Cloud computing offers significant benefits over on-premises hosting and storage in terms of security, reliability and flexibility. It’s also a much lower cost solution; typically businesses pay for their needs rather than the costs of maintaining their own hosted environment.
Businesses contemplating upgrading to cloud versions of software used in daily operational systems have multiple issues to consider; from the transition from the traditional environment to the more specialist integration of an existing reporting solution.
When Stonegate Pub Company decided to migrate to a cloud version of their Coda Finance System (Coda v14) from the on-premises v13, a requirement to develop a new reporting environment was identified. Stonegate Finance use IBM Cognos Powercubes and the proposed solution would involve a new installation of IBM Cognos.
Four stakeholders were involved in the project; Unit4, the Coda vendor, RTS, who hosted the original environment, Centrality, providers of Stonegate’s Azure cloud platform, and change++, Stonegate Finance’s BI partner.
Stonegate Project Manager, Steve Rix, comments, “From the outset, it was clear that the specialist nature of the IBM Cognos deployment within Stonegate would necessitate close collaboration between the Coda software vendor, Unit4, Centrality, and change++, who support the IBM Cognos reporting solution."
Centrality provisioned the Azure Virtual Machines while change++ created a new Cognos environment, installing and configuring the software and handling the migration. According to change++’s Andy Best, “We’ve worked closely with our partner, Centrality, over many years on this type of project so knew we could deliver what Stonegate wanted. There are always risks though, for example, would authentication between Cognos and Coda v14 databases work? Thankfully, early-stage discussions and close cooperation between ourselves, Centrality and Unit4 and of course, Stonegate, meant we could clarify issues and test assumptions.”
Stonegate Pub Company’s Finance team now have a completely updated, current software solution underpinned by scalable cloud services that future-proof their options. The project was delivered on time and to the quoted budget. According to Rix, “The Azure cloud platform has seen no compromises in terms of performance or capability. The Cognos IBM content was integrated seamlessly thanks to all parties working together. It’s been a successful project.”