It’s Only an Upgrade

Paul ParkerDidn’t the IT department upgrade the office productivity software recently? Wasn’t it smooth? All that was required was to leave the computer turned on overnight and the next morning everyone was working with the latest version. This was a technical upgrade; the IT department was able to provide the company with the latest productivity tools without business involvement. So the question to ask is, “Why can’t IT do that with ClaimCenter?”

Considerations When Upgrading Your Guidewire Products

As companies look to upgrade the current Guidewire products to the newest version, there is a need to understand the impact of an upgrade to your claims organization.

Unlike simpler software, planning is essential for a Guidewire upgrade. Guidewire provides new and improved business functionality and features with each major release. Where business and IT built out these business capabilities in prior versions of the software, these may now be available as part of the base Out-of-the-Box (OOTB) software. Claims IT and business need to reconcile the differences between the new software and what was built out in older versions.

Questions to ask:

  • Does the current production version have custom features configured by the delivery team that are available OOTB with the new version?
  • What new features would the business like to have configured? 
  • What new features need to be turned off or hidden from the end user?
  • What is the impact on the end user?
  • Has the user interface (UI) changed the way the work is performed?
  • Has the business flow/process changed?
  • Are technical, functional, and data requirements met?  Are they documented?
  • Will the upgrade require a new web browser for the end user?
  • What is the impact to the hardware and software infrastructure to support the new version?
  • How are integrations to downstream systems and vendors impacted?
  • Have the reporting or data warehouse needs changed?

Steps to Take:

  • Review your current business processes against the OOTB processes
  • Review your current backlog of functional requirements/enhancements
  • Assess your business rules against the new versions
  • Study and assess available new features
  • Determine if it is possible to align current and future state requirements and processes
  • Ensure reporting and data warehouse requirements align to the new data model

Potential challenges along the way:

  • Business processes are not documented well or are out of date
  • Business rules are embedded in the UI and not easy to review
  • Formal design documents are inadequate, out of date, or non-existent
  • Current application is not well-documented
  • Refactoring Gscript code to GOSU
  • Aligning integrations with new APIs and plug-ins
  • Consistency of administration data
  • New roles/permissions
  • New business tables

Start now:

  • Identify the core business and IT team members
  • Review the Guidewire ClaimCenter “New and Changed Guide”
  • Review the “Guidewire Platform Matrix”

In summary, a Guidewire upgrade is more than a technical upgrade and requires close collaboration with the business owners, stakeholders, and the upgrade team. The goal should be an understanding of the new application version and the right level of change in order to upgrade efficiently and effectively, taking advantage of the new product features.