Kayako Data Migration Checklist

Whenever someone mentions data migration, there’s always talk about tons of headwork, complexity, and high price. It makes you feel like it all comes in a single package and it’s almost impossible to have a positive experience when moving your data. But what if we tell you that you can migrate your data over to Kayako with little to no effort?

Yes, you’ve heard us right. It’s the perks of a third-party automated migration service that Help Desk Migration is. Our tool is highly automated, which will allow you to forget about the technical side and leave all the worries behind. Moreover, the process itself is highly intuitive and very affordable.

While the migration service will take all the hard work upon its shoulders during the actual transfer process, you’ll still need to take care of the preparation stage yourself. However, it’s not that complicated as it may sound since there’s a proven way to ease the struggles. You can implement an in-depth guide to lead you through the whole process (which is exactly what this article is). This detailed A to Z checklist will make your transfer ten times easier. But enough with the introduction, let’s dive into the Kayako data migration plan.

Keep in mind that this checklist is exclusive to Kayako, with all its features and limitations, and is not suitable for other platforms.

Before we actually get into all the details and steps, we find it essential to inform about the entities that are not available for transfer at the very beginning so you can have a full picture of what to expect. Due to certain peculiarities of the platform, our tool cannot migrate the following entities to Kayako:

  • Inline images
  • CC users

As you can see, the list is pretty small, which makes Kayako ideal for transferring various records as the core entities will be preserved. However, we understand that some organizations would really benefit if they could have some of these records migrated to Kayako anyway – with customized migration it’s possible. Simply contact our team in advance to discuss the peculiarities of the personalized transfer. One of our agents will assist you regarding any questions you may have on the topic.

Note: When importing your Knowledge base into Kayako, its dates will change from the original ones to the dates of data migration itself.

Before You Set up the Migration

So, your current help desk is not working for you anymore and you’ve decided to switch to another platform. With so many other options on the market, why wouldn’t you? However, the decision itself is merely a drop in a bucket. There are so many other things to consider, that it’s hard to even find a head-start. But worry not as we’re about to discuss all the steps you should take to cut the average time needed for migration in half. Without further ado, let’s start.

1. Choose a date for migration

It may sound simple, but you can’t just shoot in the dark with this one. Based on our experience, some even get stuck here, since there are quite a few factors that you have to consider, and combining all of them into one day is certainly not a 5-minute decision.

  • Give your team enough time to prepare for the migration. The preparation stage is lengthy and even if you get to cut some corners, it may still last a couple of days or even weeks. Do not overestimate your people, it’s better to take things slow to ensure the perfect end result.
  • Be ready to face downtime.  The downtime may last up to 24 hours, depending on the amount of data you want to move over. Thus, try to aim for the day with the smallest amount of help desk related work.

Now you see why we mentioned it first. A good start – is half the work.

2. Speak to your team

Right after you make a decision to switch to another platform and pick a migration date, your first instinct should be to inform your team. Not only their normal workflow will see a 180-degree turn after the transfer, but they’ll also have to reconsider their task priorities and start closing the necessary tickets. Thus, it’s important to give your agents a heads-up as soon as possible.

The best way to make sure everyone knows about a big change is to gather a meeting and talk through your plans for the foreseeable future. Also, this is the perfect timing to distribute certain responsibilities among agents. It can be anything – from ticket closing to checking the results of transfer – that will help lift the weight from your shoulders. It will not only be less stressful for you but ensure overall higher-level accuracy and productivity.

A tip from the HDM team: To prevent someone from accidentally logging in and continuing work on your old help desk on a cut-off date, set a reminder a day before. It can be an email, a calendar event, or whatever works for you the best. Just make sure everyone knows about the upcoming migration.

Most importantly, don’t forget about your customers. They may also experience some inconvenience because of the downtime. It would be great if you could inform your customers on a blog (if you have one). This way, they’ll be more lenient to you on the cut-off date, as well as after, when you’ll still be figuring out how to use Kayako to the fullest.

3. Clean up your data

Do you want your data to be neat and tidy upon the transfer? Well, you can’t expect to have a neatly organized workspace on Kayako if you simply transfer everything you have. Thus, you’ll have to go through all your current data and get rid of unnecessary records. You’d be surprised how many duplicates, unassigned ticket conversations, outdated profiles, and invalid emails you can find. No matter how tempting it is to preserve every single record, just in case you will need it, try to limit what you actually migrate to the most essential items. Moreover, you can also use the ‘Last modified’ filter to locate and delete data that you haven’t used for years. Our experience shows that if you haven’t used certain records for more than a year, the chance that you’ll use them again is close to zero.

Tip from the HDM team: The best thing to do during this step is to ask your agents who deal with the data on a daily basis to go through the records and decide what to keep and what can be deleted. They certainly know what can be left behind. Plus, our service charges per migrated record, so the less entities you migrate – the less you’ll have to pay.

However, we totally understand that not every company has enough human resources at hand to clean up the data manually, especially if it’s a large portion of data that was compiled over the years. Thus, we offer an opportunity for automated filtering. Just tell us the criteria you want your data to be filtered with and we’ll do the rest for you. This is not a free offer however it can save hours or even days of manual work.

4. Prepare Kayako for the migration

1. Create corresponding custom fields. At some point before the migration, you will have to map your records. That process is straightforward and beyond important. When done correctly, you’ll be able to effortlessly locate all of the records upon the transfer. If your current help desk has any custom fields, make sure to create the corresponding ones in Kayako. To do so, from the Agent area go to Administration > click Custom fields under Customization > New field.

Make sure the field type remains the same.

how to create custom fields in kayako

how to create custom fields in kayako

2. Add agents. Agents have to be created beforehand so we can assign the tickets to the current agents during the data migration. Moreover, agents’ profiles should contain the same email as in the source platform. Keep it in mind, when going from Agent area to Administration > click Agent Directory under Team settings > Invite Team Member.

how to add agents in kayako

Make sure you have admin rights to both your accounts in the source platform and Kayako for migration to go through.

5. Consider Kayako peculiarities

Unless you're planning to migrate to the same helpdesk you are currently working on, there will be some distinctions, peculiarities, or limitations. Getting to know it is equally important as any of the steps described here.
So, before the Full Data Migration to Kayako you should know that:

  • There are agents and collaborators in Kayako. Only agents can communicate with customers, while collaborators can only communicate internally with customers. We insist you take a look at this article to learn about other limitations of collaborators.
  • You should confirm your agent’s activation via email.
  • When migrating Knowledge Base content, allow in the admin panel potentially unsafe HTML in Help Center articles. Kayako blocks the outsource links to provide safety for its users, so if you want all of your links to work, make sure not to skip this step.
  • Cases of deactivated agents cannot be migrated.
  • If you migrate from Kayako Classic to Kayako and want your users to access the Help Center via the same URL, do not switch to DNS (Domain Name Service a.k.a. your Knowledge Base URL) before the migration. Do it afterwards, to keep all attachments.
  • CC users do not migrate. However, you can still migrate emails of CC users into a custom field. Or, opt for customization and migrate CC users over to Kayako.

6. Contact HDM agents

After you’ve completed all the previous steps, reach out to our team to discuss all the definitive details of the upcoming migration. Our friendly team members will answer your questions and coordinate further actions.
Also, that’s the perfect timing to discuss the possibility of customized data migration, like the migration of CC users into a custom field or tickets filtering. You ask – we deliver.

You’re almost ready

1. Turn off notifications

Turn off Email Notifications, Monitors, and any triggers before starting the migration to avoid any data changes. It will take you a few minutes to disable these features but will prevent all end-users and admins from receiving numerous emails. This will ensure that data won’t be updated during the migration and that no errors will occur afterwards. To do so, simply go to Administration > Click Triggers under Automation > Disable the needed triggers.

how to turn off notifications in kayako

2. Run a demo migration

People are more likely to venture to a Full Data Migration if they can experience a free sneak-peek into how things will look like at the end. That’s why we offer a demo migration. During the trial, we take twenty random tickets from your old platform and transfer them over to Kayako.

This step can not be skipped and shouldn't be as it’s vital for the end result. Moreover, it takes no more than five minutes and is entirely free of charge. If something doesn’t line up properly, you can return to mapping, do the needed adjustments, and redo the demo. You can repeat the trial several times if needed until you get the perfect results.

Please note: When using a brand new Kayako account, you will have to confirm Channel with a post-registration email. Otherwise, the demo migration will fail.

After the Demo Migration

1. Check the result in Kayako

The demo migration mirrors the way the Full Data Migration will go, but on a smaller scale. So, after the demo is complete, we insist you take the time and see if the test portion of data migrated as expected (we kept it intentionally small for the examination not to take forever).

If you’re looking for a detailed step-by-step description of how to do it, we have an explanation on our blog. During the examination, pay attention if:

  • all comments got migrated and if the authors of the comments are the same;
  • the tickets are assigned to the correct agents;
  • all the custom fields got migrated, along with attachments and labels;
  • the customers and companies are migrated correctly.
Note: It’s crucial to check each ticket, primarily its location and quality features.

Don’t forget to examine each record to ensure that you're satisfied with Demo Migration. If everything went as you’ve expected, proceed to the next step. However, if you do notice something out of place, don’t hesitate to contact us, so we can advise you on how to fix it.

2. Request a custom demo

If you have some tickets with more replies, attachments, or notes than your usual ones and want to see how they migrate over to Kayako, feel free to request a custom demo - we’ll transfer the specific ticket IDs that you want. Simply contact our team to discuss the peculiarities of the custom demo.

Before Full Data Migration

1. Keep in mind the basics

We understand that there may be several reasons for data migration. Some are simply looking for an upgrade, the others just moving separate teams.  No matter what drives you, we always advise running the Full Data Migration on a day with the smallest amount of incoming requests. If needed, you can still work on your source help desk during the transfer, however, the records created or updated after the start of the Full Data Migration will not appear in Kayako automatically. If you don't want to lose that data, you can always opt for delta migration.

When it comes to the Full Data Migration, you don’t have to sit in front of the computer the whole time – you can just check on the transfer from time to time or ask your agents to help you out. Our team will keep a close eye on the process of migration and if something seems out of place - we’ll contact you right away.

2. Start Full Data Migration

All of your previous efforts boil down to this very moment. Now you can safely press the ‘Start’ button and all of the records will start to migrate one by one to Kayako. Yes, it’s that simple – you don’t have to do anything.

Note: The migration will only begin after:

  • The payment is confirmed. It may take some time, that’s why we highly recommend you to pay in advance. This way you can start at any suitable time. However, if you don't want to start right away, you can always schedule the migration to run automatically at a specific time.
  • Agree to the checklist by putting a check into the corresponding box. But, before you actually do that, we insist you open the short checklist and go through each point to ensure all requirements are met and you're completely ready for the migration.

3. Don’t change anything

When we say that you don’t have to do anything, we actually mean it. No matter how hard you want to make a last-minute change, just don’t. Any modifications on your side can lead to inevitable changes, requiring hours to be solved, and considering all the efforts put into the process it’s not worth it. And if you notice something out of place, don’t hesitate to inform us – our team of professionals will take care of it in no time.

After the Import is Done

1. Examine everything

You’re almost there. However, there’re still some important things that have to be done, primarily the examination of records. But, it’s no longer that small test portion of data. This time, you will probably need your agents’ help to cut the time.

Once again, you shouldn't only check the number of records but make sure they are readable and in place. A proper inspection right after the Full Data Migration leaves a place for a correction on our side if noticed right away (within five days after the migration date) free of charge. So, if you notice something out of place, get in touch with our team as soon as possible.

2. Set up a new platform

Redirect all your incoming support channels to the new platform, enable the notifications you previously had to turn off, and update the internal links in Knowledge Base ( if you migrated one).

Last but not the least, reforward your emails to the platform, and you’re good to go.

Wrapping it Up

Your new workspace is now ready to be used. As you can see, data migration is not that hard if trusted to professionals.

If you still have some questions about the migration to Kayako, our super-friendly support team is always ready to help. Simply click on the chat icon and get to talking.
More data migration checklists here.

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