We find it helpful to understand a new process by relating it to another simpler process. Managing any data migration for a client is a bit like trying to manage someone’s family road trip, from New York to LA. In theory this should be a simple and non-trivial task, but often, the real work is in managing everyone’s expectations along the way vs. the long journey ahead.
There are many pieces that go into a client’s data project, and we feel it’s imperative to keep them involved every step throughout the journey. From developing the scope and charter, to project team introductions, pre-requisite validation, software installation, pilot testing, production migration and project closure, it’s important to communicate and work in tandem with the client each step of the way to ensure success to the end goal or destination.
In our work experience at LiquidData, there is more that goes into the project lifecycle, it’s not just a transaction. From conception to the daily monitoring, there needs to be hands-on care of the project, keep the client informed and address any issues that pop up.
At the project onset, the gears start moving and proper resources are assigned. Essentially, we’re building a road-map, so to speak. Are you starting to see the road trip correlation? A communication cadence with assigned roles and responsibilities, before the introduction phase, is a key element to proper planning. PMO needs to monitor all aspects of a project and balance client requests, concerns, change orders, and many other countless aspects that go into nurturing a project.
“When will we get there?” is an all too familiar questions when travelling with family! One of the most common questions we receive as project managers from clients is “How long will my migration take?”.
Can you estimate how long it will take to drive from NY to LA? You sure can! All you need to do is pull up a GPS, enter in your destinations and you have your answer. It’s great to have tools that quickly provide a mathematical estimate of how long a trip will take, isn’t it? Well, we can all be honest and admit that no one can forecast the bumps in the road along the way. Email archive migrations, just like road trips, have variables which make accurate forecasts more of an art than a science.
Some travel planning questions that translate to archive migration planning questions to consider:
Q: Are we travelling in a brand-new vehicle or an older vehicle with some mileage?
Q: What does my client’s server infrastructure look like? Is it new or old? If it’s old, there can be issues that may affect the outcome of the migration!
LiquidData will run a pre-requisite validation to ensure that your system meets the minimum migration requirements, taking the guess work away from the client.
Q: Will we run into extremely bad traffic and need to take a detour? How many miles will that add?
Q: Will there be network bandwidth issues, or problems with data transfer rates?
LiquidData will run a validation test to simulate production load and determine if any remediation steps need to be taken on the client’s end prior to the actual production migration.
Q: Will we have a flat tire or need to stop for a mechanical failure?
Q: Will there be network outages? Server Re-boots? System Maintenance?
Our team will work around your schedule. We have an automated migration process that runs 24×7 to address concerns about server re-boots, or scheduled system maintenance windows. Should there be any unplanned outages, an assigned engineer will alert all stakeholders of the issue.
Q: How will speed limits and ultimately travel times, be affected along the way?
Q: Will we possibly hit throttling issues?
Throttling limitations can be a reality, especially when migrating to the cloud. An assigned Solution Architect and Project Manager work together to identify and communicate if the migration is being throttled to present possible remediation steps.
Q: How many pit-stops and bathroom breaks will we need to make?
Q: Will our engineers have full remote access into the client environment or will we need to utilize periodic scheduled work sessions with the client?
The LiquidData team works with what we are given. Some clients want to be extremely hands on and monitor all aspects of the project and others simply want to be alerted once the project is complete. Regardless of access type, we’ll work through the given path to ensure success!
Q: How many times will we need to fill up for gas?
Q: Is the client environment static or will we to request more licensing to complete the migration?
We recommend that client environments remain static for a data migration. Ultimately it makes for a cleaner migration. If necessary, LiquidData can fulfil change orders to accommodate additional licensing requests than what was originally scoped, for a quick and painless resolution.
As you can tell there are a multitude of different scenarios that can affect your journey and your migration. I can tell you from experience that we have are there to support you every step of the way. Like the saying goes, “the joy is in the journey” and our goal is to make the migration journey a more pleasant one.
LiquidData Systems, where the teams bring decades of data management, archiving and migration experience, gaining extensive knowledge from hands-on support for hundreds of successful email archive migration projects.