The following is a summary of the topics discussed during this session facilitated by Jason Brown (Director, Solutions Management) and David Leonard (Director, Solution Optimization).

 

  • Service Pack Planning Process
    • Several customers shared insight into the Service Pack planning process, and their decision criteria for whether to move forward with an SP or not
      • Common theme was that determining what was in a service pack or a service pack’s impact on their environment was a less than easy task
      • Ariba has improved navigation of connect.ariba.com for finding SP-specific fixes
        • Log in to connect.ariba.com
        • In the bottom right hand portlet, select the On-Premise tab
        • The Service Pack release entry is linked to the filtered list of fixed issues, enhancements, etc. for that particular SP
      • Request to allow for “show all service packs from service pack x to y” -> currently have to pull all lines to excel to do this analysis
    • Need a better process for communication a hotfix on a service pack
      • Several customers noted that they would start a service pack implementation effort, and during the elapsed time one to several hot fixes would be released.  Customers would like to be proactively notified of these HF’s so that they can immediately apply them and not be “in the dark” and behind upon SP go live.
    • Request for Ariba to enhance SP documentation to more clearly indicate what configuration changes are required for applying a service pack (Parameters.table, Message configurations, etc.).  A few examples shared where documentation was either incomplete or confusing, resulting in errors and/or unnecessary back-and-forth with support.

 

  • Service Pack Testing Process
    • Most customers perform manual testing of service packs
    • There was a continuum of those who did minimal testing (or testing of only items that changed), with other doing more full regression scenarios

 

  • Core Code Modification Management
    • We all know that core code modifications are not allowed, however, we all know that plenty of customers have done them.  No use in denying reality.
    • Requests from several customers to define a process where core code modifications are shared with Ariba, for purposes of
      • Enabling better support for service pack and hotfix deployment -> Ariba could assess/communicate impact of SP/HF on customer if core code mods clash
      • Enabling the Enhancement Request process -> if multiple customers are performing the same core mod, shouldn’t that find it’s way into our prioritized list of enhancement requests?

 

  • Safe Customizations
    • Beyond core code modifications, customers should strive to make the safest and most minimally invasive customizations
    • Action -> Ariba to publish better information on safe customizations and customization manager in 9r1