Ready for a New ERP? How NetSuite Partners Can Make Data Migration Simple
Feb 20, 2020 | By John Siegel
So, you’ve chosen Oracle’s NetSuite as your new ERP system. Now what?
There are a lot of moving parts in the implementation process and a lot of steps that need to go perfectly for a successful data migration. You probably wouldn’t do it as a hobby, but it can be fairly painless with the right plan, and some expert help from NetSuite partners.
Here are some must-haves for a smooth transition:
- Up-to-date, accurate data, and an understanding of its content and importance
- A comprehensive plan and sufficient time for data migration and system implementation
- A cross-functional team that truly understands how the data will be used
- Technical expertise for the hardcore data formatting and ETL process
- A plan for testing, problem-solving, and system refinement
Setting the Table: How Can NetSuite Partners Help With Data Migration?
Remember Data from Star Trek? In case you’re not a Trekkie, Data was an android, always logical and ready to provide some solid facts, free from pesky human errors. That’s how your data needs to be as you implement a new ERP like NetSuite.
No ERP can help you run your business if the data you put in is faulty. It may take some time upfront, but it’s worth making sure everything that goes into NetSuite is exactly as it should be. Now is the perfect time to scrutinize the data contained in your old system, understand where it fits, and determine its fate.
Is there duplicate information? Then it’s time to clean up duplicates to avoid future problems. Is there unnecessary information, like entries that will never be used or belong in a different system? There’s no need to spend time and money importing useless information that will only complicate your migration. This is why you need input from the teams who will actually be using the system from day-to-day. They know what they need.
Is the format consistent with the specifics of NetSuite? This takes considerable work on the front end, but by working with the right NetSuite partners, you can save time and prevent glitches during migration. This is an opportunity to better know your data and ensure you’re importing comprehensive, accurate, and consistent records.
Synchronize Your Watches
It may seem obvious, but going into a data migration project without enough time can really screw up your NetSuite implementation. Data migration is only one piece of the puzzle, but it’s time and resource-consuming and critical for the success of everything else. Without that data, nothing else really matters.
Once you have completed the data clean up, it’s time to focus on ETL (extract, transform, and load). Then you can set up, test, and fine-tune everything before making the full jump to your new system. Giving yourself time to do all this takes a ton of pressure off your team and ensures they have time to do all their other tasks as well.
Assembling the Crew
The information held in your ERP needs to be relevant and useful for several different types of people. To ensure this, you need input from those people during migration and set up; everyone from the decision-makers upstairs to IT, finance, and accounting.
Make sure you assign a lead project manager for data migration. Choose someone with a broad view of the larger project and the authority to make and enforce critical decisions. At the same time, don’t forget to include technical experts fluent in the ETL process (NetSuite partners, for instance).
You’ll also need individuals in the know about the data itself and its ultimate use in invoicing, accounts receivable, and other tasks. This helps streamline migration and avoid moving unnecessary data.
ETL — The Nuts and Bolts of the NetSuite Integration Process
Extract, transform, and load may sound like a simple 1-2-3 process, but it’s far more complex and time-consuming than you might expect. Let’s examine it briefly:
- Extract: Exporting data, typically from a proprietary system, can be tricky. Determine if there is a simple way to do so and if new fields need to be added or old ones deleted. Changes to data structures will need to be accommodated in the new application.
- Transform: Old data formats will typically not map to new ones as you migrate to NetSuite, and will need to be transformed. Changes may be simple or complex, depending on your current format.
- Load: You’ll need to understand the process of loading data into the NetSuite system via the user interface. Again, some records will have to be created manually, although other data (such as those in CSV files) may be more standardized and simpler to import.
Not every IT organization has these specialized ETL skills, especially in small or medium-scale enterprises. Leveraging the know-how of a NetSuite integration partner can be a great option, but don’t wait until the last minute to admit that you need help.
Getting to the Finish Line
Give yourself time to conduct mock testing of data migration to your new NetSuite system far in advance of your full migration. This will allow you to identify problems using limited data sets and fend off the harsh realities of an “all or nothing” migration approach.
Some testing questions to note:
- Did everything populate as anticipated?
- Is field information accurate and in the desired format?
- Are target systems functioning correctly?
It’s no surprise that it’s best to start data migration efforts early, plan well, and anticipate any technical assistance that may be required. If you’re not confident you have the expertise in house, reach out to a NetSuite integration partner like Trajectory. They contributed some great insights for this blog post and have helped hundreds of organizations make the move to NetSuite.
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