We recently explored the motivations of organizations that are looking to migrate to a modern ECM solution from legacy vendors. But once you’ve decided it’s time to make the move, how do you ensure your migration project is a success?
We hosted a webinar with our partner MicroStrategies: Ten things to Consider before starting your ECM Migration and were joined by Mary Ellen Capron from our customer, Allied Building Products. She was a lead on their project to migrate from legacy systems to Alfresco which began three years ago.
Allied has 200 U.S. locations, 3,500 employees and 2,500 vehicles in its fleet and to date has 18 million documents stored in Alfresco with plans to migrate four million more from its legacy system. So what have they learned? Here are Mary Ellen’s top ten tips of what to consider before starting an ECM migration project:
Set clear goals. We knew we wanted an enterprise-level content management solution that would grow with us. Our goal was to consolidate to one system that all departments could access with all our content stored in one location.
#2: Due Diligence
Be specific in outlining your current state and what you are trying to achieve. We evaluated eight vendors. In our RFP, we thoroughly described our current situation and listed limitations we wanted to resolve. We evaluated all responses and compared the features of every product.
#3: Selection process
End users must be part of the selection process and demos. This was not an IT project at Allied – business and IT were in alignment. Do not wait until the end of the project to show your business users what you have selected.
Alignment across business divisions is critical to the success of your migration. Do you agree on what production is and how it will be handled? If you have an outage, what does that mean? Involve all the relevant stakeholders in your planning.
Our migration project is taking much longer and costing significantly more than originally anticipated and budgeted. Think about what is most important to your company – full or partial migration? We chose to slow down and fix a the infrastructure design before moving on.
Budget is directly related to the timeline. Can you afford all that you think you want? Is what you want really necessary? Are you making it more complex than it needs to be? Complexity = cost.
#7: Risk assessment
Do you really want to start with your largest or most business-critical repository? We decided to start big. We thought it would build excitement and momentum in the company, but that may not have been the right plan. It took many hours and days to stabilize our environment.
#8: Administration/Training of Alfresco
How will roll-out and onboarding be accomplished? What can your business support? What can IT support and what do you want your partners/ the ECM supplier to support?
#9: Methodology for testing and implementation
Before you start have an action plan for load and volume testing. We were processing anywhere from 12-19,000 documents a day. How are you going to handle the deployment? All of this needs to be discussed and agreed upon early. Do not be caught by surprise!
#10: Plan, plan, plan!
Plan for everything! Watch for unnecessary complexity in your planning and ensure you’re constantly coordinating and communicating with your business units.
There’s much more useful advice from Mary Ellen Capron and Adam Storch, VP of the Business Solution Division at Micro Strategies, as he brings more than 25 years of experience in solving business problems with ECM, on the webinar.