Do I HAVE to Migrate Any Data Into My New ERP?
Anyone preparing for an ERP implementation will have to confront performing data migration for their new ERP. We hear clients’ woes day in and day out who cannot understand why it is so hard and wonder why they can’t just skip migrating the data. Then there is the other extreme CEO’s practically cry when they find out it is not a good idea to bring over all the historical data. How can there be such a vast amount of misunderstandings about data migration in ERP implementations?
- Master records or Entity records – these include Customers, Vendors, and related fields.
- Open transactions – this means AR and AP that are not closed out at the time of go-live; therefore, you need to make sure the related AR and AP records are accounted for in the new system.
- Trial Balances – best practices include about two years of monthly trial balances; this is also the time to consolidate multiple ERPs into one new trial balance for each of your new accounts. You won’t have “click-through” detail on these which disappoints many Controllers, but you should keep a license to your old system for audits or detailed comparative reports.
- Historical Transactions – these are the ones loaded with dynamite; proceed carefully! Depending on your industry, we frequently see clients needing historical Sales Orders, Purchase Orders, or Projects.
Then, ensure you account for the required time during your implementation to do the following major activities:
- Extraction: establish the extraction method for each data source and pull a copy of the database into a working environment to clean and manipulate.
- Cleansing: this is a process to deduplicate and standardize the nomenclature across your various data fields and eliminate data you won’t need in the new system.
- Transformation: you may need someone with SQL development skills for this step; it is best to write scripts and save them for re-running on the data as you make changes throughout your implementation. You will need to transform your data into the template for your new ERP and these transformations are not necessarily a “one-for-one” match. After all, many companies upgrade ERP to benefit from new accounting dimensions, more sophisticated BOMs, etc. so the transformation may not be linear.
- Loading: Of all these steps, this is the only one that your implementation partner usually performs. Check your statement of work, the hours are usually pretty limited to small loads for testing data and one full load at go-live. That means you and your team are responsible for the earlier steps (Extraction, Cleansing, and Transformation.)
We recommend starting your Data Migration Plan as early as possible in your implementation and we even begin it during the Selection phase with our clients. We tell our clients it is the wildest variable in the total cost of your implementation, so we help them scope it as a major cost prior to seeking final approval to purchase software and services. If you need help creating a Data Migration Plan, contact us for help. Our data migration resources are all US-based and extremely experienced, technical consultants in extracting data out of most legacy ERPs and transforming it into all the prevalent, modern applications.