Step 1 of the ACC Software Solutions ERP Implementation Process: Data Transfer Migration


Data migration is a critical— but sometimes challenging—step in implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. And luckily, you’ve chosen the right partner; the ACC Software Solutions team is here to walk you through every step of your implementation… and beyond!

At the core of every ERP system, there is a shared database which empowers end-users across various departments to depend on the same, consistent set of data. Now, to make your new ERP solution functional, you’ll need to move the data from your current solution into this new database – also known as the data migration process.

The data migration process can be complicated and time-consuming. So, it’s important to plan wisely. Misjudging the time and effort needed will defer your entire ERP implementation. The accuracy and completeness of the transferred data is critical, because so many parts of the business—customer satisfaction, decision-making, supply chain and partner relationships—will rely on the database.


What is Data Migration?

Data migration is the process of selecting, inspecting, extracting, cleansing, and transforming data to permanently transfer it from one (or multiple different) software system(s) to another.

Before embracing an ERP solution, some departments may use systems designed to support only their specific functions, such as standalone accounting or human resources applications, while other departments may rely on general-purpose tools such as spreadsheets. To ensure a successful data migration, businesses need to take a precise approach, which typically includes inspecting, extracting, cleansing, and transforming the data from each of these applications before importing it into the database.

Key Takeaways

    • Data migration challenges include time, cost, data redundancy and integrity issues, stakeholder support and potential regulatory concerns.
    • Mapping out a clear ERP data migration strategy is the key to a successful implementation.
    • Start the migration process early to avoid delaying the implementation.
    • Use the migration process as an opportunity to weed out outdated historical data.


Why is Data Migration so Important?

The data migration process is critical to ensuring the data in your new ERP system is accurate and complete, which is vital because many people in different parts of the business will rely on that historical data.


Data Migration Challenges

The data migration process can present an array of challenges, but don’t worry, the ACC Team is here to guide you through each challenge. These possible challenges include:

  • Data Redundancy and Integrity: Various departments may store their own set of data regarding customers and products. Unfortunately, this presents a variety of issues in the accuracy of your data.
  • Regulatory Issues: A growing number of regional and industry-specific regulations affect the way organizations can store and use data. When transferring data, make sure you comply with those regulations. For example, a healthcare organization will need to follow HIPAA rules that stipulate a six-year retention period for certain documents.


4 Steps to Build your ERP Data Migration Strategy

To drive your organization through the sometimes complex process of migrating your data to the new ERP system, it’s important to create an ERP data migration strategy that embraces several key elements.

  • Migration Team: During your initial planning process you should have hand selected several team members to lead your project. This includes an individual or team who will lead the migration process. This individual or team should represent different departments who will provide insights as to how data was used by their group.
  • Analyze and Map your Data: Examine the data in each of the source systems, looking for redundancies and inconsistencies. The data migration team will need to decide how to resolve those issues before importing data into the ERP system. In this phase of the implementation, you’ll also need to map the data to the structure of the ERP database, so automated tools can import the information.
  • Decide what to Migrate: Your current system undoubtedly includes outdated data such as: customer who haven’t ordered in years, suppliers who have gone out of business, outdated products, and more. Most of this outdated information isn’t needed in your new system, so you can store it offline or in a separate system depending upon your data retention policies.
  • Migrate, Validate, and TEST: Your new ERP system may include tools which help automate the process of importing data from systems, although you may first have to rationalize the data and in some cases convert it to a form that the ERP system can recognize. Before going live, run tests on your migrated data for every business group and ERP application.


Data Migration Best Practices

The ACC Software Solutions team is here to help keep your project on track but, follow these best practices to ensure your data migration success:

  • Prioritize the Data Migration Process. It’s easy to get sidetracked and underestimate the effort involved with data migration. Be sure to start early, plan accordingly, and allocate enough resources to the project.
  • Think about the Larger Business Scope. Before starting the migration, spend time to analyze your current data and think about how it will be used within your new ERP system. Map out the database and set rules for translating your data into the new database. This is your opportunity to get better insight into your business by analyzing its data.
  • Assign Data Authority Responsibilities.  Verify who owns which data and assign roles to your team. For example, determine which version of redundant customer information is correct and should be incorporated into the ERP system.
  • Be Selective with your Data. You may be tempted to hoard data, importing every piece from your old systems into the new ERP system with the belief that it may be needed one day. In fact, importing every item of historical data can be counter-productive to your system, slowing performance and making it harder for end-users to find the information they really need.


ERP Data Migration Tips

When executing your ERP migration process, your selected team needs to be disciplined, not quick and chaotic. Here are a few tips to follow:

  • Start with a selective set of customers and orders, and then gradually expand to cover all data, applications and uses.
  • Test your data as soon as you can and continue testing on a regular basis while your data volume increases.
  • Go through your checklist and run tests in which users go through their entire day-to-day processes on the new system; this can expose problems that might otherwise be missed.


Getting Started

There’s no doubt that the ERP implementation process is complex and time consuming. The first step in ensuring your ERP success is selecting the right partner to guide you through the process. Here at ACC Software Solutions, we have over 25 years of ERP and industry specific experience – contact our support team to begin your ERP discovery.

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