PCG knew they needed a better production deployment solution—or they risked wasting weeks
It was Friday, and Jay Kiefer, Principal NetSuite Consultant at PCG, was amid a big deployment for an important manufacturing customer. He was trying to port over a year’s worth of NetSuite customizations from a dev environment to production—a grand total of 1,800 elements, including metadata, bundles, and scripts. And he was trying to do it by the next week.
For large projects like this, PCG uses its VELOCITY methodology, including ‘lift and shift’ elements, where they move changes from the sandbox into the production environment in bulk, using SuiteBundler.
In theory, deploying changes like this in bulk with NetSuite should work, but in practice, it’s much more complicated. Since NetSuite-native deployment options (such as SuiteBundler) are time-consuming when a large number of components have to be moved, teams like Jay’s often have to rebuild some of their changes in the production environment manually. Not to mention that it’s easy to accidentally create duplicates— “unless the user has a lot of training, and is extraordinarily careful, we end up with duplicate and triplicate objects,” says Jay.
For the team, that meant they were sinking countless hours into rebuilding changes manually and cleaning up these duplicated objects. Instead of being able to deliver the project on time, Jay would need several more weeks—and more teammates—to get it done.
With time ticking, PCG was running out of options. “We were considering just developing and doing everything in prod, rather than using the sandbox, and doing our best to clean it up before handing it to the customer,” says Jay. “We were that desperate.”
But before they made that risky choice, they contacted Salto.
Salto eliminated manual work almost entirely, providing a safer solution that didn’t compromise on speed
While building straight into production would have saved time, it also would have been hugely risky and not the best practice. Manually recreating changes from a sandbox to the live instance, on the other hand, is not the safest choice either—“it invalidates user acceptance testing,” says Jay. “If you're doing it manually, it’s not the same system. You've done your best to make an image of it, but it has to be tested again.”
Salto enabled PCG to follow the proper deployment process by smoothly and confidently syncing their changes to production, without manual work. Suddenly, instead of slowing them down, using the sandbox became efficient.
Salto displays your NetSuite configuration in a user-friendly textual UI, allowing you to easily manipulate it. You can track version history, log changes, and easily move elements between different environments. Thanks to Salto’s simplicity, Jay was able to very quickly get up to speed. “The tool is amazing—it’s just intuitive,” he says.
“Once I understood it was essentially comparing two different sets of files, it made sense. And when I didn't copy all the dependencies, Salto notified me and allowed me to refine what I was moving at any particular time.” Even sticky issues, like moving saved searches between NetSuite environments (always a painful process), became much easier.
Jay began deploying from the sandbox to the production environment and finished in about two hours—successfully moving all but 26 of the 1,800 elements. He was able to successfully finish the job in just one day, keeping the project on time—minimal manual work or duplicated object cleanup was required.
And it resulted in a higher-quality final deployment. Says Jay: “Honestly, Salto prevented us from bringing over a lot of garbage because it would show all the dependencies and I could see, ‘Oh, I don't want that saved search.’”
PCG’s takeaway? “I would recommend that anybody doing NetSuite implementations get Salto,” Jay says. “As consultants, we’re all fearful of the pain that comes along with go-live because there’s no existing combination of NetSuite-native tools that helps you migrate it all.”
PCG gains a speed boost—and a competitive edge for the long run
Jay thinks things would have played out very differently if they hadn’t had Salto. “Without Salto, we wouldn't have been able to go live on time,” he says. “It would have taken two or three full-time consultants a month to move everything over. With Salto, the bulk of it was done in less than a normal working day.”
Delivering more quickly means that the team can add more value in the same time frame and budget for their customers. “I think the value for PCG and our customers is to be able to cut the total deployment time significantly,” says Jay. “A few weeks is significant. Not only can we deliver quicker, but we can provide more value to the customer in that time. And that’s a competitive edge.”
Plus, it means that PCG can trust these kinds of projects to more junior consultants with lower billable rates because Salto is risk-proof. “You can always roll back changes and do damage control,” Jay says.
Even though this project is done, PCG’s journey with Salto has just started. Says Jay: “I'll use it on every single one of my implementations. There's no doubt about it.”
Moreover, PCG has become more than a customer of Salto. As part of the NetSuite Consulting Partner Program, two companies joined forces to empower PCG’s customers to adopt a better process for deploying and managing NetSuite customizations.
PCG is the leader in creating sustainable businesses by consistently and predictably delivering on the promise of NetSuite ERP. With the technical expertise of highly trained engineers, PCG focuses on every aspect of a customer’s business technology environment, from the shop floor to the top floor, including the cloud. As a multiple award-winning Oracle NetSuite Partner of the Year, PCG ensures its customers’ NetSuite investments deliver.
“Without Salto, we wouldn’t have been able to go live on time. It would have taken two or three full-time consultants a month to move everything over. With Salto, the bulk of it was done in less than a normal working day.”