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Case Study

UPenn AppCare Implementation

UNIVERSITY CUTS COST WHILE IMPROVING HYPERION PERFORMANCE WITH MINDSTREAM APPCARE MANAGED SERVICES

Since opening its doors to students in 1751, the Ivy League university has accumulated a notable list of accomplishments, including the creation of one of the first medical schools in the US. The university founded by Benjamin Franklin currently has a total of almost 25,000 students who pursue their studies in four undergraduate schools and a dozen graduate and professional schools, including the renowned Wharton School and the Annenberg School for Communications. Its student-teacher ratio is very low 6:1.

To help support the university's ever growing Business Analytic needs they rely on the Oracle Hyperion IT platform, running Hyperion Planning, Essbase, Financial Reporting and Smartview. In the past to support this broad IT infrastructure the university relied on in-house IT staff members to support and maintain. However, over time the university discovered that the arrangement did not deliver favorable results for the end-user experience needed. UPENN sought out a partner that could not only help manage, monitor and maintain the applications but the ability to provide hosting services.

Solution

Knowing there had to be a better way, the university turned to MindStream AppCare to explore a more structured managed services and hosting arrangement. Unsure of engagement metrics to gain support for its Hyperion application, the university started by determining a set of basic qualification it wanted a managed services provider to have:

  • Area of expertise both in infrastructure and application management
  • The ability to bridge the gap between in-house IT resources and business-user resources to ensure UPENN was scoping changes appropriately
  • A shared sense of urgency, when appropriate - a major issue would require a major response

The University had worked with various types of application and hosting support in the past, and had reservations that many other clients have: "We hear you say you're going to provide support, but we don't really know what that means". The MindStream AppCare team shared their proven engagement methodology that provides a comprehensive onboarding process followed by weekly reviews with a dedicated AppCare Account Manager that helps to monitor and maintain the engagement.

In addition, we provided a specific set of managed services deliverables that include:

  • Creating a combination of scheduled monthly, quarterly, and annual tasks, including updates to substitution variables, security adds, and log file management
  • Creating unscheduled tasks to anticipate unforeseen needs, such as hierarchy changes, new calculation line items, and report modifications. Instituting a ticketing platform that efficiently captures service requests and allocates them to appropriate MindStream AppCare Hyperion experts
  • Automating scheduled task/activities generation for minimized service interruptions
  • Creating a portal to capture and assign priority to unscheduled tasks

Results

In addition to receiving cost savings and streamlining processes the University of Pennsylvania has been pleasantly surprised by the level of proactive service they receive along with a detailed, structured managed services agreement. With proactive monitoring, tuning and tickets being handled not only immediately but reliably by our expert managed services team, the company's Hyperion environment performance has shown significant improvement. As technology platforms/solutions progress, UPENN at this time, is in the process of implementing Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Services. MindStream Consulting and AppCare team members are proud be working side by side with the university in accomplishing this implementation and along with continuing our AppCare services after go-live.

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Latest testimonial

cleaver brooks

We chose MindStream because they had a strong emphasis on proactive support and monitoring inside the Hyperion applications, and will include maintenance of our existing Hyperion application artifacts. We chose a vendor who proposed both managed services and hosting, and demonstrated a productive working relationship with their hosting partner.

Brent A. Friedman
Sourcing Manager | Purchasing Services, The University of Pennsylvania

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MindStream Analytics is a leading consulting firm focused on helping clients improve business understanding and decision making. With years of experience in the analytics and Business Performance Management area, MindStream offers services ranging from software selection and implementation to best practices for financial planning.

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