ERP migration is the process of transferring the data of your business from the current system to the new ERP system. This is an important part of the implementation process and involves major processes like the transfer of data through different software, analyzing it to filter out the relevant data, and testing it simultaneously.
If you are planning an implementation of ERP then you should have thorough knowledge about migration as well. In this blog, we will tell you about ERP migration and the steps involved in it.
What is ERP Migration?
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Migration refers to the process of moving an organization’s ERP system from one platform to another. This process typically involves transferring data and customizations from the old ERP system to the new one. The goal of ERP migration is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization’s business processes and to provide better support for decision-making.
ERP migration can be a complex and time-consuming process, and it’s important to carefully plan and execute the migration in order to minimize disruption to the organization’s operations. If you want your migration to be successful, you should follow a methodical approach and include practices like inspecting, extracting, cleaning and transforming the relevant data. This will help you in accumulating the data that matters to the company and your new system will work wonders for you.
ERP Migration and its Inevitability
ERP migration is a critical process that plays a crucial role in ensuring that your organization’s data is accurately transferred to the new system. The importance of having a complete and error-free data transfer cannot be overstated, as it forms the foundation upon which everyone involved in the project will rely. That’s why it’s vital to take the necessary steps to plan your process thoroughly.
A comprehensive migration plan will minimize the potential for time-wasting and excessive costs. It will also allow you to identify and eliminate any data that is no longer necessary or relevant, enabling you to make the most efficient use of the data that is transferred to the new system.
The success is largely dependent on the quality of the planning process. By involving key stakeholders, including business leaders, IT professionals, and end-users, you can ensure that everyone’s needs and concerns are taken into account. Establishing clear lines of communication and keeping all stakeholders informed about the progress of the migration project is also critical.
Best Time to Migrate
ERP migration is a time and labour-intensive part of the implementation process. Therefore, you need to know when the time is ripe to begin the process. You may consider the following signs before migration:
- Your current system does not cover all business needs.
- Your current ERP is not able to handle the entire data flow.
- Any changes require different ERP functions so a lot of changes are required in the system.
- Availability of new technology in the market.
- Your current system is outdated and prevents your business from growing.
- Your team can understand the need for change and wants to start afresh.
- You are not facing any crises or problems currently.
- You possess enough finances to begin a smooth transformation.
- You have a reliable vendor who will supply the technology to you.
ERP Migration Plan
Here is a foolproof ERP migration plan that will work wonders for you as well as your business. You must follow this plan step-by-step to ensure the best results for your firm.
a. Development, Preparation, and Team
Proper development, preparation and a good team are really important factors in any migration plan. You must begin by bringing together a team of individuals, representing each department that is involved in migration. You need to optimize the data of your business and this team will help you with it.
You will be deciding the future design, management of data as well as new documentation in the development stage. Therefore, you need to take care of this phase and ensure it goes down well.
b. ERP Migration and Analysis
You must conduct an in-depth analysis of the data so that you can understand which are relevant and which are not. If there is any unnecessary or irrelevant data, you may either amend or remove the same completely. If you add data that is irrelevant to your company, to the new ERP system, it will be using this data.
This will make it give negative analyses of everything and hamper your firm’s future. Therefore, an in-depth analysis will help your new ERP software use the relevant data only and you will see desired results in the end.
c. Training, Testing, and Deployment
When you are through with analyzing the data, you need to test the same in the final apparatus. This will help you get some level of clarity and knowledge about each department. You will also be able to understand whether you are moving in the right direction or not.
Once this is achieved, you can train your end users accordingly. You may train them either offline, through face-to-face interactions or online, through modes like e-learning. You must ensure that they can grasp the functioning of the new system well, and then you may deploy your system.
Evaluation is a very important part of any process, which helps you understand how well it is doing. You may evaluate your ERP migration by taking a look at the following factors:
- Change in productivity
- Customer satisfaction
- Rate of retention
- Inventory process
- New workflow
You must always consider the period of adjustment before evaluation, rather than starting with it right after you have deployed the new system. Each system takes time and so will the ERP system, to show its results for further evaluation.
Support becomes quite important once the ERP implementation is complete and you must ensure that your ERP system gets the support that it needs. This will help you in dealing with or even curtailing the possible issues that the system may undergo.
Furthermore, you must talk to your vendor and discuss if they are ready to provide services around the clock. You will need someone credible and can be trusted with the future maintenance and support that you will be requiring. Always confirm this before signing any deal.
ERP Migration: 4 Best Practices
During the migration, it is very important to ensure that you understand everything that happens during the process well. To help ensure a successful migration, it’s important to follow best practices that have been developed and proven through years of experience. These best practices can help mitigate risks, minimize downtime, and ensure that the organization is able to take full advantage of the new ERP system. By following established best practices, organizations can increase the chances of a smooth and successful migration, and ultimately realize the full potential of their new ERP system. For this reason, there are some key practices that you must keep in mind.
a. Prioritize Migration of Data
You need to ensure that data migration is your priority to avoid any loss in terms of time and money. If you do not plan ERP migration well, your implementation process might get delayed or even fail! You must begin early and distribute resources accordingly.
It would be appropriate if you delegate work, to avoid any issues or confusion. Know what you are migrating and why you are migrating it. A well-defined plan will work wonders for this purpose and give you the desired results.
b. Ponder Upon the Wider Use of Data
You should spend enough time understanding and analyzing how your data will work for your business. You should lay out a proper plan of action when it comes to ERP migration and also, put some rules and regulations in place. You can use this as a golden chance to better understand your data and its optimum utilization.
If you can understand how well your data can be used in the near future, you will be opening up a whole range of avenues for yourself and your firm.
c. Assign Responsibilities
You should clearly define who owns which data and assign roles accordingly. This may be called the best time to bring in someone who will take up the highly responsible task of complying with any rules that may affect your business at large. Ensure that there are no hiccups in the process and that the ERP migration is smooth.
d. Choose Data Wisely
It would be ideal if you analyze your data with a keen eye and only migrate the most important data. There is no point in migrating data that is no longer relevant to your business. If you migrate only the relevant data, your ERP system will be able to make better use of the same and give out positive results.
We have said time and again that you really need to focus on the migration process with a lot of caution and focus. If you get this right, you will be saving yourself from any extra stress that may be caused otherwise.
Steps for ERP Migration
In this section, we will talk about the six key steps for ERP data migration which, if followed, will bring out positive results for your business drastically.
a. ERP Requirements
ERP requirements may be called the cornerstone of the entire process. It is these needs which, if met, will make your project successful. Your team will help you understand the major requirements of each department, under the leadership of several department heads.
Each head will inform you about the goals of their respective department and then, you will be able to understand the larger goal of your business by putting them together. These requirements are not just meant for the present status of your business but, must also work in the future.
b. Planning the ERP Migration
You must next, have a detailed plan of action on how you will go about the ERP migration. This plan will include all possibilities or issues that might occur during the process. Remember that the new ERP system should only house relevant and reliable data.
It would be wise if you conduct certain tests and analyze your data completely before transferring it to the new system. We suggest that you write down the entire plan for the process and then track it till you reach the end.
It is very important to communicate and convey any issues that anyone faces. Each employee should know the reason behind ERP migration, how the process will be completed and what is expected of them. This will help you in laying out a set of rules, which will make the process smoother.
Now, it is time for you to start the ERP migration. You may have a short meeting to communicate the same to each employee so that all are ready for future possibilities. Begin by transferring all relevant data to your new system and simultaneously testing the same. You might have to update the data several times for efficiency.
e. Manage the Change
Change is the norm of any new process and therefore, you need to be prepared for the obvious stress that may come your way. Your employees might have to overwork and you need to help them understand these changes. It will come out as very tiring at first but, things will get better eventually.
f. Go live and Evaluation
Once the new ERP system is live and you have been working with it for quite a long time, it is time for you to evaluate. This will include things like how well the system is working as per your needs. You should analyze whether the goals you had set initially, are being achieved or not.
Challenges for ERP Migration
ERP migration comes out to be a challenging phase of implementation and therefore, you need to be sure about it. You may take a look at the following challenges and try to avoid these as much as possible.
- Poor understanding of business: Your tech team must be thorough with the business and know it like the back of their hand. If you have a poor understanding of your business, you will incur data losses, and face system errors and the new ERP system will not be able to satisfy the needs of your business.
- Lack of planning and management: You should involve the senior management in the migration. These people are the ones who will be able to understand the needs of the business from a better perspective. Their knowledge will be a great help in the entire process.
- Underestimating resources for migration: ERP migration will require time and resources. You should avoid underestimating the number of resources that you may need in the process.
- Imperfect knowledge of ERP system: Ensure that you know the current system thoroughly because without it you will not be able to satisfy the expectations and needs of your business. Try to understand the possible technical limits of the project beforehand.
- Lack of testing activities: You must identify all the issues in the ERP system by testing it step-by-step. Every time you migrate a piece of data, make sure that you test it inside out to know of any fallacies.
- Inconvenient UI/UX: ERP migration is quite technical in reality and so your team will be dealing with this. You should have clarity of UI/UX so that you do not face any problems later.
- Difficulties in finding a reliable vendor: You should be able to find a vendor who is reliable and provides you with full aid and support not just through the implementation, but even after it. You may check some references, which are good sources of testing their reliability.
ERP Migration Tips
Here are some tips that will make the process of ERP migration smooth:
- Begin the testing of your data early.
- You should start testing as soon as you get the first phase of data transferred and continue doing so regularly.
- Talk to your team about whether you will be migrating to an on-premise or a cloud-based solution.
- Assigning data cleaning to a particular software may relieve you of the extra burden.
Ensure that the data is reliable and current. Look for a trusted vendor, train your employees accordingly and specify the role of each department clearly.
In this blog, we have talked about the process of ERP migration. It will require you to know which data are necessary for the functioning of your system and you will have to conduct frequent tests too. Being an important part of ERP implementation, you must follow the above steps wisely to ensure positive results.