Making the Leap to Infor Cloudsuite v11

Our client, a medical center, had decided to upgrade from Infor v9.01 to something that would better suit their needs. While they originally planned to move to version 10, internal changes meant that decision got placed on hold until version 11 came around, and our client ran into issues when they tried to migrate everything over. 

To make the move to Infor CloudSuite easier, our client turned to a 3rd-party tool to handle their data, analytics, and reporting. Unfortunately, they had a bit of trouble getting the tool to work for their needs (until they brought on an expert consultant from Surety Systems, of course).

Read on to learn how our consultant helped this client with their Infor CloudSuite reporting woes.

What Was the Issue?

Our client’s primary issue was with how Infor CloudSuite handles reporting. As many organizations tend to do, the medical center relied on a few homegrown strategies to get their reports, one of which was using a local SQL wizard to build hundreds of reports that went directly against the database. While this strategy worked for their current setup, it wasn’t going to be a viable solution once they made the move to the cloud. 

They were still going to need their reports once they moved to CloudSuite, however, so if they couldn’t get them the way they used to, what were they to do? The answer was a 3rd-party tool + Surety Systems.

Reporting is a Bit Trickier Than It Seems

Reports Are Like Icebergs

Our client used a 3rd-party software that essentially creates a layer that sat on top of their Lawson system. After setting it up, the software was supposed to feed the information needed by their reports to where they live in CloudSuite. That may sound simple enough, but the reality is a bit more like an iceberg (i.e. about 90% of reporting goes on below the surface). Let’s take a look at one of our client’s particularly complicated reports as an example. 

The client wanted a report that would mesh general ledger (GL) information together with Labor and Payroll data. Doesn’t sound like too much, right? That’s what the client thought as well. However, it took our consultant and the 3rd-party software team nearly five months to complete! In fact, the report was so powerful and touched so many aspects of the system that the client needed to create a training class just to teach people how to use it.

It’s easy to look at the finished product and miss the incredible amount of time and energy it takes to get to that point. But with an expert consultant on your side (like one from Surety Systems), you can more accurately forecast the resources you’ll need to succeed with CloudSuite.

Reports Are Also Like Gardening

Another useful way to think about reporting is as a garden. Almost anyone can stick a seed in the soil, water it occasionally, and wait for something to grow, but when things don’t turn out as they’d expect, it takes a master to dig into the problem and figure out what’s going on. 

Our client had a massive list of reports from LBI that they wanted to use in CloudSuite, but when they first made that transition, the reports gave them data that didn’t make any sense. It took our consultant digging into CloudSuite and their 3rd-party reporting software to better understand what was going on behind the scenes. Only after some exhaustive research was she able to understand what reports could be kept as-is, which ones needed to be consolidated, and which ones should be cut entirely.

Reports Are Not Like Mad Libs

So if reporting is like icebergs and gardening, what is it not like? Well, one common misconception clients seem to have about reports is that you can treat them like Mad Libs. “All I need to do,” clients tend to think, “is create the skeletal body of the reports that I’m going to need at the beginning of the process, and when I get relevant data later on, I can go back and plug it into all the gaps where it’s missing, right?”

Sadly, that’s not quite how these things work. At least some valid data has to be present for a report to be built in the first place—it’s not something you can go back and fill in after the fact.

How Was Surety’s Consultant Able to Help?

Once our client brought on our consultant, they just needed her to create reports (or so they thought), so they initially tasked her with production support. But as things moved along, the client quickly realized they had bitten off a bit more than they could chew. At that point, they asked our consultant to manage the creation of an entire interface between their new CloudSuite system and 3rd-party software for reporting and analytics.

Surety’s consultant also became responsible for handling the larger strategy overall, as well as making sure the client’s internal team had documentation for what they were doing, plus a solid plan for tackling development. By the end of the project, our consultant managed to get around 100 reports ready by the go-live date, including GL, AP, AR, PO, RQ, CM, Labor, Research Grants, and Invoices.

Solving Your Own Infor CloudSuite Reporting Issues

Having trouble getting the reports you need from Infor CloudSuite? (Or any other kind of issue with CloudSuite?) Not to worry—our senior-level Infor consulting team is here to help. As Infor Delivery Partners, we’re proud to offer the quality services you need to succeed, all without trying to upsell you or leave behind breadcrumbs for future work. Our primary goal is to help you get your system working the way that you want it to, whatever that might mean.

To learn how we can help you with your Infor CloudSuite setup, contact us today.