Data migration isn’t a piece of cake. Many businesses think of the help desk migration like about a dangerous journey, full of risks, long waits, and time and money loss. Moving their help desk from one system to another, they prefer to start over from scratch and leave their data behind. Contrary to this belief, historical data is valuable for a couple of reasons. Yet, you need a well-developed strategy and the right amount of planning to migrate it successfully.
Data: to take or to leave behind
There are many reasons for help desk migration, but it all comes down to this: companies want to upgrade their support team’s performance, get rid of information clutter, make employees day-to-day job more comfortable and, therefore, gain more happy, satisfied customers. Fair goals.
The scenario is quite simple: you take the legacy data into a new help desk system. Hence, it can require re-keying records manually or import via API, or CSV or JSON files importing or hiring a third party migration service or some other way. On the whole, two aspects impact your decision to move data from the existing help desk:
- The value of information. More than often it takes as much effort and thought as the migration itself. If you got legal requirements, you have to migrate this data. If some records required for reference or reporting, make requirements and figure out whether the work can run without them on a new help desk. Besides, talk with the support team about the old tickets and how frequently they go for reference, maybe you can afford to leave them behind.
- The overall amount of records and files stored. This constraint is based on technical limitations, for instance: storage may have limitations, possible impact on the system performance when it goes live with a vast amount of data, etc.
It becomes a good practice to move only live records to a new help desk and archive all the rest into a searchable CSV or SQL (or something else) files.
Help desk migration: manual vs automated
Any difficult situation has a way out, and so the migration to a new help desk may have more than one option to be effectively completed. In a nutshell, you can:
- move your data in CSV files (or another format) or hire a freelancer to do this task, if your new help desk has an option of file importing. (It is better to check before starting this initiative.)
- use the in-house tech team or hire a freelance developer for writing API-based migration for your old and new systems.
- hire a third party service to handle your migration.
Now before you jump to any conclusions, each of these “way outs” has strong sides and weak spots. Let’s analyze in a little more depth which of them will be the least pain in the neck and doesn’t burn out migration budget.
CSV files exporting & importing
This approach to data transfer is manual, yet you still need to organize an in-house team (or person) who will take care of the migration. We will omit the questions about exporting and importing features of the help desks you use and want-to-use, and go right away to the point, even two points.
The perks of CSV migration
The obvious plus is the amount of data you can get out of help desk. The relations between the records will be preserved. Plus, the migration will be quite fast. You also can check for duplicates to exclude the old chaos in a new help desk.
The challenges of CSV migration
A help desk migration path will look like: export data > format to the system requirements > import file. The second step appears if the help desks have different structures and this may be quite tricky. For the importing, the new system may request specific coding, amount of lines, etc.
Another issue to tackle is the amount of data you want to migrate. The more data, the more CSV files you are going to have. This point makes the transfer really time-consuming.
API migration with in-house tech team or a freelancer
To illustrate this point, it is better to divide into two parts: API-based help desk migration and who is going to perform it. So, if your company has a tech team, you can join them in this initiative. If you don’t have developers in your staff, there are plenty of options offered on freelancing websites. Either way, you can choose a developer (or developers) for this job. The expenses are hard to state precisely. The in-house team deals with data transfer, then the product or service development will be (perhaps) a bit delayed. Speaking of freelancers, each developer says the price and it should be arranged. Additionally, be ready to monitor the process of transfer.
The perks of API-based migration
Let’s talk about the advantages of API data transfer. Everything is quite simple: your records don’t need any additional manipulations (coding, changing the format and so on). They are securely taken from the existing help desk and put in the new solution.
The challenges of API-based migration
The drawbacks also should be mentioned. Usually, the systems APIs have limitations what means a) the help desk migration will take time due to the allowed number of requests, and b) if APIs of the solution isn’t well-featured and documented, you may be unable to get all the data you want. (Here makes sense to praise CSV files transfer as it gives a possibility to retract more records than API.)
Help Desk Migration service
The Latin proverb says “The third isn’t given.” but that doesn’t apply to data migration. This way comes out as the most suitable option for many businesses. Why? Here is a short proof based on Help Desk Migration service.
The perks of an automated migration
The API-based data transfer is developer exactly for the help desk you move from and the desired platform, so the migration will be done automatically and securely. Every migration is different, and you have a support agent during the process. Besides, if there appear any trouble, the service team will take care of it, and you just continue to work with customers while your data smoothly comes to the new platform.
Challenges of an automated migration
On the flip side, the Help Desk Migration team can do nothing with API limits your platforms have, so it may take a little bit more time to transfer the records. Or if you want some data in the new help desk, but API doesn’t give it away, the service allows to upload CSV files.
A vital point in migration strategy
Quite often businesses are craving for an immediate help desk migration and set very ambitious initiative deadlines. Thus, the process should be well-planned and thought-over. The manual or automated way of data transfer is only a part of your migration strategy. Hope you find this information practical and use it to meet the migration initiative deadline ahead of schedule.