The act of migrating data is as important as the actual data being migrated. If data migration is the process of transferring information between systems, and information is the main asset of any business, we could easily make a leap to say that the data migration process is similar to moving the whole organization from one place to another.
Data migration is an activity with an extensive number of approaches, but this blog focuses on a very specific type of data migration: upgrading to a newer version of an ERP.
Consider these 5 things when migrating data to an upgraded ERP:
Clean Before Starting
If we go back to the analogy of data migration being similar to moving a whole company from one place to another, you might be thinking, “Why clean up just before leaving?” Well, say you’re a business with many customizations on your source ERP system. Some of them are pretty old, possibly made by past VARs, which means there might be small portions of old data related to deactivated customizations still sitting around. Not only do you not need that, you don’t want it, either – if you don’t clean up inactive customizations, especially on data related to it, the validation stage of an ERP system upgrade might find you running into strange errors that appear to come from nowhere. Big ERP systems handle a lot of data, so solving those errors could involve a lot of trial and error, leading to possibly extending the implementation time and going over budget.
Although the decision of what data to migrate first ultimately depends on the customer, there is a natural order of data migration typically used in implementations: availability of data. Catalogs, open transactions, historical data, etc. – what’s available in the earliest stage should be migrated first. Timing is important during migrations, and you can save time by starting with the easiest parts and saving the complex parts for the end. Often, it’s historical data, such as sales history, that can be migrated way ahead of the scheduled go-live date; open transactions and balances must usually wait until the end of the implementation.
This is the most important thing on this list, and considering that the list of tools available to help accomplish it is nearly endless, there’s no excuse not to do it. Keep track of everything you do – during migration, practice, trial, phase 1, etc. – and you won’t regret it.
Cover all the Fronts
No matter how many years of experience you have in the ERP world, you never stop learning new things, so consider involving a consultant with a specialty in your industry before starting the migration process.
Pay Attention to Disk Space
This is such a basic concept that it will be taken for granted during the data migration process – but you can’t let that happen. Migrating data, creating back ups, refreshing test environments, etc. all require disk space and failing to take that into account can stop an implementation in its tracks. Make sure you have the disk space you think you need before you get started, and keep an eye on it as the project progresses.
Implementing new software is never easy, but you can ease the burden by following the right steps. Data migration is one of the first steps, and a very important one, so consider the five suggestions above for a positive migration experience – and contact us if you have questions. (You can also read other tips for ERP implementation success here as well as tips on what not to do here.)