Have your cake and eat it too, with IBM's Bridge to Cloud program
Date: 09/12/2016

By Chee-Hoe Tham

As the festive season nears and we all start indulging in the party season, I was struck by the idiom: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”.

As an avowed dessert lover, this has always made little sense to me. Why have a cake, if not to eat it? Ok, I get that the intention is to suggest “You can’t have it both ways” or “You can’t have the best of both worlds”, but sometimes it’s worth questioning whether this is actually true.

Having breakfast at one of my favourite cafes recently, I was tossing up the conundrum of deciding between the hash browns + poached eggs and green goddess dressing, or the mushroom haloumi poached egg roll with house-made beetroot relish. Very tasty, the both of them ... how to choose? I really wanted both, but that would have blown the budget, as well as my waistline.   

My waiter was a genius – have the roll, and get a small side dish of the hash browns. Just a few extra dollars and I could enjoy the delights of both. Instead of ‘OR’, choose ‘AND’.

Here at Cornerstone, we’ve started having a similar conversation with our clients about choosing ‘AND’ rather than ‘OR’ with their IBM software, and suggesting they leverage IBM’s Bridge to Cloud program. The program is designed to help customers try the Cloud versions of the software they have traditionally used, AND still run their software on-premise.

IBM now offers both Cloud SaaS and On-premise perpetual licence deployment models for the majority of its Analytics and Information Management software portfolio. Some of IBM’s software has been available on Cloud for a while, for example, Cognos Analytics on Cloud is in its fifth release, while others like Datastage on Cloud, have launched only in the last few months. IBM generally follows a ‘Cloud First’, not ‘Cloud Only’ policy, meaning new features often first get released on the Cloud version first, then get added to the on-premise versions later. TM1 / Planning Analytics is a good example of this.  New releases on Cloud happen every 8-12 weeks so it means new functionality and improvements to user experience are always being added.

Cloud is, for many, the stated direction for which they wish to purchase and deploy software in the near future. But some continue to question if they are ready to take that jump , or feel that there are inherent risks making the shift. Is performance on the Cloud as good as on-premise? What impact might the new Cloud version have on my other applications? However, do I really want to keep having to maintain infrastructure to run my software, and do I have the time and resources to keep that software updated, patched and current? If I make the move to Cloud and don’t like it, what is the burden of shifting back?

With the IBM Bridge to Cloud program, for a small premium to your Subscription and Support (S&S) renewal,  you can try the Cloud SaaS version software, while still running your software on-premise for a set period of time (eg. 12 or 24 months). The program offers the following benefits:

  1. The value of the Cloud version of the software. Faster provisioning, utilise new features and functionality, best of breed security & maintenance, agility, lower cost, etc. Enabling speed and insight to your users to self-serve, make better decisions, potentially uncover new business models.
  2. Eliminate dual maintenance payments for on-premises and cloud environments during the transition period, when both environments are active.
  3. A return path to on-premise if preferred – within the Bridge term, you can revert to S&S without incurring reinstatement fees. This gives you the confidence to venture into the Cloud, knowing you can return.
  4. The simplicity of a single quote, order and invoice to cover both on-premises and cloud environments.
  5. Time to train your users on the capabilities of the new version and avoid sudden changes to your business process. It also means you don’t have to switch software just because you prefer a Cloud SaaS model.

For example, continue to run your Cognos TM1 software as normal, but perhaps start doing some test or development work in IBM Planning Analytics on Cloud. IBM’s Cloud SaaS Software provide for a production and non-production environment in the Cloud. If that goes well, shift some of your users onto the Production environment in the Cloud and see how that goes. Eventually you could convert wholly to Planning Analytics on Cloud.  Either way, choose which model best meets your requirements moving forward and within the term of the contract, if you decide to revert back to TM1 / Planning Analytics on-premise, you can do so without incurring reinstatement charges. Or if you decide SaaS is the way to go, then your licensing and billing will shift accordingly.

The Bridge to Cloud program lets you explore the journey of moving to Cloud, while minimising the risk. The timing for taking up the program coincides with your next Subscription and Support Renewal. It makes sense to start looking at this well in advance of the renewal due date, so please get in touch if you would like a quote on the Bridge to Cloud option. And if you are a new client to Cornerstone or to IBM, let us help you explore the new software capability and flexibility you now have with IBM’s Analytics and Information Management software.

In the meantime, you’ll find me having Christmas cake AND Christmas pudding. With ice cream AND brandy custard!

Have a happy and safe holiday from all the team at Cornerstone.