Necessity, The Mother of Invention: And Then There was EmeraldCube Oracle Managed Services!

Ok, so try as I might, I couldn’t get the following approved by our marketing department as our official press release for our Oracle managed services launch:

“Like the phoenix rising from the ashes and bursting forth into fiery existence, our Oracle managed service offering was a smoldering notion for a long time waiting dormant in the embers of good ideas… All that was finally needed was a spark of necessity to bring the illustrious firebird into flaming, glorious reality.”

The marketing folks then enthusiastically replied, “Uhhh, no.”Huh, I wonder why… Maybe they weren’t Firebird people? Perhaps they rocked out a Dodge Charger or Camaro IROC-Z and mullet back in the 80s instead. To each, their own I guess.

Alright fine, I’ll admit that maybe that’s some pretty heavy-handed poetry to introduce a technical BI managed service topic. But as a guy from the City of Resurgens, the phoenix firebird holds a pretty special place here in our hearts (General William Tecumseh Sherman anyone!?), so I hope you’ll excuse the literary liberties… And instead of being our press release, it’ll just have to serve as my blog cold open. Take that, marketing department stiffs! (Just kidding, love you guys). Warning: If you’re going to read my blog entries now or in the future, you’ll be harangued by my obnoxious jokes. Consider yourself warned.

Before our flaming BI firebird of managed services was born, our support engagements for clients to fix or help maintain their OBIEE systems were generally one-off tasks to address an issue after it had already occurred or brought a system down to its knees. Usually, this would manifest itself in a desperate plea for help from the panicked client asking us to drop everything and requesting help right now to get their production system back up. Unfortunately, of course, that’s not a very optimal support approach as our collective EmeraldCube BI team may be up to our ears already in a various project deadlines and deliverables, onsite with another client, performing training or just not in a position to be able to drop everything at a moment’s notice to focus on the desperate call out-of-the-blue. As a result, at best it ends up being a “best effort”approach and obviously not optimal when what a client really needs is an SLA-based guaranteed response time and staffed support team dedicated to solving (and more importantly preventing) the kinds of issues that may arise that can cause a BI nuclear meltdown.

An Oracle BI system, like any enterprise-grade platform, isn’t a “set it and forget it” Ronco rotisserie oven from a 90s infomercial (“Just four easy payments of $29.99, call now!”)… It can at times be a complex, involved, Fusion Middleware imbued BI beast. It’s a best-in-class massively scalable platform —but with that can come the need for in house resources who know how to navigate its BI waters. It needs some trained professionals providing it regular care and feeding, not entirely unlike your JD Edwards or other ERP system’s needs.

As experienced Oracle BI admins and technologists, we developed tools and approaches primarily for ourselves to troubleshoot systems and perform maintenance when needed. And it only makes sense that we make them available to our OBIEE client base so they too can leverage them as well for their own systems. Basically, we needed a better way, and our clients deserved a better way, to support our growing client base in a way that scales and still provides top quality management and support for the OBIEE systems in our charge. Mother Necessity has wrought our OBIEE managed services.

Over the years, especially with the advent of OBIEE 11g a few years ago, founding EmeraldCube partner Craig Kelly and I began to realize that there were many aspects not directly related to OBIEE specifically that needed regular attention; elements we have wrapped into our managed services. System basics, like server performance monitoring and alerting (CPU, RAM, I/O, load), disk usage and full disk preventive measures, abandoned temp and log file growth/cleanup are all necessary to ensure a healthy and stable platform. There’s routine maintenance, bug issue patch fixes, log error resolutions that need to be addressed. The out of the box Usage Tracking model can be improved for better BI about your BI. Regular Oracle Critical Security Updates need to be applied. And speaking of those updates, when’s the last time you applied them to your system? Chances are, if you have a security audit, then there’s a good chance you’re going to want to have those in place before security specialists start sniffing around like a pack of rabid bloodhounds tracking down Cool Hand Luke

For the JD Edwards community that leverages Oracle BI as their analytic solution, our JDE managed service offerings pared with our OBIEE managed services are even better together. Kind of like that ideal wine selection and perfect entree pairing. The industry’s best and most robust monitoring platform for JDE, our EmeraldPrism solution, provides best-in-class insights into the health and performance of your JDE system. Leveraging the capabilities of Prism and our managed services for OBIEE, EmeraldCube provides clients with all-encompassing management of their most critical business systems. By providing multiple support options and models, we make it easy for our clients to choose the option that’s best for them. And by offering cancel at anytime contracts, we believe we actually have to continue to win and earn your business — not lock you into a prison like your cell phone provider. Don’t get me started there…

When’s the best time to insure your OBIEE infrastructure with a team of knowledgeable, industry recognized professionals? If I had to venture a guess, I would bet you’ll probably want to do it before the next time your BI production system crashes and causes a row with your executive stakeholders… But that’s just me. So hop in and take a ride in on our OBIEE managed services Firebird (or Charger or IROC-Z, however you roll). The time is now. Call or drop us a line to see under the hood.