When I discuss the “PI System Installation Experience” I am considering the entire product lifecycle experience immediately after purchase through software acquisition, installation, upgrade and maintenance. I am also considering only the “on premise” software model – PI System Software installed on “machines” that *you* manage.
I will start with a hypothesis which I will not spend time defending: “the PI System product lifecycle experience can be improved.”
So what would be the “ideal” experience? Based on customer feedback, industry trends and our own experience in customer services, we have some ideas and some early development is underway.
Let’s first break the “ideal” experience down. What are we really trying accomplish? And I am assuming you are not looking to become a professional PI System installer! I assume that getting value out of PI is paramount, and that like the screen in a movie theater, you just don’t want to notice it while you are watching the movie.
So here’s what I am hearing:
1) You want to know what software is available, specifically, what is licensed to your company and even what is available but not currently licenced.
2) You want to know what software you have installed, and where. In other words, you want to know your current software inventory and usage.
3) You want to know what upgrades are available for any system in your inventory and whether a target machine has the appropriate dependencies (OS, frameworks, etc.) for success.
4) You want to be able to control the download, installation and upgrade of your PI System software.
5) You want the entire experience to be secure, reliable and traceable.
6) You don’t want to have to be an expert at understanding how OSIsoft bundles software, what the dependencies are, whether a target system is appropriate for an upgrade. In other words, you want to think about the software in your terms, what you want to accomplish – not necessarily the way that OSIsoft thinks about its bits.
7) You want to know if the software in properly installed, properly configured and properly operating. You want to know if your system is healthy.
8) You want a single, consistent experience for managing the software lifecycle whether you are a vCampus developer, end user administrator, OSIsoft Field Service, mPI customer, demo user or any other kind of user who will be in some way involved in successfully managing the PI System .
In my next entry, I will begin to discuss how we are thinking about addressing each of these needs (dare I say…requirements.) But here is your chance to make sure that I am “hearing” all of the needs associated with this problem...that we are answering the right questions and that we have properly defined the scope and requirements of this experience. Let me know if you have anything to add and I will be do my best to address it.