As promised, I am following up with more information about OSIsoft’s Dynamic Office Business Application (DOBA) Accelerators offered on OSIsoft’s vCampus site. 

I traded emails with David Doll, from OSIsoft, to share his answers directly on the blog.

Thanks, David, for answering these questions for the blog.

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Why is OSIsoft building DOBA Accelerators?

OSIsoft is a top-tier alliance partner with Microsoft and is investing effort and resources to help provide enhanced value with a combined solution.  This means utilizing the power of the PI System for the real-time data infrastructure integrated with Microsoft’s tools for added analysis and visualization.  In short, being able to combine real-time and historical data with familiar front-end tools such as Microsoft Office.  To help our customers get the most value for their investment, Dynamic Office Business Application (DOBA) Accelerators provide a jump start to building custom solutions.  These can be quick with immediate payoff (such as Excel/DataLink reports or SharePoint pages with RtWebParts) or more elaborate solutions (BI integration or SQL Reporting Services ).

Unlike a Line-Of-Business (LOB) application, which takes months or maybe years to get in production, the PI System can take hours or days.  With “Value Now” benefits.  Once you expose real-time data to the people who can use it, good things start to happen right away. 

It’s all about getting value out of your systems and the data that’s out there but probably inaccessible to the people who want it.

What are you delivering exactly?

The Accelerators, available through OSIsoft’s Virtual Campus (vCampus), utilize the product components of the PI System and Microsoft Office, giving the customer the flexibility to do what they really need.  The Accelerators include guidance, code snippets, and some technical expertise.  But it’s really a tool chest for the developers to run with. 

What is the delivery mechanism?  Are there partners who can implement these, or are they intended for customers to implement themselves?

As mentioned above, the Accelerators are delivered online on the OSIsoft vCampus community site; they are PDF documents and some come with supporting files.

Many customers have internal personnel they rely on to implement these solutions.  Others, particularly for larger initiatives such and Business Intelligence or custom dashboards, will utilize a system Integrator.  OSIsoft has a network of partners with expertise in the PI system.  The Virtual Campus is geared towards both of these consumers. As long they deal with PI, there’s information to help.

How are you building community around customers who want the integration of Microsoft and OSIsoft products?

The Accelerators are one of the components within the Virtual Campus.  They can be found in the Library section.  Lots of other information is available in the Discussion forums, blogs, technical webinars and other Library material.  This is a place for anyone working on PI to come, share ideas or experiences, post questions, or provide answers.  vCampus provides help at their fingertips.

What scenarios do you see these accelerators solving?

Implementing solutions with the combined infrastructures from OSIsoft and Microsoft, solutions can create a whole new level of visibility.  Whether you are talking about Personal (Spreadsheets and ad-hoc reports), Team (Portal sites, standard reports) or Enterprise (roll-up/drill-down, KPI’s, Scorecards, and productivity models).  The infrastructure provides the keys to unlocking the power of your data.  Any business solution that doesn’t rely on up-to-date data is solving yesterday’s problem.

How does a customer sign up to get to these accelerators?

Anyone can sign up for Virtual Campus.  Have them check out the website and its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section for more information: http://vCampus.osisoft.com.

Click here to see a list of the available accelerators.