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 1. Good Documentation

The first time I migrated Cognos Enterprise Planning (EP) was to TM1 and it was a breeze. It was only later that I found out why. The client was a major defense contractor who insisted upon everything being documented in triplicate so the documentation was spot on. Also, to my advantage  I had not even heard of the EP to TM1 Migration Utility. So I just assumed we would have to rebuild everything from scratch based on a good specification. Lastly I was ably assisted by an experienced TM1 consultant who made sure I didn’t miss anything.

2. Prepare the Foundations

EP applications by their nature develop over time and typically a lot of unused clutter is left hanging around making the task of migration appear daunting. This usually results in a client sitting on their hands and hoping for the best but ultimately knowing they must do something soon. Before you start a migration you need to address this clutter and have a jolly good spring clean. You’ll be amazed at how much clearer an Enterprise Planning migration will appear when you have tidied up your current application.

However we should not be tempted to rewrite the EP application.  What we need to do is make it ready for migration by streamlining the processes and removing redundancy, thereby maintaining focus.

3. Adopt a Standardized Approach

Over years of working with EP I have relied on my trusty old Templates and my toolbox of standard functions. H0wever these are now over ten years old and in need of some rework. To this end I have recreated my top 16 documentation ‘widgets’. I have focused on making them work better and with  input from our BI team at Triangle have also improved them visually.

“You can’t just throw a report together any old how – it must look the part as well as being functionally accurate. Today’s clients expect a professional look and feel to their reports”

4. Don’t try to “Eat the whole Elephant”

In my experience migration projects are a bit like musical chairs. The pressure builds slowly but it always seems easier somehow to just try to squeeze a bit more out of the existing system. Eventually you will run out of chairs and get landed with a mammoth task on your hands and you’ll be thinking “Oh I wish I’d done something about this before it got so bad”. Well you can. Nobody ever got fired for running a health check on an aging system. Even better if a health check could deliver bite-sized chunks of work that can make a daunting task seem more manageable. Maybe there is stuff that needs to be done straight away. There might also be simple things you could do to buy more time for the big decision.

It makes a lot of sense to make sure that anything you invest from now on carries forward into your new system. For all these reasons it just makes sense to do a bit of discovery up front rather than wait until you are landed with the whole elephant.

5. Migration Utility

IBM does provide a Migration Utility but like so many of these utilities they are not the complete answer. IBM have leveraged the existing XML functionality of both products. In Contributor you create an export to XML. In TM1 Performance Modeller you can then select to import the XML.

The problem is that your flowcharts in Manager are left behind, as are all Macros and ODBC Links plus a many minor objects like File Maps and pretty much everything in Contributor relating to Security & Access.

Your TM1 Turbo Integrator is a blank sheet so all your dimension automation have been dropped. This would be acceptable if the manual dimensions came across but they get scrambled too with Hierarchies turning into Calculations and expand/collapse feature removed which is especially annoying.

There are workarounds but that is a separate subject to cover later.

So you now be asking “Why bother with the Migration Tool?”

What the Migration tool is good for is being used to create rapid prototypes. Used this way it can help the migration process and the ultimate rebuilding of your application in TM1.

It will also give you a useful tutorial if, like me, you are a Cognos EP veteran. The utility helped me to generate my first working TM1 script and as a result I have been able to progress onto producing complex TM1 models.

For more information view our Cognos EP Migration Process

Posted in Analytics, Cognos, Planning

November 20, 2015