Circa 2008 – We once had a requirement from a client – they wanted us to do some work on Visual composer. We were on a AIX SAP BW 3.5 box. Even after convincing the project manager that with BW 3.5 it was futile to set up a dedicated windows box for the same – the same question kept coming back.
Upon investigating – we found that all the people upstairs wanted was to see some graphs and someone from some organization hoping to get his/her hands dirty in VC ( which was pretty much in demand those days ) suggested that this was very easy in VC. We then had to build dashboards using the venerable WAD and display the same functionality.
I am not saying that it is always someone wanting to fill in the missing pieces in their resume that is the problem … the converse is also true – for something simple as autorefreshing an Xcelsius dashboard – we had some thing as simple as someone executing the workbook every day and placing it in a shared folder!!! ( but then subsequently we did some function modules and automated the same in a much easier fashion ) – in this case – technology could have aided the situation but then no one knew about this option.
What happens as a result is something like this … we recently has a program failure in one of our downstream systems and found out that the downstream system was reading from the SAP Spool to get the data. This interface was written some 3 years ago and had worked so well that the knowledge of how it worked was erased from corporate memory!!!! – when it failed – the downstream system was screaming that no data was available and se screamed back that we did what we had to do…. more like two people screaming at each other across a cliff… very well knowing that nothing can happen other than our vocal chords getting exercised and the only data flow was e-mail traffic!!!
Do you face these situations often ..? using state of the art technology to automate something that runs once a quarter ..? or unable to automate something because no one knows how ..?