Successful Migration from One ECM to Another: Part 2

by | Aug 3, 2017 | Data Migration, Enterprise Content Management | 0 comments

As we mentioned in the previous article, before migrating to a new ECM system you should consider an assessment of your current ECM system that takes a complete view of the tools and processes you are currently using. Comparing your current ECM system to the functionalities you are searching for your organization is a matter of importance.

So, before you embark on a migration, you want to ensure you have addressed the key questions in your ECM migration process. You want to develop something that can form the basis for a successful migration and robust business case.

In order to migrate to a new ECM system, you should cover some key steps first, and find the system that fulfills all needs of your organization. Here is the second part of the 8 key steps you need to take in consideration when migrating to new ECM system:

5. Trial Run: Test if you capture everything in the right order

test and adjust the new ECM system before implementation

Successful migrations from one ECM system to another are all about testing.

Test runs are important especially when you are dealing with large amounts of data that come from different data sources. Your trial migration can take just a small portion of data from all sources, and you can then verify if the data population is done correctly onto the new system.

Testing your system will help you build solid migration strategy and reduce unforeseen complications and errors when you start moving large chunks of data into the new ECM system. Testing is a great way to avoid unpleasant surprises that may cause business disruptions.

6. Migration: Put your content in the new ECM environment

There is a lot to map out when migrating your content from one ECM system to another:

  • Has the new ECM system been fully tested?
  • Does the new ECM system have defined users, metadata, content models, permissions, groups, and more?
  • Are the proper system integrations on point for effective business processes?
  • Is the new system tuned and scalable for the upcoming demands?

choosing the right ECM system will promote success

So, now that your new ECM system is fully tested, it is time to put your content in the new ECM environment. There are various ways to migrate your content to your new ECM system. You may need to decommission the existing system quickly and perform a complete transition all at once. Or, you might need an in-place method where business systems remain to function while subsets of content are migrated to the new ECM system.

Your business requirements, the volume of data, and content lifecycle will define what tools to use and how long the process will take. Choosing the right method for your organization will promote success.

7. Verification: Make sure you have all the data migrated properly

When your documents are migrated to new ECM system, detailed information should be available to verify that all the documents have been successfully migrated. This can be performed by the recording of an audit trail all along the migration process and apply balances and checks during each phase of the migration.

verify if all data is migrated successfully

To verify that the migration process is successful, it is important to track and provide an audit trail documenting the following:

  • Where did the document start?
  • What metadata were related to the document?
  • Is the document changed? If so, how? Perform a validation step to verify that any progressions to the document are reliable with the original form and that the original document fidelity is held.
  • Can the document be recognized and located within the new ECM system, in a similar way as in the previous ECM system?
  • All the documents from the source ECM system bound to be migrated are accounted for within the process.

Because of the high volume of data, it is not practical to perform manual verification for each document separately. Instead, manual verification should be performed for a batch of documents for each given type.

8. Training: Teach the end-users how the system works

Testing is a key for successful ECM Migration

The last key to a successful migration from one ECM system to another is ensuring your new system encourages high end-user adaptation rate. If the organization implements an ECM system but your end-users find the system too difficult to use, you won’t be able to capture and store all the information that your organization must secure.

Provide an enterprise content management software that is both modern and user-friendly and has the right tools for quickly accessing and retrieving information. Lower the obstacles to adoption to the new ECM system by being transparent about the migration plan, setting expectations for end-users, and sharing helpful information to assist in their transition.

This is where you should keep things simple. If the new ECM system helps to ease the tasks and increase the productivity of your end-users, it will be a win-win situation for both your organization and your end-users.


The ECM migration process is essentially complicated and creates a potential risk to high-value data assets. This is the reason why many organizations resist the temptation and benefits of a new ECM system. However, with proper tools, planning, and commitment to success, risks can be reduced and the benefits can be optimized.

No migration is free from unforeseen barriers. These stages for a successful migration from one ECM to another can help you predict, bypass, and defeat challenges so you can accelerate and streamline your migration from one system to another as much as possible. By understanding the risks and by planning for success, you will ensure a solid return on an investment in ECM migration. Proper and correctly planned migration will result in a stronger content infrastructure and more productive users.

Please keep in mind that this is just a suggestion checklist. In some cases, you will need to expand it, and in some cases, you will find that some steps do not apply. What are your experiences and thoughts on the ECM Migration issue? Let us know in the Comments section below.

See Part 1: Successful Migration from One ECM to Another



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