Upgrading OpenText VIM?

Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

Rob Howarth

The support for VIM 7.5 and its service pack versions expired on January 1, 2024, and the transition to a more recent version is not only recommended but essential for continued support and enhancement of invoice management processes.

Why upgrade now? 

The expiration of support for VIM 7.5 signifies that no new product fixes, patches, or releases will be provided for this version. This move to “sustaining maintenance” essentially means that while existing documentation and resources remain accessible, any emerging issues will not be addressed with new updates. OpenText strongly advises customers to migrate to the latest version of VIM to benefit from ongoing product support and enhancements, in line with their Prime Protect Software Maintenance Program Handbook.

Benefits of upgrading VIM

Upgrading to the latest version of VIM presents several advantages, including:

  • Introduction of new or updated FIORI apps improves the user interface and interaction
  • Updates for legal compliance including country-specific e-invoicing regulations
  • Performance optimisations help in handling invoice processing more efficiently
  • A collection of hotfixes for previously identified bugs

Steps to upgrade

Firstly, it is advisable to collaborate with a reliable partner who can offer guidance throughout the upgrade process. This process begins with an understanding of the upgrade route from your current version to the desired version. This route may be direct, allowing the latest patches to be applied straightaway, or it might be indirect, requiring an update to an interim version before proceeding with the direct upgrade. For instance, customers operating version 7.5 without Business Center would need to consider this. Additionally, the upgrade may be associated with an SAP upgrade (e.g., to S/4HANA 2023) or an ERP to S/4HANA conversion, necessitating careful consideration of versioning.

Once the upgrade route is clearly understood, planning for the upgrade can commence. This includes the application of essential packages (“SAINT”) and corresponding patches (“SPAM”), as well as adjustments in SPDD and SPAU, followed by the “post-install” manual tasks that are typically required. After thorough testing, which may unveil new functionalities enabled by the upgrade, plans can be made to roll out the upgrade within the production system during scheduled maintenance periods.

Common pitfalls to avoid

Implementing a new version of VIM could lead to significant modifications in invoice management procedures and the system’s integration with other SAP modules, such as Ariba Network or EDI. This is particularly true for those adopting VIM Foundation for the first time. Underestimating the repercussions of these alterations might pose challenges throughout the upgrade.

Thorough preparation is essential for a smooth upgrade, entailing an impact assessment to understand the new features and their potential effects. Part of this planning should also involve verifying version compatibility, securing data backups, conducting post-upgrade validation, and executing verification tests. Moreover, crafting a detailed plan for the production cutover and go-live phase is crucial.

Deploying new features and functionalities without properly training users can lead to confusion, inefficiency, and an overall negative experience with both the upgrade and the VIM application itself. For instance, although VIM is designed to integrate with Fiori, such integration may not always be straightforward, especially for users unfamiliar with Fiori. It is vital to rigorously test this integration and tackle any emerging issues promptly.

Finally, during the upgrade, it is advised that users refrain from interacting with the VIM solution. While the risk of doing so may be relatively low, any ensuing problems or discrepancies could lead to data inconsistencies and workflow errors, requiring significant effort to diagnose and rectify.

Resources for guidance

The OpenText Knowledge Center stands as a valuable resource, offering up-to-date documentation, release notes, and product lifecycle information to aid in the upgrade process.

Maximising new VIM features post-upgrade

After completing the upgrade to the new OpenText VIM, organisations can fully leverage the enhancements by ensuring comprehensive user familiarity with these advancements. This involves the creation of user manuals, the facilitation of educational sessions, and the provision of ongoing support to address any queries or difficulties that may arise.

To guarantee the effective utilisation of all features and to pinpoint opportunities for ongoing enhancement, conducting regular audits of the system is advisable. Utilising VIM’s advanced reporting and analytics tools can offer valuable insights into aspects such as invoice processing times, error rates, and other critical performance indicators. This analysis can reveal how the application of new features or modifications in business processes might boost operational efficiency and the accounts payable team’s invoice processing capacity.

Positioning for future success

By embracing the latest enhancements, security updates, and patches, along with ensuring compatibility with SAP ERP or S/4HANA, your enterprise will be well-equipped to adapt to the evolving landscape of invoice processing. This strategic approach positions your business to optimally leverage your investment in the VIM solution, maximising the Return on Investment and ensuring you stay at the forefront of efficiency and innovation in financial operations.

If you are seeking additional support for upgrading VIM, we are here to assist. Our team has successfully guided numerous customers through their VIM upgrades. Our team of specialists have the technical skills and a deep understanding of business operations to provide advice tailored to your buisness setting. Contact us for a chat.

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