Justifying upgrade costs for Wildfire 5 and Windchill
We are still using Intralink 3.4 and Wildfire 3, and hope to go to Wildfire 5 sometime this year.
Normally, the justification is no big deal. We would point the users to online WF5 update training, release notes, and off we go. However, to get to Wildfire 5, we must first migrate to Windchill (Intralink 9.1 or later). The migration to Windchill will require much more resources ($$$) which we expected was budgeted. But we have not yet rebounded back from the bad economy, and upper management wants full justification for the migration costs.
I cannot simply state that the older software is no longer supported. They want specific savings: Improved productivity and/or cost avoidance.
For those of you that have already jumped from 3.x to 9.x: How did you convince your management to fund everything? More specifically, what kinds of productivity improvements did you get from Wildfire 5 & Windchill 9.x? Were you able to quantify it? Were you able to confirm if after deployment?
RE: Justifying upgrade costs for Wildfire 5 and Windchill - summary
Thanks to all that replied.
As you can see, there were no replies to the exploder. Everyone replied directly to me. Several wanted to keep their comments or identity private, so will not post any specific responses..
This topic is apparently a concern. The overwhelming response was that people upgraded to Wildfire 5 for the usual reasons: Either it was necessary to support their customers, or that they normally upgrade to all new versions because they are generally better, and are supported. And since Intralink 3.x won't work with Wildfire 5, migrating to Windchill (or a 3rd-party PDM) was a necessity.
Unfortunately, no one was able to justify Wildfire 5 for productivity improvements (both before or after it was deployed). In fact, many of the responses were from those that had not yet upgrade to Wildfire 5, but planned to do so. I'm wondering how many are actually using Wildfire 5.
Some were able to justify PDMLink for its' extra features, but that does not apply to us. We have a separate ERP/MRP/MIS-everything system that works quite well. The only thing it doesn't do well is CAD document management, which is why we are still using Intralink 3.4. So, we plan to migrate to Windchill Intralink 9.x or 10.x because that is all we need.
In my original post, I purposefully did not mention which enhancements I thought would be significant. This was to ensure that I did not "plant" any ideas which might have slanted the responses. I'll mention some of the enhancements that I thought might be significant:
* Improved multi-threading, which should speed up opening or regenerating large assemblies. * Using assembly layers to hide sub-component entities without modifying those components. * Being able to ignore regeneration errors. * Crash recovery.
Also, when I'm referring to upgrade costs, I'm talking about the usual: Server hardware upgrades, User training, Downtime costs, Consulting services, etc.
Again, thanks you all for your input. It was quite enlightening.
P.S. Some asked why we are skipping Wildfire 4. We did evaluate it, and found that the enhancements were insignificant for what we do. But the above enhancements in Wildfire 5 appear to be useful.