QAD EE Upgrade Approaches
Thinking about upgrade approaches for QAD EE? As most QAD users know, the upgrade to QAD’s Enterprise Application (QAD EE) from older versions of QAD’s ERP software is a significant undertaking. Prior upgrades over the last 20 years could largely be completed as technical exercises. Assuming that few customizations and business process changes. The underlying technical architecture of QAD SE from one version to another is mainly the same. With few significant functional changes, these had to be absorbed as part of an upgrade that required user involvement.
Release of QAD EE
The changes to the financial functionality and architecture results in new upgrade challenges and opportunities. For the purpose of this discussion, operational changes in the distribution and manufacturing functionality between SE and EE are not substantial. Although, there are great improvements to the base software package for distribution and manufacturing. The transition of a user who works primarily in these areas is manageable and little. If any new training is required as part of an upgrade, absent any shift in user interface (Character to .Net for example) or process changes.
QAD Inc. has used this release to move its ERP software into a competing position. Mainly with Oracle, SAP, and other large scale ERP packages in supporting organizations with global financial requirements. The financial functionality in QAD EE is greatly improved, but functionally different compared to its QAD SE predecessor. At minimum, the scope of an upgrade and implementation of QAD EE will include implementation of the following functionality:
- General Ledger and General Ledger Reporting.
- Accounts Payable and Related AP Banking.
- Accounts Receivable and Related AR Banking
Upgrade QAD EE Approaches
QDT Conversion Approach
A like for like conversion of data from the prior QAD version to QAD EE using the QAD Deployment Toolkit (QDT). Let’s call this the QDT Conversion Approach. This approach consists of a series of audit reports run against the source database. To ensure the data has the integrity required for a transition to the new QAD EE structure. Additionally, data setup must be completed in a QAD EE financials to support the destination database and the conversion of the operation data to QAD EE. New data elements that did not exist in prior versions of QAD such as Business Relations must be defined as part of the upgrade to support the operational data.
The QDT approach becomes a very iterative approach of audit reporting, and fixing data. Along with re-running the audit reports until the source data is deemed acceptable for the upgrade. Historical data is converted in all areas as part of this approach. It is important to recognize that the QDT conversion approach may only work for some data areas but not others. All data will be converted as-is. Delete/Archive utilities can be used along with this approach as they can at any other time before or after an upgrade.
New Database Approach
Logan Consulting is finding that the majority of its upgrade customers prefer a second approach to an upgrade to QAD EE. This involves the creation of a new QAD EE database and cleansing and converting data into that environment. Let’s call this the New Database Approach. In the New Database Approach, users take the opportunity to extract, cleanse and purge source data. Prior to conversion into the new QAD EE environment. This approach involves more user time to evaluate the data for cleansing and purging. The end result is an up to date ERP environment with more relevant and accurate data. Many of our clients have been running QAD for many years. Their businesses have changed due to many factors. Often related to acquisitions, divestitures, changes in product line mix, etc.
This results in the desire to remove data associated with prior operations that is no longer needed. Although customers are often frustrated and sometimes even surprised at the effort required to upgrade to QAD EE. Regardless of approach, an upgrade to QAD EE gives these companies an excellent opportunity to review their data and cleanse it.
Regardless of the approach used, the upgrade to QAD EE has to include the following tasks:
- Project Team Training in EE Financials
- Process Design for EE Financials
- EE Financials Configuration and Data Setup
- New User Procedures (Work Instructions) for EE Financials
- End User Training in EE Financials
To learn more and hear what our customers are saying about us, please visit our website (www.logan-consulting.com).
2020 Nucleus Research Report on ERP Technology