- IBM i / AS400
Emerald Performance Materials, LLC, located in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, is a specialty chemical manufacturer and distributor for industrial products. They produce and market specialty chemicals that are used in everything from aerospace and automobiles to food and cosmetics. The chemicals they produce enable products to last longer and perform better. As part of a series of long-term strategic initiatives, Emerald approached Briteskies to assist them with a World-to-World upgrade of their JD Edwards system, going from version A7.3 to A9.3.
Extended Support for their version of JDE World was expiring, therefore they wanted to upgrade to a more current version. As part of the project, the operating system for their IBM i (also known as the iSeries or AS/400) was also aging and needed to be upgraded. The Emerald team executed the operating system upgrade, leaving the Briteskies team
to focus on the JD Edwards software upgrade.
Once the upgrade project began, further challenges arose.
The OS upgrade from IBM i 6.1 to 7.1 had to occur first and had to be applied to two test environments and then two production environments. The two environments were due to the fact that Emerald runs both European and US divisions, with each operating in separate instances of JDE World. Although the environments were separate, they were running on the same hardware and shared code. This put constraints on the project and ultimately forced the implementations to take place simultaneously
and with minimal downtime.
Additionally, there was a critical integration between Prism and JDE where Prism inherited the JDE security settings. The planned upgrade was going to change JDE security
configurations completely so that integration needed to be completely rewritten. This piece of the business process was
a critical path, and if the Prism interface were to go down, business operations would have come to a halt.
By upgrading to JD Edwards World A9.3, Emerald is code current and they can maintain the highest level of support from Oracle and JD Edwards. They now have a platform that allows them to fully take advantage of any and all new functionalities released by JD Edwards, and they are primed to begin some Business Process Improvement projects.
Perhaps most importantly, the project was completed without disrupting the rest of the company, leaving those not involved with the project to continue to focus on corporate goals. The project had a smooth, time-efficient go live, and everything was completed under budget. The project was completed quickly and efficiently, so much so that Emerald was acquired during the project timeline, with the acquisition closing in the middle of the project.
Everything was completed under budget and the project was completed quickly and efficiently.
While of course, it is important to test every aspect of the upgrade, our team was prepared to handle those areas that we knew might provide more trouble than others. In this instance, two modules that received extra attention during the process were Fixed Assets and Foreign Currency Restatement.
Project management was complicated by the fact that Emerald utilizes a third-party consulting firm to provide ongoing IBM i RPG Development. The addition of a third party meant additional coordination between all of the parties involved to ensure a successful project outcome. To make this work, the Briteskies project manager and Emerald project manager worked closely together to ensure tasks and issues were clearly communicated to everyone involved. The third-party team handled the retrofitting of the JDE RPG modifications of the previous version of JDE software to the new version, while the Briteskies handled the specific JDE Software upgrade tasks.
Share this story