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osTicket Data Migration Checklist

Let us have a guess – you really want to migrate your data to another, more powerful, help desk, but you keep hesitating because of how complicated the process of migration is? It’s natural to think that way. If you’ll be paying money for the transfer, you want the process to go as seamlessly as possible and preferably with the smallest amount of effort on your side.

Help Desk Migration is ready to offer you just that. Not only you won’t have to deal with the technical side at all, we don’t require you to have any data migration expertise whatsoever. With us, you’ll get high-level automation, an intuitive interface, affordable prices, constant agent support, a vast list of supported platforms and so much more. Not bad, considering you’ll only pay for what you migrate – nothing less, nothing more. Ah, we almost forgot to mention that we’ll fully handle the actual transfer.

As you may have already known, data migration is not simply migrating data from one help desk to another. Apart from the transfer, it’s a lengthy process that includes pre-and post-migration steps that you’ll have to handle yourself. To help you out, we’ve put together this checklist. It covers all the essential things you should and shouldn’t do before, during, and after the migration. All you have to do is follow it precisely to ensure the smoothest data migration experience possible. Without further ado, let’s dive into the osTicket data migration checklist.

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

Entities We Cannot Migrate

Before we jump into the checklist, we find it essential to mention the entities our tool cannot import over to osTicket. This way, you’ll know what to expect from the migration from the get-go. So, the list of entities that are not available for the transfer includes:

  • Organizations
  • Inline images
  • Knowledge Base articles
  • Knowledge Base attachments
  • Tags
  • CC in Tickets

As you can see, all of your core Help Desk data can still be preserved during the import to osTicket. We understand that there might be something on the list that would be very beneficial to have on your target help desk. If there’s something that you’d really want to have, feel free to contact our support team and discuss the possibility of personalized transfer. Our agents will then look deeper into your case and see what we can do to help you out.

Before You Set up the Migration

And there we come to the preparation stage. The way you will address these steps might have a direct influence on your data migration. This part is quite lengthy, but when executed precisely will guarantee a smooth transfer (and this guide will help you to achieve that goal). With nothing else left to say, let’s start.

1. Choose a date for migration

When it comes to data migration, picking a cut-off date is beyond important. Not only the day you will choose to migrate the data may have a direct impact on your migration, but it will also define the workflow for your agents. Even though it sounds like something that shouldn’t be your top priority, we recommend to take the time and decide on the day. To make the right call, we suggest you consider these factors for the start of your ‘migration journey’:

  • Give your team enough time to prepare. We’ve mentioned it already, but it’s your team who will see a 180-degree turn to their normal workflow. They will have to handle tickets, monitor the transfer and so much more, and it’s beyond important to take things slow to ensure the integrity of your data is preserved.
  • Be ready to face downtime. The downtime (the time when your osTicket account will be unavailable for use) may last up to 24 hours, depending on the amount and quality of data you want to import. We recommend aiming for the day with the smallest amount of help desk related work possible to minimize the loss.

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

2. Speak to your team

We can’t stress this enough – you have to keep your team informed at all stages of the data migration. Thus, as soon as you’ll make a decision about the data migration and pick a final cut-off date, we recommend calling a meeting and discuss all the related details of the upcoming transfer. A good decision will be to invite everyone whose work will be, in one way or another, affected by the migration. Truly, from that point and on, your agents will have to do a lion’s share of work to prepare for the transfer.

Additionally, think of the key points you would like to talk about in advance, so you won’t miss out on the crucial details during the meeting. Don’t forget to include the responsibility delegation in the list, as it’s important to take a bit of weight off your shoulders to ensure better accuracy and productivity.

A tip from the HDM team: Set a reminder a day before, to prevent someone from accidentally continuing work on your current help desk. It can be an email, a group call, a calendar event, or whatever works for you the best.

And most importantly, don’t forget about your customers. They will, for sure, experience the inconvenience of the downtime. Thus, it’s essential to give them a notice (in a form of an article on the blog or a banner on the home page), as well as explain why there will be a downtime in the first place. 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 osTicket to the fullest.

3. Clean up your data

Have you been using your current help desk for years? Was your data never properly cleaned? Is it probably full of duplicates, unassigned ticket conversations, outdated profiles, and invalid emails?

If you answer yes to all the questions, we insist you go through your current help desk and get rid of unnecessary data. The thing is, if you transfer everything as it is, you will end up with the same messy osTicket workspace, and it’s certainly not the experience you want to have after the data migration. We suggest you delete the old weight. If you haven’t used certain records for more than a year, the chance that you’ll use them again is close to zero. Also, you can check out this article to learn how to properly clean up the database prior to migration.

Tip from the HDM team: 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 left out. Our service charges per migrated record, so the less entities you migrate – the less you’ll have to pay.

But what if you don’t have human resources to do the manual filtering? That’s why we always offer an opportunity for automated filtering. The way it works is very simple – you just tell us the criteria you want your data to be filtered with, and we’ll do the rest for you. This option is not free; however, it can save hours or even days of manual work on your side.

4. Prepare osTicket for the transfer

Just like you need to prepare your data for the transfer, you should also prepare your new solution to receive that data.

Keep in mind that you should have admin rights for both your source and target platform.

For osTicket, all you have to do is to create the needed custom fields. If you had it on your source platform, the corresponding custom fields on osTicket will allow you to easily locate the needed records in no time. To create custom fields, from your Agent Panel go to Admin Panel and then select the Manage tab. After that, click on Forms and you’ll see a list of built-in forms. Choose Ticket or Task Details and create the needed custom forms. Don’t forget to save the changes.

creating custom fields in osticket

creating custom fields in osticket

creating custom fields in osticket

5. Consider the peculiarities and limitations of osTicket

Prior to your migration to osTicket, we advise you to get acquainted with some of the peculiarities and limitations of the system beforehand, so you won’t have to deal with any unexpected issues afterwards. Before the transfer, you should know that:

  • You need to enable remote access to the MySQL data server. The latter is needed so our Migration Wizard can establish a connection between the tool and your database. Check out the article where we covered the process in detail.
  • Normally, CC users do not migrate to osTicket. However, we can import the emails of CC users into a custom field instead. Simply drop us a line and our agents will help you out.

6. Contact HDM team

After all the previous steps are complete, feel free to contact our team. The latter is needed to discuss all the definitive details of the upcoming migration, ask any questions you may have, or see for advice. Our super-friendly support agents will be more than welcome to answer all of your questions, share the important tips, and coordinate your further actions. Also, this is perfect timing to discuss the possible customizations, like migrating Tags into custom fields.

You’re Almost Ready

1. Turn off notifications

If you don’t disable notifications prior to migration, your agents and end-users will receive numerous emails. If you don’t want that to happen, you’ll have to manually turn off the notifications in osTicket. To do so, from the Agent Panel go to Admin Panel.

A settings tab will then open automatically. Now, all you have to do is to disable Alerts and Notices for Tickets and Tasks. Let’s review how to turn that off for Tickets. Click on the Tickets button > Alerts and Notices > go through all the alerts and disable them > Save Changes.

disabling notifications in osticket

disabling notifications in osticket

disabling notifications in osticket

2. Run a demo migration

No matter the platforms you’re migrating between, we always offer a demo migration. This way, you can test out our tool and see how certain records will look like upon the transfer. During this free sneak-peek, we take twenty random tickets from your current help desk solution and move them over to osTicket. After that, you can view the results and based on that decide whether you want to proceed.

The demo migration is completely free, so it’s a perfect way to see our tool in action as well as decide whether you would want to opt for Full Data Migration afterwards. The demo usually takes no more than five minutes and can be repeated multiple times. That’s for you to return to mapping, make the needed adjustments, and try again in case something doesn’t look precisely as you wanted it to. Most importantly, the test portion of data will be automatically deleted, so you won’t have to worry about having duplicates on your osTicket account after the Full Data Migration. We made sure everything is pretty thought out for a seamless experience with minimum worries.

After the Demo Migration

1. Check the results in osTicket

To make sure your Full Data Migration will go as planned, we recommend checking how that test portion got migrated. This way, you’ll know what to expect. To make the process of examination easier for you, we prepared downloadable reports with records’ IDs in your source help desk and the corresponding IDs in osTicket. You can get a hold of these records right after the end of the demo migration. Then, when you open the reports, go through the table, and carefully check if everything got migrated as you wanted it to.

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 and attachments got migrated.
Note: It’s crucial to check each ticket, primarily its location and quality features, to detect any issues right away.

If you’re looking for some extra help on how to check the results of demo migration, take a look at the guide.

Only when you’re completely satisfied with the way the demo transfer went, proceed to the next step. However, if during the examination you notice something out of place, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our agents will then look deeper into the issue and talk you through the possible solutions.

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 osTicket, 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 customized demo migration.

Before Full Data Migration

1. Keep in mind the basics

We’ve mentioned it at the very beginning already – double proof that you’ll be running the Full Data Migration on a day with the smallest number of incoming requests. It’s necessary not so much for the interference into the migration process (it’s still important and cannot be overlooked), but for the fact that the new tickets will not get migrated automatically to osTicket. If you don’t want to lose that data, you can always opt for delta migration to move these records. Keep in mind, that this option is not free.

Speaking about the Full Data Migration, our agents will keep a close eye on the process of migration, but if you need some extra reassurance that things are going well, you can always ask your agents to check on the transfer from time to time. If something seems out of place – our team will immediately get in contact with you and discuss the possible solutions of the issue.

2. Initiate Full Data Migration

Phew. That was a lot of premigration preparation, but the hard part is over now and you’re finally ready to initiate the Full Data Migration - the part, where we take everything upon our shoulders. All you have to do is press the ‘Start’ button and the Migration Wizard will handle the rest. From that point on, all of your records will start transferring one by one over to osTicket.

Note: The migration will only begin after two main requirements are met:

  1. The payment is confirmed. It may take some time, that’s why we highly recommend you to pay in advance. Speaking about time, you can also take advantage of our ‘schedule’ feature - all you have to do is choose time and day and the migration will then run automatically on the given timing.
  2. You’ve agreed to the checklist. Click on the corresponding link to open a short checklist of the essential steps you should do prior to transfer. Go through each point and if everything looks good, put a tick in a checkbox. That is needed to make sure, you’re completely ready for the data import to osTicket.

3. Don’t change anything

Until the data migration is over, the transfer process is handled by the Help Desk Migration team. To ensure the end result will meet your expectations, we strongly advise you not to interfere with the migration process. That means if you notice something out of place, DO NOT try to resolve the issue yourself, as it may even lead to the migration failure and considering all the efforts put into the import, it’s not worth it. But, what are your options when you notice something you would like to alter?

  1. You can wait till the Full Data Migration is complete and only then make the necessary changes.
  2. If the issue is urgent and cannot wait until the Full Data Migration is complete, contact our team and they will look deeper into the issue and see what they can do. When it comes to data migration, it’s best to leave things to professionals.

After the Import is Done

1. Examine everything

So, the data migration process is complete and all of your data is successfully transferred to osTicket. But, before you get all excited and start to use your platform, there’s data examination to be done. Just like after the demo, you’ll see a page with downloadable reports. You will have to go through the transferred data and check if everything migrated correctly. However, it’s no longer that small test portion of data. This time, you will probably need your agents’ help to cut the time.

Note: Once again, you should not only check the number of migrated 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 and we’ll be more than welcome to help you out.

2. Set up a new platform

That’s about it. You are now ready to use your osTicket. Before you start dealing with tickets and go back to your normal workflow, don’t forget to enable all the notifications that you previously had to turn off, redirect email forwarding, and set necessary settings. Now, you’re good to go.

Wrapping it Up

And that covers the whole process of data import to osTicket from A to Z. The process is truly lengthy and complicated, however, with the help in form of this detailed checklist and a team of professionals behind your back, it’s, in fact, quite manageable. We hope this article will convince you to stop hesitating and make a switch to a solution of your dreams right now.

If you still have some questions about the data migration to osTicket, our super-friendly support team got you covered. Just click on the chat icon at the bottom right and get to talking. We’re always happy to help.

More data migration checklists here.

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