Representatives from Corning Inc. spoke at COLLABORATE 18 about how the company leveraged the PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM) to become more proactive and regularly update its Finance and Supply Chain instances. The company presented its PUM case study and shared lessons learned throughout the process.
About Corning Inc.
More than 150 years ago, Corning Inc. was founded in Corning, New York. Over the years, it has become the world leader in specialty glass and ceramics, with plants in 11 countries around the globe. Each location specializes in creating and making keystone components that enable technology systems for consumer electronics, mobile emissions control, telecommunications, and life science.
Since its founding in 1851, Corning has undergone many evolutions throughout the company’s life span. Company leaders are committed to operating effective systems, which explains the longevity of the business and $10.5 billion of sales in 2017.
Corning’s PeopleSoft Footprint
Corning is currently using PeopleSoft 9.2 for Global Finance (FSCM) and Global Supply Chain (FSCM).
Within Finance, Corning is leveraging:
- General Ledger
- Asset Management
- Project Costing
- Accounts Payable
- Accounts Receivable
- Cost Management
- Order Management
Within Supply Chain, Corning is leveraging:
- Order Management
- Cost Management
Today, Corning claims to be “humming” due to PeopleSoft PUM. One leader even goes as far as saying the acronym “PUM,” which stands for PeopleSoft Update Manager, should really spell out “PeopleSoft, U are Magical.”
PUM Case Study: Corning’s Journey
A few years ago, leaders looked for improvements in PeopleSoft instances of Supply Chain and Finance. Corning’s PUM journey began with its technical upgrade to PeopleSoft 9.2. As they upgraded to PeopleSoft 9.2, they recognized opportunities to utilize PUM (PeopleSoft Update Manager) and improve company-wide systems. Employees began climbing the learning curve once they could access it. The journey was reactive at first, with no plan in place, and individual fixes were made in five areas.
However, reactive improvements only solved one step at a time, required lots of testing, decreased end user and IT productivity, and caused multiple disruptions in business functions. After the first five changes, leaders recognized an opportunity to make regular, proactive improvements in their supply chain and finance systems and decided to use PUM for proactive decisions instead.
Proactive, packaged updates make business easier through:
- Recommended best practices
- Multiple issues solved with one package
- Helps maintain system uptime with consistent reliability
- Takes several weeks for 100+ patches
- One outage of several hours for migration
- Full testing effort to cover multiple issues
- Increases end-user productivity
- Increases IT productivity
When the decision-making team set out to determine proactive moves, they considered a variety of approaches. As they discussed how big the packages of updates should be and when they should be applied, the Indian government changed tax rules. This expedited the plan, and Corning quickly began implementing ideas.
The Technical Journey
The technical journey played out in the following steps:
- Unwrap (unzip) the change package and review the contents
- Run the Compare Report from a file to find collisions with customizations before it is applied to the database
- Build a list of objects that need to be retrofitted and what customizations are affected
- Analyze other objects in the projects
- Query trees
- Process definitions
- Translate values
- Application engines—what ones do you run
- Component interfaces
- Review all other folders for external objects (sqrs, cobols) and documentation
At this point, the team felt ready to begin testing out changes, including:
- Basic testing for each module
- Unit testing for all retrofits
- GST Testing – new capabilities with new configurations
- Integration testing (some interfaces) and batch jobs
- Component interface testing
- Go live (MTP) plan practice
With testing complete, Corning released a successful go-live. Defects were larger than expected, but the team recorded lessons and created a standard, repeatable process for future rollouts and began utilizing PTF (PeopleSoft Testing Framework) scripts.
Corning’s Current State with PUM
Today, Corning is happily “humming” along. Employees continue to do proactive maintenance quarterly. So far, the supply chain instance has been updated three times and the finance instance has been updated twice with the PUM process. Maintenance processes are averaging 10 to 12 weeks, with a better linkage of customizations to test scripts and a constantly building PTF library for regression testing.
Additional tools that Corning uses with PUM include:
- PUM database installation and updates
- Change Assistant
- Application designer
- Oracle SQL (TOAD)
- HP Quality Center
- STAT (Quest)
- Beyond Compare
- PTF (PeopleSoft Testing Framework)
Lessons Learned and Advice for PUM Users
Over time, Corning leaders have identified eight major lessons learned from the company’s PUM journey:
- The PUM process and Change Assistant have a learning curve that requires some practice.
- Performing the PUM updates twice a year will help keep the updates smaller, helping achieve a three-month release process.
- This process requires a focused team of people from beginning to end.
- Testing must include all types of objects that are included in the package.
- Standard plans for the project, testing, and go-live sequence provide a more efficient process.
- During test planning, IT needs to be involved with the Functional Test Lead in refining the test plan.
- A catalog of customizations that affect delivered objects helps with the analysis.
- Utilizing PTF in the future will provide efficiency in the testing and reduce the burden on the testers.
To learn more about Corning Inc.’s use of the PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM), check out the presentation from COLLABORATE 18 attached below. For more information about PUM, browse through some of the additional Quest resources attached below.
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