Stay ahead of the pack with Innovation Packs

Many companies fear Siebel upgrades. There is a good reason: whenever they upgraded, it took too long, cost too much, was difficult and brought many defects in the end.

Oracle says more customers now use Open UI than High Interactivity UI. Oracle has documented their upgrade process much better. Siebel consultants have learned to perform the upgrades better, after many trials and errors. Companies now run upgrades every year.

Siebel upgrades are business as usual for most. What about you?
Here are the answers to most common upgrade questions:

Which Innovation Pack (IP) to upgrade to?

Innovation Pack to upgrade
Oracle releases a new IP every year. The pack usually comes out in late spring or early summer. It is a good idea to wait for few months before upgrading, though. Unless your configuration is very close to vanilla or only uses the standard options, let other early adopters try the new IP first. Oracle will solve any issues they discover, and your upgrade will be much smoother. Companies that wait till January, February or March see fewer nasty surprises during their upgrades.

Can we do development and upgrade at the same time?

Development and upgrade
It’s better not to. Running a pure upgrade project without new development is the most efficient. This lets you separate upgrade issues from development issues, and solve them much faster.
Plan a separate upgrade release. If you have high priority features, build and release them before the upgrade. Then run a dedicated upgrade release.
What if you cannot plan a separate release? Dedicated upgrade release approach might not fit companies with a large development team. Or those companies who need enhancements in every release.
Regression rests are the most time-consuming part of the upgrade process. If you have a team of Siebel specialists, they could shorten the upgrade project time by testing and fixing the functionality they know best.
One way is to proceed with force. Have the special Siebel task force to run the upgrade process and get Siebel Server starting again in the shortest possible time. Then the rest of your Siebel team can start working on next release enhancements, while upgrade team solve their issues. First weeks won’t be as productive as usual, as upgrade issues will interfere with the development ones, and vice versa.
A smoother way is to run a test upgrade in the separate environment, while your core development team works on the main release. Upgrade team would run the upgrade process, find out major issues and prepare solutions for those. Then they would upgrade the main environment, apply all the solutions and get Siebel in a stable state, ready for core development work. This approach demands more time, but productivity loss is smaller.

How long will my upgrade take?

My upgrade
Should it really take this long? If you have received a large estimate for your upgrade and are wondering if it really should take this long, use the cheat-sheet below. This is how long our Siebel upgrades usually take, for a company with average Siebel complexity and functionality. We can also help you simplify your Siebel configuration:
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IP2015 is the last version that supports High Interactivity client. If you want to use IP2016 or later, you must change to Open UI. Standard upgrade can be done in 1-2 months with 1 person. Complex upgrade takes around 2-3 months with 2-3 people. Very complex upgrade is due to enabling Open UI and applying all changes at the same time. And it would need around 3-4 months with 3-4 people.
My version isn’t on the graph. For versions not specifically shown on graph, the complexity is the same as for an upgrade from the previous version. For example, an upgrade from IP2014 HI to IP2015 HI is the same as from IP2013 HI to IP2015 HI.
Why is Repository Merge so complicated? Upgrade to 8.1.1.11 (IP2013) is complex because Oracle significantly changed their upgrade approach between these versions. Before that, companies could choose which changes to apply. Starting from IP2013, all changes must be merged. This leads to many conflicts with customized repositories. If you do not have people who are experienced with upgrades to 8.1.1.11, better find some before upgrading.
Isn't Open UI easy to enable? The initial upgrade to Open UI is complex. Functions that interacted with ActiveX components in previous versions are not working anymore and must be rewritten. The UI side has changed, too: several previous customizations are no longer supported by the automatic upgrade process. Open UI also uses JavaScript a lot, so your developers will need to learn it well before upgrading.
Can I stay with High Interactivity UI? IP2015 is the last version that supports High Interactivity UI. You cannot keep up with the latest Innovation Packs without switching to Open UI.

Can my in-house team run the upgrade on its own?

Run the upgrade
Yes, your Siebel team can run the upgrade. However, it is a good idea to add at least one person to this project, who is experienced with Siebel upgrades.
What good will this person do for you?
  • During the planning phase, he will give you a better estimate for your upgrade timetable. This information helps you plan activities to keep your team as productive as possible.
  • During the upgrade process, he will make better decisions about which upgrade conflicts can be resolved by default settings and which should be investigated. Researching tens, hundreds or even thousands of conflicts that don’t affect your Siebel configuration is a waste of money. Solving conflicts the wrong way generates new unnecessary defects for you to fix.
  • After the upgrade process, his knowledge from past projects will help you resolve common upgrade issues effectively and help the rest of your team make the most of all new components in your Innovation Pack.
Is your team too busy or needs more upgrade experience? Get our external expert to cut your upgrade time and costs.
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