IBM Cognos BI 10.2.2 Unsupported in April 2018. What’s your Risk?

Cognos BI 10.2.2 Unsupported in April 2018

IBM Cognos BI 10.2.2 Unsupported in April 2018, What’s your Risk?

Recently I have received many calls from Cognos BI clients asking me to clarify the support lifecycle. Clients are realizing that they may not get their Cognos system upgraded until after April 2018. You may have received emails from me stating that IBM Cognos BI 10.2.2 Unsupported in April 2018. What’s your risk? You may have heard rumors that IBM has changed their stance on this. For months, I have been urging clients to plan their upgrade because this is your opportunity to WOW your end users, and going unsupported is risky business. Well, IBM announce a slight change of plans regarding the Cognos BI Upgrade to Cognos Analytics (BI v11), but you still need to plan ahead!

IBM has been kind enough to give you a little breathing room! Thank you, IBM! This does not mean you can put off planning your upgrade! I still strongly recommend you upgrade before April 2018, and if you plan ahead it can be the best upgrade ever.

Here are the latest details on IBM Cognos BI 10.2 support lifecycle.

IBM Cognos BI 10.2.2 is Unsupported after April 2018. But, IBM is giving clients a little wiggle room. Recently, IBM announced an update and it is now offering “Continuing Support” for Cognos BI 10.2 beyond April 2018, which essentially is assisted support for Cognos BI 10.2 as long as a customer is current on IBM support. “Defect Support” is not included, defects will be fixed in the fully supported versions under Continuing Support. Basically, if there is a defect, you will need to upgrade to Cognos Analytics (BI v11) to get the fix, if you don’t want to pay more.

The continuing support does NOT include:

· Voice and electronic access support for code-related problems.
· Development analysis of new defects.
· Development of or packaging fixes that are not already available.
· Support for Supporting Programs and third party components.
· Infrastructure that are not included in the software version’s Hardware and Software Requirement page.

Let’s say you are on Cognos BI 10.2 and just can’t get the upgrade to Cognos Analytics done before May 2018. Assume as luck would have it you discover a defect in Cognos BI 10.2 that you must get fixed. Well, IBM will not leave you high and dry, but it might cost you more. If a customer needs Defect Support in 10.2, they have several options. They can purchase a full Support Extension, or they can purchase an AVP Upgrade Bridge Support service agreement.  If you run into this problem, email us at renewals@lodestarsolutions.com and we can help you get the appropriate agreement in place. But the better plan is to upgrade before the expiration date and not expose yourself to the risk.

What if I stay on Cognos BI 10.2 after April 2018 will I be able to log an issue when upgrading?

If a customer only needs the ability to log a problem (Problem Management Report aka PMR) and get assistance while they are upgrading, you now will have access with Continuing Support.

To read more on continuing Cognos BI 10.2.x support click here.

What’s the biggest change in Cognos Analytics that I need to plan for?

IBM Cognos Analytics is game changing. Upgrading it is your opportunity to shine, because IBM overhauled the user interface. When I first saw the new users interface, I was like, “What? Where did all my buttons go.” It took a little exploring before I realized this new interface was amazing!

You are probably thinking, “Oh no, I have to retrain all my users.” I know most people don’t like change. I am sure you have experience this already with Cognos. Maybe you built a kick butt dashboard for the CFO, only to discover he doesn’t use it! Or you built a great report with all sorts of filters but found out the users still dump everything in Excel. What’s wrong with these people?

The Secret to Upgrade Success

As you plan your upgrade you really need to consider the demographics of your users. Are they Baby Boomers, Gen Xers’ or Millennials? Boomers and Gen Xers don’t embrace technology and changes like Millennials. Are your users highly analytical, or are they sales people, nurses, or store managers that don’t have time for new technology? When you put yourself in the shoes and mindset of your users, you will start to realize maybe were providing too many features. The secret to Cognos Analytics upgrade success is to plan how you will sell the new interface within your organization!

What did I just tell you need to sell the upgrade internally? Yes, it’s true. And if you do it correctly, you could make this the best upgrade ever! You will gain respect. Your users will love you. And, you may even be asked to do the cool projects you have been craving.

How do I plan to sell Cognos Analytics Internally?

Step 1 – Install a test environment to explore the new features. If you need help with this, contact us at services@lodestarsolutions.com.

Step 2 - Learn about the new features and functionality of Cognos Analytics. To help you Lodestar Solutions has created a unique online learning experience. Many clients invest in our online course for their power users to learn the new functionality before they create their detail plan for the roll out. This allows them to understand what’s possible and properly plan. With our program, your power users will have one year to go back in and refresh themselves on the topics, and complete exercises. Lodestar Solutions will provide updates with each new release. We also provide periodic live Q&A calls so you can get answers to your questions from Sr. Consultants. The cost of the C11 online course is only $497 per person, and you get continuous access for one year. Here is the link to information on our course and some free training. http://lodestarsolutions.com/cognos-11-training-webinar-being-an-awesome-developer/

Step 3 – Plan a workshop with your end users. Getting some of your end users involved in planning the upgrade will ensure you deliver what they need. You are not good at reading their ever-changing minds, so stop trying. Instead plan a workshop and listen to their needs. If you haven’t run a workshop before, Lodestar Solutions offers a couple options for you. We can provide a facilitator for your workshop and you can learn the art of leading engaging meetings, or we have a BI Success Program designed to win the hearts of your executives, while coaching you to be a Rockstar. This program is game changing! It’s designed to get you the executive level support required for Business Intelligence success. We coach executives how to be “Analytic Leaders.” For more information www.lodestarsolutions.com/bi-success-program

Step 4 - If you need a little help, reach out to us.  If you have a list of questions, or just need someone to bounce ideas with, but don’t want to engage consultants in a big project, we are here to help. You know that nagging list of things that you keep thinking, “there has to be a better way”, but you don’t have time to research it. Why wait? Stop doing things the long way, and ask an expert. Lodestar Solutions now offers small projects consulting services. http://lodestarsolutions.com/cognos-training-hour-senior-cognos-consultants/

For more information contact services@lodestarsolutions.com.

Your success is in your hands! Start planning today!

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