Data Conversion Approach
D&A has been converting data from many different applications, platforms and data bases. We approach each conversion as a unique project and look to get the most value from the results. Even if we have converted from a product that we have done prior, the release levels, what the client has populated and how the information is used requires that the process we use be followed.
First we meet with the client to determine if it has been decided to convert all data or selected portions. Quite often the legacy system will have years and years of data that is not used and because of changes in the business model is no longer of value. Also, migrating to a new system is an opportunity to “cleanse” the information. The customer master may have thousands of accounts but the Pareto rule says that 20% of the customers probably represent 80% of the business. This same approach can be applied to other master files. In addition, the rules used to assign primary keys, such as, customer account, supplier code may need to be changed. The conversion has to take this into account. These and other considerations have to be part of the conversion plan.
The implementation of Syspro will have certain minimal data requirements in order to operate. For example, the Accounts Receivable module will require that all customers with an open balance be in the system. As well, the details of the open invoices and payments for the open AR need to be in the system so that AR functions and the AR trial balance can be maintained. Working as part of the implementation team D&A will provide these requirements.
After the scope of the data to be converted is determined the mapping of the individual tables and fields is done. In the phase the tables that are to be converted are laid out data element by element. The corresponding table in Syspro is matched data element by element. Mapping of the elements from one system to the other is done checking to insure that sizes and data formats are compatible. In addition, any logic that needs to be incorporated so that the most accurate and comprehensive transfer from old to new is identified.
The data that is to be converted needs to be exported from the legacy system to flat ASCII, XML or Excel where we will use standard Syspro imports, MS SQL imports or our conversion programs to bring the data into Syspro. The data is verified by running comparison reports from the old and new system and by the implementation team using the converted data in the Conference Room Pilot.