SAP Data Migration

Independent advice on large SAP, Oracle, ERP or CRM data migrations / Indispensable assistance on these major programmes

As a client about to engage on a major ERP programme you will shortly be looking at investing in the services of a major implementation partner.   One of the things they will be keen to explain is that you, the client, must meet the implementation partner half way; with genuine engagement, stakeholder buy-in, staff availability and often; your legacy data marshaled for upload via their data transformation services.

Your in-house staff are expert in existing systems, but this is a transformation journey away from that comfort zone :

  • Data that was of good quality in the old environment may not meet the requirements of the new.
  • Information that was thought to be comprehensive may now be incomplete.   
  • Additional, unfamiliar data may have to be created to achieve a full business picture
  • Your in-house experts know your current systems, not how to move the data elsewhere

 You need someone who has seen the full life cycle before, who understands the process and can assist you in reaching out to the implementation partner and their new system uploads at the critical moment with timely, high quality, re-purposed and enriched legacy data.

The Potential Costs of Data Migration Failure

With data migration success you have a working ERP in which data and processes connect in new, seamless ways bringing together chains of activity that previously formed separate islands of process and data. With data migration failure you have a lengthy gap to the next financial window at which a second attempt can occur (often a quarter), a consultancy bill for all the time you already spent and another pending for the additional period, a nice set of processes – modelled in a still-empty box that is incapable of running them or achieving the projected business benefits, plus loss of face both within your own business and with customers and suppliers who had been put on standby for their role in transition. In short you need help and you need risk mitigation.

Why hiring your own SAP / ERP Data Migration expert makes sense

Most serious implementation partners from Accenture, Capgemini, IBM GS and others through to SAP’s own consultancy arm  will be confident in designing processes and configuring the target system.   They have executed the cycle many times before and although the specifics of a client business vary there are no real surprises in terms of configuration, schedules or budgeting – because what they are delivering is mostly a portfolio of standard business processes and this does not change markedly from one business to another.  It is the similarity in fact that makes off the shelf as opposed to custom ERP systems a possibility.    …Except that is for your data, which they have never seen before and cannot predict and control.

This is the real “wild card” in SAP, Oracle, Sibel, CRM and other migrations; it is the one item in the plan that changes drastically from business to business and cannot be easily planned for.   Implementation partners often act to quickly surround this unknown territory with caveats, contract terms placing the risk of legacy data delivery back on the customer and/or build in costly contingencies to protect themselves from unexpectedly dirty or complex data.

Imagine instead, bringing an independent expert on board early in this process,  assessing data quality well in advance, involving the business and establishing maps of data and key stakeholders in advance of the work to come.    This places information on the real state of data preparedness in your hands for the bid process, enhances your own certainty on feasibility, tightens contingencies, saves you money in the longer term and greatly reduces risks.

What do implementation partners think of this concept?

Sorting out the old world at the same time as defining the new blurs responsibilities and can lead to serious contractual difficulty if your data is more complex or dirty than expected.   Hiring an independent contractor to handle the legacy data reduces risk on the client side, diminishing the prospect of damaging contractual disputes. A clear contract line with reduced risk benefits the implementation partner as much as client.

Why engage John Platten and Vivamex Limited specifically?

We have worked successfully with IBM Global Services, Capgemini and Patni in the past and they were all as satisfied as the client with the reduced project risks, quality of the end product, and clear demarcation of responsibility.

We are able to field a a wide network of associates with similar skills and reputations to my own.   They key factor is experience.  You may be fortunate enough to have an existing IT expert on board who has seen a large migration before, but you are less likely to have access to experts who have made it their profession to clean and migrate data, using best practice methodologies and tool-sets repeatedly on project after project as a main focus of their career.  Vivamex can provide that capability.

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