Guest post by Darren Myher, VP of Blue Link Associates Limited
I was reading your previous blog post on data migration, and it struck me that what we at Blue Link do with respect to data migration is pretty special.
I’m often shocked to discover that many ERP companies, including supposedly bigger systems, actually require end users to key opening data including customers / vendors / open AR / open AP etc. into spreadsheet templates as their ONLY way of importing data.
Often the reason for this is that the people doing the data migration are nothing but button pushers who don’t actually understand the data or databases or data migration. They know how to check the spreadsheet for errors and click a button to do the import of the spreadsheet, but expertise doesn’t often go very much beyond that.
Compare that with what we do:
- During the initial data meeting we get our hands dirty immediately and “discover” what raw data we can get.
- Raw Data:
If we can talk directly with the underlying database we use that as our starting point. If the system has Export options we may use those.
- Data migration: Scripted and repeatable.
- Data Validation
Whether we use code or SQL Scripts, our data migrations are done in such a way that we can (and always do) repeat them.
What that means for the customer is that we can write a migration routine a month before they need to go live, let them train with their migrated data, revise the scripts, re-run them to make sure they’re working correctly, and so at go-live the data migration is repeated in just a few hours.
This has the effect of minimizing the down time for our customers – allowing them to cut-off their old system mid-day on the last day of the week for example, or if necessary to run until the end of the day, and still have time to get the updated version of the raw data, and convert it, and validate it – often on the same day, sometimes over the course of a couple of days.
History is an option
Depending on the data available in the raw data source, we’re often able to bring various types of history data including things like history invoices, sales history, transaction history for AR or AP and more.
After we migrate your data we also validate it. We check that totals match for all subledgers, and spot-check that individual customers, vendors, etc have the right balances. In cases where there are issues we provide detailed notes as to why and will help you create the adjusting entries required (if necessary) to bring everything into sync.
Professionals who work on data migration tasks should be experienced experts who understand data and how to move it out of a legacy system and into your new ERP software.