! The data model contained the following: CONVERT(nvarchar(30),SBMT.LATEST_RECVD_DATE,103) as LATEST_RECVD_DATE, CONVERT(nvarchar(30),SBMT.LATEST_SENT_DATE,101) as LATEST_SENT_DATE, First thing I noticed was converting the date being part of the syntax rather than just pulling the date and the one I liked (Sent) had a 101 and the other (Received) had a 103 in the variables. Simple solution! Change the 103 to 101. I did and it worked but why? Turns out 103 is British formatting and 101 is English, but there are many more choices available. Google “Oracle SQL Convert 101” to learn more.

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26

Mar
2012
Comments Off on Transitioning from InfoMaker to Oracle’s BI Publisher

Transitioning from InfoMaker to Oracle’s BI Publisher

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.

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29

Jun
2011
Comments Off on How to Survive Project Management’s Wild Wild West

How to Survive Project Management’s Wild Wild West

One by-product of the Oracle acquisition of Primavera in 2008 is that now it is relatively easy to become an Oracle partner and sell Primavera products, however it is very difficult to become an Oracle SPECIALIZED Primavera Partner. This status means that you have provided the highest level of expertise and customer satisfaction in the industry today. Customer testimonials are an integral part of this process, so experience and competence matters. CBA is the only Specialized Primavera reseller based in Ohio and Michigan.

Since the 2008 acquisition of Primavera by Oracle we have seen many nameless faceless “groups” appear by virtue of the Oracle Open Market Model, which allows virtually anyone to become an Oracle software reseller. With Oracle’s excellence in marketing anyone can easily create a compelling website using their content. However the devil is in the details.For example we know of one “group” of one, who has proclaimed 12 years of experience (even though they have only been in existence for several weeks) while never having delivered the stated services or training to any company or organization. The website for this “group” contains not one single name of a principle owner, executive, salesperson, consultant, trainer, or implementation specialist although they boast to have a well-schooled team of people claiming those skills. However they do show stock photos of nice looking people in business dress that exist only in a photo shop somewhere. This “group” continues to claim experience in multiple verticals, however offer no customer success stories, references, or any other evidence that any company in any of the industries they list has ever done business with them. This “group” also claims to offer training and even has an inoperable link to a non-existent class schedule.

At CBA we are proud of our heritage of providing real value to real companies for 26 years. On our website you will find the names and bios of our ownership and management team, consultants and certified training professionals. We also offer real training classes with a real class schedule for all levels of Primavera training, for which you can really register. Why do sham companies like the one referenced above exist? It is because they try to make easy money selling software cheap to unsuspecting customers and then try to back-fill services through the independent consulting community. Because they don’t invest in their business the way real companies like CBA and our true peers in the industry such as Evans Technologies, DR McNatty and Associates and CDP have they can sell software at unsustainable margins. Unfortunately all you get is low-priced software. The faceless, nameless man behind the mask is not going to help you with maintenance or licensing issues, or help you to receive the support and training necessary to be successful. This is a very dangerous shell game because as any savvy project manager knows project management solutions are not “out of the box” ready products and qualified training and consulting specialists are hard to come by. Just like the wild west hucksters selling snake oil what they are really selling you is deception.

CBAcan lead you out of that wilderness. Only a company with the depth and breadth of knowledge that CBA possesses can offer you the lowest Total Cost of Operation for Primavera products via our Software Advantage Program. As an innovator in project management services and a Oracle Primavera Specialized Partner we have developed the CBA Software Advantage Program. For no additional cost when you purchase 5 or more Oracle Primavera software licenses from CBAwe will enroll you in the CBA Software Advantage Program. This program entitles you to up to 4 hours of product support and assistance from one of our senior consultants at no cost, a 15% discount for enrolling in any of our scheduled training classes conducted by one of our certified Primavera trainers, and a 15% discount on any additional professional services you may need for implementation and administration of your Primavera environment. This is our way of thanking you for your business and ensuring that you have the necessary help you need to make your project management initiative successful and affordable. Save yourself from the wild west of project management and make the prescient choice to call CBA. Please contact CBA for further details.

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11

Jan
2011
Comments Off on How do you like your pizza?

How do you like your pizza?

Working as a Primavera Contract Management consultant for the last six years has provided me the opportunity to sample the food of many regions and cities. One particular favorite food of mine is pizza. This isn’t an effect of my traveling over the last few years, but has been a weakness of mine over the last 30+ years.

Everybody has their favorite. Local or chain? Regular, thin or deep dish crust? Heavy or light on the sauce? Carnivore’s delight or vegetarian feast? Mushrooms? Anchovies?   I prefer deep dish, light sauce, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms (canned) and baked a little longer than normal.

So by now you may be asking why is this guy making me hungry when I should be getting information about how to manage my projects better? Because your project management system should afford you the same flexibility!

What documents do you want to manage in your system? Just submittals and RFI’s, or all project communications? Contracts and Changes, with or without Change Management? Fixed price or Unit Price method? Is the system just a log, or do you want to use it to generate functional documents?  I could go on forever!

On a regular basis, I will endeavor to post some handy information regarding Primavera Contract Management system and some real-world success regarding how different companies are making the system work for them, not just adapting their way to the stock system. I would love to say check back each week, or twice a month, but I might be too busy trying out a new pizza to post. The keys don’t work well with cheese in them!

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8

Nov
2010
Comments Off on CBA Achieves Elite Oracle Primavera Specialized Status

CBA Achieves Elite Oracle Primavera Specialized Status

Critical Business Analysis is pleased to announce that we have become a preferred, elite Oracle Primavera Specialized Partner for Primavera P6 Enterprise Portfolio Project Management.  Oracle’s acquisitions of over 60 companies in the last 4 years has created a major need to differentiate their partners.  The specialized program developed by Oracle to certify their preferred partners expertise in; customer satisfaction, support, implementation, education, integration and sales, gives them the confidence to showcase their preferred specialized partners as part of the Oracle team.  There are currently less than 70 partners that have completed the specialization program in North America and only 5 specialized in Primavera, and we are proud to be part of this elite team. You can view our profile on Oracle’s website by clicking here.

Thank you to all of our customers for the excellent references we received during the specialized certification program and to our employees who worked extremely hard and put in extra hours to pass all the required testing.  We hope this specialized program helps our customers and prospective customers understand that CBA is committed to success in the Portfolio Project Management & technologies market place.

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