Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC), a major US-based bulk liquid storage facilities and services company, has been providing safe and reliable terminal services to the petrochemical industry since 1972.
ITC implemented JD Edwards Xe in the late 90’s and has been operating on a heavily customized version of Xe for over a decade. Due to the limitations of Xe, and the growing need to scale and update their technology it was time for ITC to upgrade JD Edwards. After conducting a rigorous selection process, ITC chose Smartbridge as their trusted partner to upgrade JD Edwards.
Key Challenges for Intercontinental Terminals Upgrading JD Edwards
ITC faced some key major challenges in order to upgrade their JD Edwards environment.
1. Many Modifications and Customization
Due to the unique nature of the tank terminal business, and limited bulk liquid storage functionality in the Xe version of JD Edwards, many customization and modifications were made to the Sales Order, Contract, and Advanced Pricing modules. ITC has over 1,500 custom and modified objects in JD Edwards.
2. Lack of Test Scripts
As they have not upgraded JD Edwards in over a decade, ITC didn’t have any test scripts for validating their JD Edwards processes.
3. Minimal Business Interruption
ITC operates on a 24×7 basis, with limited staff. The key stakeholders from the business and IT are fully focused on keeping their operations running smoothly. Therefore, they had some constraints on the amount of time they can dedicate to the JDE Upgrade project, as could not afford to have any business interruption due to the upgrade.
Smartbridge’s JD Edwards Methodology and Approach for a Successful Upgrade
Working collaborative with ITC, Smartbridge implemented an incremental approach to ITC’s upgrade in order to mitigate risks. Smartbridge focused on a technical upgrade, and planned the project in phases, with key check points throughout. Some key components of our approach that enable us to overcome the key challenges included:
1. Upgrade and Retrofit Analysis
In order to address the high number of customization/modifications, an upgrade and retrofit analysis was conducted. Smartbridge’s proprietary methods and tools allowed us to quickly analyze the custom/modified objects to understand if any objects can be marked as obsolete, replaced, or may not be impacted by the upgrade. In addition, we classified objects based on complexity, so there was a clear understanding of the staffing and effort needed to complete the retrofit.
The upgrade analysis also included a review of ITC’s key business processes, this enabled the project team to understand the usage of key customizations/modification accelerating the testing process.
2. Smart Planning and Team Approach
Based our in-depth experience with upgrades, Smartbridge understood the importance of testing the system thoroughly. Smartbridge leveraged pre-built testing templates, for standard processes. This allowed ITC key power users to effectively focus their time and effort on creating the test scripts needed for their unique processes, saving time and effort.
3. Practice Makes Perfect
In order to make sure the go-live was executed smoothly with minimal business interruption, Smartbridge incorporates multiple mock go-lives into our methodology. The mock go-live simulates the go-live activity, including the timing required to execute the final steps of the upgrade.
In addition, the go-live was executed in a parallel approach, so ITC’s production Xe environment was only down for 30 minutes in order to take the production data back-up. ITC was able to go-live smoothly with minimal business interruption and start operating on the new JD Edwards 9.1 environment right away!
ITC’s JD Edwards Upgrade was a complete success. The project was completed on-time and on-budget, and most importantly ITC stakeholders were happy with the results. Now on the new platform with update hardware/infrastructure, ITC is well positioned for the future and able to take advantage of many new JDE features.