Success Path
End to end high-level guidance to a successful transition

Create an Execution Plan

Plan how you will make changes, validate those changes, and transition everything over to the Azure cloud.

 

Note:  This is not meant to be an all-inclusive, fully detailed guide to transition Windchill to your private Azure cloud.  PTC has many options for additional Windchill-specific help, which are the Support team, your PTC Customer Success Manager, Success Management, or any of our well-qualified partner service providers.  For further questions about Azure, please contact your Microsoft representative.

Determine your testing approach

Decide how you will test the removal of your customizations, changes in out of the box features, the upgrade itself, and changes while on Azure. Though moving to Azure should feel seamless, it is key to minimize the amount of testing to one environment. Review your current DevOps and testing plans and incorporate any changes because of this project. PTC recommends incorporating three levels of testing into your DevOps:

  • Unit testing: where you test each individual component independently to ensure they’re operating as expected
  • System testing: testing the features and functionality of a collection of components
  • User acceptance testing (UAT): bringing in select end-users to ensure the application is meeting their needs

 

Testing should occur in a QA environment that is a close replica of your production environment. Be sure to have a test environment on your current server as well as the new Azure slot. Testing plans should be unique to each application to ensure you’re testing the appropriate things. Always perform thorough testing before you push your application into live production.

Update your organizational change management (OCM) plan

Moving an enterprise software solution from on-premises to a Cloud has a perfect outcome when the end-users either do not notice the change or only recognize improvements, such as faster system response time. Even a perfectly planned and deployed transition will have an effect on the end-users. 

Two essential reasons to ensure OCM is addressed for your Cloud transition:

  1. The cloud transition may be in close proximity to a major or minor release of a Windchill update, and the change may affect the end-users’ experience.
  2. Internally, there may be a change in processes for obtaining support or registering a help ticket.

Each unique business culture will produce additional reasons that justify including an OCM effort in your cloud transition planning. 

At a minimum, OCM planning should consist of a communication plan and delivery of all the events in the plan.  This plan should include:

  • Reuse of stakeholder analysis to identify the leadership and individual contributors who will be asked to send messages about the change.
  • Who will author the messaging for the events occurring in the event of transitioning?
  • The analysis and understanding of the audiences who will be affected by the change, so that meaningful messages and information can be conveyed to them.
  • The timeline of events that begin prior to the transition and continues through to the period of stabilization is a critical piece of this plan.

This scope of this guide does not replace internal organizations or partners you already work with for OCM.  Those relationships and the guidance they provide are critical to your success.  If you have not established internal or partner-supplied OCM capacity, then PTC does strongly recommend you work within our extensive partner network to acquire OCM support sized appropriately for your business culture.

Update incident and release management plan

A transition to the cloud typically requires changes to the way that “incidents” (also called help desk calls, IT tickets, support calls) are registered, responded to, and resolved.

Before the cloud transition, the most likely end-user experiences are to register a ticket either by:

  • Calling PTC Support directly
  • Calling an internal support line, which would call PTC on their behalf when necessary

The response time, training, systems, and user expectations for Support have been built around on-premises solutions.  Transition to the cloud will change how those interactions occur and the appropriate end-user expectations.  Support agreements with Microsoft and PTC should be considered together and then make appropriate updates to policy and systems so that users will be able to have their questions registered with the right entity to receive the right answer as quickly as possible. 

Upgrades to Windchill referred to as “release management practices”, will also be affected.  On-premises Windchill administrators and end-user management typically have control over decisions on:

  • When to upgrade.
  • What version to upgrade to.
  • The supporting hardware and software stack

 

The change to the private cloud does not so much change the ownership of decisions, as it adds an additional “vote” in the process, caused by the inclusion of Azure.  Azure adds its own timeline, compatibility, software stack, upgrade schedule, and potentially contractual consumption pressures.  All of which are new factors to consider in the release management process.

This scope of this guide does not seek to cover every possible adjustment in end-user support and software release organizations across the thousands of different companies using Windchill. By highlighting the need to consider changes to support infrastructure and release management, we are seeking to ensure that an essential part of your planning is not overlooked.

Plan end user training

Other than as mentioned in the section on Organizational Change, there is little difference in the necessary planning for end-user training after a transition to the cloud than in planning for an on-premises upgrade.  The point to re-emphasize is that during 2020 and 2021, most Windchill private cloud transitions will happen in close proximity to an upgrade.  It is essential to include end-user training that covers:

  • How existing processes might change either because of the software upgrade or, potentially, because of the transition to the cloud
  • Any new processes that will be implemented because of features in the new release that was not previously available.
  • How to get help, both within the system, online via open communities, and through an internal or PTC help desk.

The scope of this guide does not seek to cover every potential training plan consideration.  PTC University or our extensive partner network can be consulted for additional support if it is needed.

Talk to a training advisor.

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Product Documentation

Find step-by-step instructions and information about moving Windchill to Azure cloud in the Help Centers.

Ask the Community

Visit the PTC Windchill Community to get product assistance, share ideas, and browse information about using Windchill.

Technical Support

Log a case with eSupport using your Service Contract Number. Don’t have it? Ask the Community.

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