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Aligning data and documents to vendor capabilities

The system design and migration phases of any implementation present countless opportunities for both the vendor and the foundation to demonstrate good partnership.   

On the part of the foundation this means: 

  • Understanding the vendor’s product capabilities and constraints and expressing the willingness to accept those constraints 
  • Demonstrating flexibility around system design by seeking compromises that preserve critical business processes, while taking advantage of the new software system’s strengths 
  • Learning the vendor’s migration process and collaborating with essential foundation stakeholders to execute and deliver 

On the part of the vendor this means: 

  • Providing leadership and guidance when the foundation implementation team has little or no experience with data or document migration 
  • Advising decisions during a deployment that meet not only immediate business needs, but also takes into account how those needs might evolve in the next 2-5 years  
  • Revealing where the constraints of business decisions do or do not align with legacy documents and data 

By the time you begin migration preparation with your vendor, your team should have already made decisions about which data and documents to archive in a legacy system. 

Checklist 

We highly advise you to run through this checklist as soon as possible to start your partnership off on the best footing:

  1. Ask your vendor to define the format and methods of file transfer for both data and documents. 
  2. Provide your vendor with migration source files for their review and comment.  This will ensure early-on that they are able to access the transferred file formats. 
  3. Request any file templates or documentation standards from the vendor.  They will likely require a particular format or template to help them translate your data and documents for migration to their system. 
  4. Arrange training with the vendor on how to best use their templates if it is unclear to you. 
  5. Work with the vendor to define fields requirements: straight migration, new fields, transformations, injections, etc. 
  6. Solicit specific information from the vendor about software constraints that may impact the migration: required system fields, default hierarchies, default taxonomies, limitations to uploadable document formats, etc. 

Getting good alignment with your vendor should be regarded as an iterative process that refines both the how and the what of your collaboration. 

 

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