A well defined approach to data migration is critical to ensuring the success of any Unit4 Business World (Agresso) ERP project which involves the need for data to be moved from existing legacy systems.

Ensuring that you successfully migrate your organisation’s data is key in order to minimise disruption, and help ensure your organisation is able to make a seamless move away from any legacy systems.

In our experience as official Unit4 partners, who have been helping customers across the globe make the most of the ERP system since 1995, we have always found there are number of key steps you can take to help ensure data migration success.

To begin with, you should always put in place a data migration strategy. Working with our customers, we create a document that details how we will perform the data migration and issue it to all the project stakeholders, helping to ensure that everyone has a clear picture of how the process will work. This document is crucial, with it containing both high-level and detailed information relating to the process.

As a summary, the key areas that any Unit4 Business World (Agresso) ERP data migration strategy document should cover are:

  • Which datasets are to be migrated and whether they are masterfile (eg Suppliers) or transactional (eg. invoices)
  • Where the data will come from
  • How the data will be extracted and by whom
  • Rules for the extraction – eg. only include suppliers who have been used in the past 2 years
  • How the data will be cleansed once extracted, and who will carry this out
  • How data mapping from the old to new coding structures will take place
  • The method and layout for loading data into the Unit4 ERP system
  • How the loaded data will be verified and reconciled.

In terms of format, you should start your document by outlining the various methods of data validation you will use, as well as offering an explanation of how you would investigate and rectify any discrepancies that are found.

The document should then lay out all the different data sets you are planning to migrate, with a breakdown of all the key relevant information included. This will include the extraction and load method, file format and validation method to name to name a few pieces.

Once this has been completed, it is then often best-practice to set out the sequence in which you plan to migrate the data. For example, which data sets will be loaded first and last, and which data sets will be loaded prior to go-live, and which ones will be post go-live. At this stage, it is often enough just to offer a draft sequence as firm dates and timescales can be included in your cut over plan.

Once complete, you should be left with a document that not only outlines at a high-level how you plan to carry out the data migration, but also a document that provides your team with all the information it needs to perform the data migration in its entirety.

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