The initial setup is a complex process that they make very straightforward. Their installation is very quick. It was relatively painless. Any pain that we experienced was on our side because we had to make sure we had the right permissions or direct privileges, or that we had a firewall that was configured properly. We had a relatively complex site where we had clustered Control Rooms and we're using load-balancing. Within a day or so, we definitely have it standing up and, typically, within the same day, we have it configured. That's assuming we don't come into any complications on our side where we have to go ask for permission to get access to something or for a new certification. Overall, their installation is fantastic.
It took about two days to stand it up, to configure it, and then to smoke-test it, and make it productive.
The setup was prior to my coming aboard, by a couple of months. Our company had talked with IBM and Automation Anywhere, so the strategy was definitely to go through the documentation and to have an Automation Anywhere expert help with the development environment. After having meetings and reading the documentation, they had a hand-holding approach in development. Then they documented the steps. They went into the next environment, ran through their documentation, updating it because there were some changes in the clustering as well and the load balancing. They got that standing up and documented that. By that time, they felt comfortable in production. They were able to go through and repeat the steps without having to go back to Automation Anywhere or IBM for support.
We had to repeat the process here about two months ago and set up a new model and set up a new production environment and some more servers. That's where I get the couple-of-days timeline from. I was following their documentation with our internal guy who did it. Obviously, we had some guys that do database, some guys that do the Windows Servers, and then, myself; I was doing the actual client side. We're all on the phone at the same time taking care of it and it's less than a day.
In terms of the very initial setup, starting from the planning stage, I wasn't here at that time. I would say that it was about four to six weeks, but that's mainly because they had other stuff that was going on, so they were just having the weekly meetings until they got ready to try it. I do know they started talking in May and by the end of July, they had it done, but there were gaps where they weren't working on it in there.
The actual length of time may be about a week because we have to do a change request. We have to go through a procedure where we get approval from the business managers and the lines of business saying, "Okay, we're ready to go live. We're going to go ahead and push this into production," and we need to do backups and have a contingency plan. We then have a meeting and make sure everybody is okay with the current test results. Once all that's done, we can deploy in one night, have it smoke-tested, and have it running the next day.
For the actual deployment steps, you really only need one person but, typically, we will have the developer, a business person to do a smoke test, a Windows person and a database person; four people, only because we have separate roles here. Technically, it only takes one person, but developers don't have any permissions. But we need a developer in case something goes awry to help out the build person who's pushing it. If there's something they can't do, then they need the Windows person to handle any kind of Windows services. And if there's a database issue, you need a database person to run a script. Four would be max, but that's actually very typical in a lot of corporate deployments.