My name is Melissa Barrera and I am a Systems IT Analyst and a liaison to the business for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. I’ve been with the university for 7+ years growing experience with enterprise applications including Oracle E-Business Suite. Information Technology supports EBS users on a few continents, including student employees, faculty and staff.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 70 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in the Florida and Arizona, through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and through online programs. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies.
Our Oracle EBS
We’ve been on release 12.0.6 since 2009. We are somewhat of an early adopter in our space and understand that the end of 12.0.6 support is coming up in January 2015. The analysis driving patching decisions is crucial as we transition into release 12.2.
Patching Leads to Blind Testing
When something breaks functionally, I’ll log into My Oracle Support, MOS, and troubleshoot it or open a Service Request. Quite often, this will mean we need a patch. We often find that we are compelled to walk through multiple scenarios when testing a larger patch.
I saw a term recently called blind-testing. Due to the nature of bundled Finance patches, we frequently test a blanket array of scenarios that don’t necessarily have much to do with the original issues and end up spending time on something not even related to the functionalities that we use. With best intentions to provide assurances for business continuity, we are often testing in the dark.
As an intelligent, but resource-constrained team of IT professionals, we are managing increasing complexity along with the unknowns that come with large rollup patches. We don’t want to miss anything.
Let There Be Visibility
Panaya is like a light in the darkness. We all of a sudden have the visibility of what we need to test and the confidence that we can share this with the business users. We know the impact with specific details, something we never knew in the past.
We Met Panaya on YouTube
One day, I was researching release 12.2 and came across a Panaya YouTube webinar. I showed it to my colleagues. We really almost didn’t believe that it could do all of the things that it actually does. One question remained – how are we going to implement this formidable upgrade with our small team? We started with a free trial, and we joined a webinar as a team, and saw the product and that it wasn’t too good to be true.
Once we saw it, we wanted it.
We benefited quickly once subscribed to Panaya’s patch automation solution. We’ve analyzed 8 patches and deployed 4 so far.
Crisis? What Crisis?
We were heading into our end of the year, which is July 1st, and we had a problem with our fixed assets module that caused a sub-ledger to be out of balance. Going into end of year, I think you can appreciate the gravity of the situation.
Normally, at this time of the year we would say, “Absolutely no patches,” but this scenario had to be resolved. First, we found out we needed a consolidated assets patch from 2009 that we knew nothing about. Then we found out we needed two more patches, while the third patch required yet another. Oracle’s tools list the bug fixes and the technical file names to update. Panaya saves the day by pinpointing exactly what forms and processes are affected.
Our small team successfully applied the recommended patches, resolving the critical issue, and I wanted to reach out and hug the entire company!
We really would like to continue with Panaya – and not just for upgrades. The patching and impact analysis tools are very useful. We are learning more about Panaya’s functional testing automation tools as we have testing scripts that are old and outdated.
Moral of the Story
We don’t plan on patch-avoidance anymore. We’re going to be ahead and have planned cycles to stay proactively patch-current. Thanks to Panaya, our reactive days are over.