A long-standing CGI Advantage ERP client sought to reduce the time and level of effort required to upgrade to the latest release of CGI Advantage Financial Management, and to implement CGI Advantage Vendor Self Service. After analyzing their internal organizational staffing, procedures and other IT initiatives underway, the client reached out to CGI for additional assistance.

The challenge
The need to balance staffing, resources, and schedules for software upgrades is a consistent challenge throughout the CGI Advantage client community.

The solution
CGI Accelerate was developed specifically to help clients gain efficiency and quality in development and testing efforts. The result is a faster delivery method, allowing clients to focus on downstream activities, such as go-live readiness and cutover preparation, instead of installation, setup, and testing. In this case, CGI and the client worked together to customize CGI Accelerate services specifically to support this project. The first step was devising an approach to realize the client's goals. This was accomplished by following the standard methodologies provided with CGI Accelerate for project planning, resource scheduling, and delivery preparation, allowing the client to focus more on overall project goals and immediate staffing needs.

CGI then developed an internal schedule with specific tasks such as:

  • Merging the client's current custom code base with the code base of the target software release
  • Analyzing, executing and customizing the baseline database upgrade scripts to generate a client-specific version, tested and performance-tuned against the client's specific production data set
  • Developing automated regression test scripts that covered core business processes and custom modifications defined by the client.

The results
The client's custom CGI Accelerate delivery services were completed on schedule. CGI was able to build, test, package and deliver all components successfully in less than 10 weeks. There were no delays or major risks to the schedule, as CGI and the client consistently collaborated on requirements to help ensure the success of this delivery.

Below is a summary of the core achievements realized:

  • Prepared, consolidated, enhanced and tuned custom database upgrade scripts
  • Merged client code base with target release code base, including close to 40 custom enhancements
  • Performed regression testing of client specified business processes, focusing on client used functional areas
  • Identified, resolved and retested multiple application issues during test execution effort, specifically focused on those related to custom code/processes
  • Packaged, tested and verified custom application installer packages developed specifically for this client/effort
  • Prepared and delivered upgrade consideration guidance regarding enhanced baseline configuration and functionality, potential data issues and related areas for advanced troubleshooting

The client expressed extreme satisfaction with the results. They were able to execute approximately 1,000 UAT scenarios without encountering any major roadblocks or progress halting issues, allowing them to cutover to production approximately 6 months after the CGI Accelerate delivery. During this UAT timeframe, based on the value of the results and benefits provided to them, the client chose to enter into an agreement with CGI to use additional CGI Accelerate services to support them until they go live with the upgrade. Once live, the client extended this support contract into an annual maintenance agreement. This follow on work was a testament to the quality of the delivery and level of service provided by CGI.

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