As the Oracle SOA Suite and BPM Suite 12c products enter beta, many of our clients are starting to discuss migrating from the Oracle 10g or prior platforms. With the BPM Suite 11g, Oracle introduced a major change in architecture with a strong focus on integration with SOA and an entirely new technology stack. In addition, there were fresh new UIs and a renewed business focus with an improved Process Composer and features like Adaptive Case Management. While very beneficial to both technology and the business, the fundamental change in architecture does pose clear migration challenges for clients who have made investments in the 10g platform. Some of the key challenges facing 10g customers include:
- Managing in-process instance migration and running multiple process engines
- Migration of User Interfaces and other code within the environment that may not be automated
- Growing or finding technical staff with both 10g and 12c experience
- Managing migration projects while continuing to move the business forward and meet day-to-day responsibilities
As a former practitioner in a mixed 10g/11g shop, I wrestled with many of these challenges as we tried to plan ahead for the migration. Luckily, there is migration tooling on the way from Oracle and several approaches you can use in planning your migration efforts. In addition, you already have a defined and visible process on the current platform, which will be invaluable as you migrate.
A Migration Model
This model presents several options across a value and investment spectrum. The goal of the AVIO Migration Model is to kick-start discussions within your company and assist in creating a plan of action to take advantage of the new platform. As with all models, this is a framework for discussion and certain processes or situations may not fit. Please contact us if you have specific questions or want to discuss migrations efforts in your situation.
"Lift and Shift" - This option's goal is simply to move existing processes, user interfaces, rules and in-process instances from the 10g environment to BPM Suite 12c. This would involve no process changes or adjustments outside those needed to facilitate the migration. Human nature will want to improve and update the process, so this approach would need the clear agreement of the business and IT as part of a larger plan.
- Key Risks: Up-front implementation efforts with limited short-term business benefits
- Key Benefits: Lower cost than other options but prepares the platform for extension and improvement; take advantage of new features incrementally; starts to ramp-up staff on 12c
Technology Optimization Options
Partial Technology Optimization, Same Process - This option seeks to migrate and optimize key technology integrations, services and business rules to take advantage of the 12c SOA and BPM features. One example would be migrating some hard-coded rules into the Business Rules engine or moving logic out of PBL code and into a new service.
Full Technology Optimization, Same Process - At the other end of the technology spectrum would be modifying all 10g processes and artifacts to take advantage of the 12c platform. The goal here would be to setup the implementation for future changes and reuse of existing services and models. A few examples might be creating externalized services, refactoring models to ensure reuse of services and business rules and developing all activities to standards.
- Key Risks: Hard to translate benefits for business audience; learning curve for the new technology platform
- Key Benefits: Will depend on the level of technical benefits derived based on the complexity of your processes; takes advantage of the flexibility and service orientated focus of the 12c platform; no new business requirements should keep scope manageable
Process Optimization Options
Partial Technology Optimization, Updated Process - Similar to the previous option, approach seeks to migrate and optimize key technology integrations, services and business rules to take advantage of the 12c SOA and BPM features. But, it also introduces new process changes and potentially other scope. This could include pulling in long-awaited enhancements requested by the business or technology to improve the process.
Full Re-Engineering - At the highest end of value and cost is a full re-engineering. Starting with the existing system will help immensely with project requirements and definition, which will give this option a kick-start. Depending on the age of your implementation, this might be the best option.
- Key Risks: The main risk with these options is the control and management of scope -- no different than any technology project. Clear definition and alignment on the goals of the initiative will be key.
- Key Benefits: Allows the migration to be tucked under a larger re-engineering and improvement effort; could make ROI and justification easier
What Can I Do Now?
While the 12c product is still in beta, we recommend a few key activities to get started on now:
- Start the discussions with your business or IT partners to build awareness for the migration and potential options that work for you
- If your team (business or technology) has not started working with the 11g or 12c products, devote some time to training one or two key staff and start knowledge sharing. Stand up an 11g environment and start learning!
- Stay close to the AVIO blog and your Oracle partners for the latest news
In my next post, I will outline some specific ways to justify your 10g to 12c migration. Each company and situation will have unique variables that will help build a business case. We will also deliver other blogs on specific migration topics to help you along the way.
I hope this model is helpful in thinking about your migration options. Please comment below with any feedback or questions.