AN APPROACH TO A EASY DATA MIGRATION TO NEW ERP
"Data migration is the process of organizing, restructuring, copying and migrating data from your old ERP systems to your new solution"
- ERP implementation is a multi-layered, complicated endeavor that needs to be carefully planned and managed. One of the important layers is the part of migrating your data to the new ERP system.
- Many companies make the mistake of assigning very little importance to this essential task. As a result, they either end up scrambling at the last minute to resolve data display issues or end up with a frustrating mess of an implementation altogether.
- There are, however, steps you can take that will help you make sure the ERP data migration process proceeds without glitches and in as short a timeframe as possible.
1 . ANALYZE THE DATA MIGRATION PROJECT
Analyzing your data way ahead of the actual migration is a crucial step. You know that your business deals with different kinds of data.
- Master data – the core data that is essential for the operation of your business processes. It is a consistent set of attributes and identifiers that describes the different entities of your company, e.g. customers, products, suppliers, chart of accounts, etc.
- Historical data – collected data that is over two years old.
- Live/current data – all of your recent transactional data.
So before you let your vendor embark on data migration, you first need to make some decisions about these types of data.
This can be a tricky and complicated process. If your employees had been inputting data into your legacy system using standardized processes all along, then that’s great news. If, however, at some point or another they had created their own ways of data entry, it may open the door to a whole new set of complications.
You have to define things like
- What data has to be migrated first.
- When the data should be migrated, either close or after the Go-live date.
- Which historical data has to be migrated to the new system.
- The levels of access to users of the data, etc.
Hence it is very important to overlook the planning and strategizing portion of the data migration process if you don’t want to be hit with unpleasant and frustrating complications.
1 . REVIEW YOUR DATA AND PROCESSES
You have to assess whether you actually need all the data in the new system or not.
Before migrating your data from your Legacy system to a new ERP system. you have to do some spring cleaning.
- Review your data and decide on its quality. This is the perfect opportunity to rethink or reassess the ways to record data.
- You may also want to consider changing your processes and ask your new ERP vendor for recommendations on the structure of the data which is stored.
- You have to assess whether you actually need all that data in the new system. This is the time to clean up irrelevant information, inaccurate data and duplication.
In the end, you should have organized, consistent data categories ready to be migrated to the new system.
1 . ASSIGN THE RIGHT PEOPLE
- Apart from making sure that your vendor is completely briefed with the information about your data before they begin the migration process, on essential success factor for this project is assigning an in-house team or employee that will superhead the process.
- Ideally, these people should be long term company employees who are well versed in the company background and its history with legacy systems.
- These employees can surf your company to extract and organize that data into structured charts.
- You, in turn, will rest assured that you have trusted people that will make sure to keep pushing the data migration forward untill everything is successfully enterd the new system.
1 . REMEMBER THAT TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE
- The way you map out your data migration processs is crucial. You should have a clearly defined timeline that reflects the types of data, the amount of data, the necessary changes to be made, etc.
- Do make sure to also have contingency plans for delays - unforeseen issues are more likely to arise than not.
1 . TEST AND FIX ISSUES IF NEEDED
In order to make sure that everything goes correctly and according to plan follow the following testing procedure:
- First take a small amount of test data.
- Make sure that it loads correctly in your new ERP system.
- Check how the new solution is handling the data, take the feedback.
Your key users should then take the new system for a test drive. Simulating their daily business processes and running rigorous tests on the system.
This is the key step in catching problems and tracking them early.
1 . FINAL WORDS ........
"Switching to a new ERP system is never easy, and data migration is one of the more complicated parts of the process. Planning ahead and defining a strategy for the process will save you a headache in the future."
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