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How to plan and execute a successful ERP migration

To plan and execute a successful ERP migration you'll need to understand and manage the challenges of data migration. By following established best practices, you can ensure your ERP implementation goes smoothly, and you realise value from your new system as quickly as possible.  

What is an ERP migration? 

An ERP migration is when you move data from your existing software systems to a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

Understanding the challenges of data migration

While implementing a new ERP system can deliver significant time and cost savings, migrating your data across can be complex, time-consuming and disruptive to your business. To get full value out of your ERP, it’s imperative that your data is accurate and complete. Here are some challenges data migration can add to your ERP implementation.

1. Data redundancy and integrity 

Your teams or departments may store copies of data in different systems and spreadsheets, which may have discrepancies. The challenge is to verify the data and clean it up prior to ERP migration. 

2. Cost of data migration

While importing data into your new ERP system is straightforward, there are costs associated with getting the data ready to input. You may need to employ experts to help you prepare your data, and there’ll also be a cost to your business as existing team members are redeployed to the project. 

3. Regulatory issues

The use and storage of data are becoming more and more regulated by governments and industries. If you’re trading internationally, you’ll need to be aware of regulations like Europe’s GDPR, for example. In Australia, if your organisation turns over more than $3 million, collecting, storing, and using personal data must comply with the Privacy Act 1988.

Some smaller organisations, like private sector health service providers, must also comply. In New Zealand, you're subject to the Privacy Act 2020 if you collect or store any data about people. 

How to plan and perform an ERP migration 

A well-planned ERP migration can mean your organisation implements the new system on time and on budget and with minimal disruption to the business. Here are some steps you can take:

Build out your migration team 

Assemble a team of people from within your wider ERP implementation group to take responsibility for deciding which data to migrate and how it should be cleaned. It makes sense to choose people across the organisation. In this way, you’ll get a broad perspective on how and why each department will use the data. 

Perform analysis and map your data

Gather all business data – don’t forget those buried in disconnected systems and spreadsheets – and then assess it for errors, inconsistencies and double-ups. The data migration team will need to resolve those issues and map the data to align with the new ERP database’s specific formats and fields. This essential step enables automated importing, which is faster and results in a more accurate and accessible database.

Make informed decisions on what data will be migrated

Your existing databases may include obsolete information, such as email addresses that bounce back, information about products you no longer stock or decades-old transactions. Decide on the data you need to migrate, archive or delete to ensure your new database is as accurate and usable as possible. 

Migrate your data 

Most good ERP systems allow an automatic import of your data, but make sure you work closely with your ERP implementation partner to set up the testing environment first. Assess the usability and accuracy of the data and workflows so you catch issues before they impact the wider business. 

Importance of developing a solid ERP migration strategy 

Developing a solid ERP migration strategy will protect the integrity of your data and allow a smoother implementation as a whole. When you’re confident in your data, the wider business will be too, which means people will adopt, use and realise value from the system faster. 

To begin building your data migration strategy, consider the following and compile them into a single document:

  • Data sets you will be migrating 

  • Current location of the data

  • Features and restraints of the destination environment  

  • Those responsible for each task and role

  • Key milestones

  • Migration process 

ERP migration best practices 

Some ERP migrations are more successful than others because they follow established best practices.

Be selective with the data you migrate 

While it's tempting to simply transfer your data from one system to another, it's important to understand how and why you need each data set. With only current and relevant data, the new ERP system will deliver deeper and more accurate insight for your business.

Analyse and check data during the migration 

When migrating the data, transfer and test only a small set before migrating the whole database. This will uncover any problems early, making them easier to resolve. 

Consistently test data within your new system 

Testing continues once your data is imported into your new ERP system. Have people from across the business use the system to run through their daily tasks and respond to different scenarios. You should also check against the original data source. 

ERP migration FAQs

What is an ERP vendor? 

An ERP vendor is a software company that sells and implements ERPs. They can also help organisations migrate from one ERP system to another. Typically the vendor's scope of work includes project management, system analysis, data mapping, integration and training. MYOB has a range of accredited implementation partners in Australia and in New Zealand. 

What’s the difference between an ERP and CRM? 

The main difference between an ERP and CRM is their scope. An ERP (enterprise resource planning) system helps an organisation manage business processes using a single data set. The ERP modules can be selected to fit the business needs, so every department can access and update a single database, improving efficiency and productivity.

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system is focused on tracking and managing customers to drive sales and improve customer relationships and satisfaction. The systems can be integrated to further streamline operations.  

How long does an ERP migration take? 

How long your ERP migration project will take depends on many factors, including how many users you have, the system's complexity, how much you’re customising it, and the amount of data you’re migrating.

If your business requirements are straightforward and you’re implementing an ERP with minimal customisations, you can expect to be finished within six months. If your organisation has many employees, lots of data and a complex structure, the project may take a year or more. 

Manage your ERP migration with MYOB

A well-planned data migration is essential to a smooth-running ERP implementation. Your migration team will need to decide which data to keep, archive or delete, and then during migration, conduct testing at multiple stages to catch issues early. Following best practices will help you minimise disruption, avoid unexpected costs and embed the system into your organisation sooner. 

To find out more about MYOB Acumatica and our implementation services,  contact us today.

Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is of a general nature and does not consider your personal situation. It does not constitute legal, financial, or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as a statement of law, policy or advice. You should consider whether this information is appropriate to your needs and, if necessary, seek independent advice. This information is only accurate at the time of publication. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information contained on this webpage, MYOB disclaims, to the extent permitted by law, all liability for the information contained on this webpage or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

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