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April 21, 2016

The Cloud, a passing technical fad?

Everyone’s talking about the Cloud. Until recently, I thought it was just a passing technical fad. Just like a few years ago, when suddenly everything had to be web-based. It wasn’t entirely clear to me just what the benefits of utilizing the Cloud would be.

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At Planon we use our own software, and I’m the functional manager of our Planon implementation. I constantly hear around me that the Cloud takes away a lot of your concerns, but even without the Cloud I had absolutely no concerns! Just as with many of our clients, the technical management of our Planon solution is performed by a great team at Planon Technical Managed Services (PTMS). No matter the task—installing a new Service Pack, copying a dump of the production database to the test environment—they could quite happily handle it all. So, surely, I didn’t need the Cloud at all?

Of course, I’m not going to admit here in public that I was wrong, but I have certainly changed my mind (for those among us over 40, that’s a fairly liberal interpretation of the nicest line Billy Joel ever wrote). I’ve changed my mind because Planon in the Cloud incorporates a gadget that has changed my working life. It makes my work tasks easier to manage and solve, and even though I loved working with the guys over at PTMS, I no longer rely on them.

I love lists, so I’ve drawn up a top-three of my favorite gadget features. And in the Cloud they’re within reach with just a couple of clicks.

1. I can install a new Suite Release or Service Pack myself in a test, acceptance, or production environment—wherever I want.

2. I can transfer my entire production environment over to a test or acceptance environment myself, including database, Service Pack and all the linked files (secure documents, HTML receipts, etc).

3. All the log files can be easily searched for from the gadget. Because they are now all together in a list, I no longer have to remember exactly where each log is located.

So many possibilities! As for upgrades, I have become entirely self-sufficient and I’m no longer solely dependent on our team at PTMS. If I want to quickly test something on the latest Service Pack,  then I simply upgrade the test environment—and when I’m ready—it takes just one click to restore a copy of the production environment. If I want to set up a new Business Object, I actually never use configuration transfer (an old habit from the time before this feature existed); instead I set it up directly for production. With the Cloud gadget, it’s really easy to transfer an entire database with its new configuration to a test environment in order to test it.

I could list many more benefits, because like the lady in Billy’s song, I may not have been wrong, but I did change my mind.

Tania Somsen
Release Manager