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Zoho Desk Data Migration Checklist

If you ask someone ‘How hard was your data migration experience on a scale from 1 to 10?’, they’ll probably answer – 11, without failing to mention the tons of headwork, complexity, and high price. Truly, transferring records between help desk solutions is not something many would call ‘easy’. But before you get tempted to put off your migration, what if we tell you that you can import your data over to Zoho Desk in just a few clicks?

It may sound like something closer to a dream than a reality, but that’s one of the numerous benefits Help Desk Migration service can bring to the table. With our service, you get a high-level automation tool along with an intuitive interface, affordable price, and constant agent support all in one package. Moreover, you don’t have to deal with the technical side at all, nor you’re required to have any data migration expertise.

To top it off, we took the time to prepare an in-depth guide for you to follow. While the third-party migration service will manage all the hard work during the actual transfer, you’ll still need to deal with preparation yourself, and that’s when this checklist will come in handy. A data import to Zoho Desk can end-up a positive experience for you and your company when followed precisely. Enough with the introductions, let’s dive into the Zoho Desk data migration plan.

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

Let’s start by mentioning the entities that are not available for a transfer to Zoho Desk due to certain platform peculiarities. We put the list at the very beginning to have a full picture of what to expect from the import. The entities we cannot migrate are:

  • CC users
  • Groups
  • Inline images
  • ‘Created at’ date in tickets - Instead, it will show the day and time of the end of the migration.
  • Knowledge Base attachments
  • Comment Author (Contact or Agent) - We leave a note with a commenter’s name during the migration.

While the core entities can be migrated without a problem, we understand that for some organizations, it is vital to preserve everything (including some records mentioned in the list). That’s why we’re offering an opportunity for customized migration. 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 Zoho Desk, its dates will change from the original ones to the dates of data migration itself.

Before You Set up the Migration

As you might’ve guessed already, there’s a lot of headwork to be done before the data migration itself. If you struggle to decide what to begin with, simply follow each step described here, and you’ll be at your goal in no time. Without further ado, let’s start.

1. Choose a date for migration

While it seems like no big deal, deciding on a cut-off day can be hard. Obviously, you can’t just open the calendar and pick the first day you lay your eyes on, it has to be a well-calculated decision. You have to consider several factors, and combining all of them to fit in a single day certainly can’t be done on the spot.

  • 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. Your agents will have to do the lion’s share of work, and it’s important not to rush them. Taking things slow is vital when it comes to something like data migration.
  • Be ready to face downtime. On the migration day, you won’t be able to use both help desks for an obvious reason – not to interfere with the transfer. The downtime may last up to 24 hours, depending on the amount and quality of data you want to move over. Thus, try to aim for the day with the smallest amount of help desk related work. You’ll thank yourself later for spending the extra time on this one when you’ll be able to minimize the loss.

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

2. Speak to your team

Right after you decide to switch to Zoho Desk and pick a migration date, your first instinct should be to inform your team. Your agents will have to reconsider their task priorities and start closing the necessary tickets before the transfer. Since this process requires a lot of time, it’s important to give your agents a heads-up as soon as possible.

We find that the best way to inform your team about a big change is to gather a meeting and invite everyone whose work will see a 180-degree turn after the data migration. Make sure to talk through your plans for the foreseeable future and distribute certain responsibilities among your agents. It can be anything – from ticket closing to checking the transfer results – 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 remembers about the upcoming migration.

Informing your customers about the big change is equally important as informing your team members. The downtime will, for sure, cause your customers to experience certain inconveniences. It would be great to 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 master Zoho Desk.

3. Clean up your data

A neat and organized workspace is what many companies look for. But you can’t expect to have one on Zoho Desk without doing anything beforehand. Instead of transferring everything, just in case you will need it, go through all of 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. A great way to cut corners when cleaning your data is to use the ‘Last modified’ filter to locate and delete data you haven’t used for a long time. Most likely, 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: Ask your agents who deal with the data daily to go through the records and decide what essential data 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, even with the help of agents, the process might turn out to be very time-consuming. We totally understand that not every company has enough human resources or time to clean up the records manually, especially if it’s a large portion of data compiled over the years. Our service offers 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. Automated filtering is not a free offer, however, it can save hours or even days of manual work.

4. Prepare Zoho Desk for the migration

1. Create corresponding custom fields. One of the steps of the data migration process is field mapping. If done correctly, the mapping will enable you to locate all of the records upon the transfer effortlessly. If your current help desk has any custom fields, make sure to create the corresponding ones in Zoho Desk. However, creating custom fields in Zoho Desk can be quite a task, so we advise you to check out the article from our Help Center for a step-by-step visual guide.

Custom fields are specific to the department in which they are created.

2. Add agents. Agents have to be created beforehand to assign the tickets to the current agents during the data migration. Moreover, agents’ profiles should contain the same email as in the source platform. Once again, it’s a multiple-step process, so we advise you to follow the article from our Help Center.

3. Create Teams. We cannot transfer your Teams automatically when migrating to Zoho Desk. However, we can add the Agents to relevant Teams during the data migration process. To perform this task, the required Teams must already exist in your Zoho Desk account. So, you will need to create them manually before starting the migration. Take a look at the article for a more detailed explanation.

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

5. Consider Zoho Desk 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 Zoho Desk, you should know that:

  • There are different roles of users in Zoho Desk - Agent, Light Agent (cannot reply or comment publicly on tickets), and Support Administrator (an agent who can manage and customize the help desk). Pay attention to the roles you give to your users to prevent any mishaps.
  • By default, ‘Created at’ dates are not migrated to Zoho Desk. However, you can get them migrated in the body of the comment. The same goes for the authors of the comments. Drop us a line to discuss the peculiarities of customized migration.
  • Cases of deactivated agents cannot be migrated.
  • By default, all of your tickets will get assigned to a single default agent. Moreover, all your replies will be made from that very default agent. There’s nothing we can do about it, sadly. But we can help you set a specific default agent that you want. Just drop us a line, and we’ll do that for you.
  • You will not be able to sort the tickets by date. It’s one of the limitations of the platform.
  • CC users do not migrate. However, you can still migrate emails of CC users into a custom field.

6. Contact our team

After you’ve completed all the previous steps, reach out to our team to discuss all the definitive details of the upcoming migration to the Zoho Desk. Our friendly team members will answer your questions and coordinate your further actions. It’s the perfect timing to discuss the possibility of personalized transfer. Keep in mind that migration is lengthy itself, and customization may only add up extra hours. We recommend you to contact the Zoho Desk team in advance and ask them to increase your API limits temporarily.

You’re almost ready

1. Turn off notifications

Turn off Email Notifications, Customer Self Service Portal Invitation, and other triggers, including validation and duplicate rules. It will take you a few minutes to disable these features and 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. Make sure to check out the article for a detailed visual guide.

2. Run a demo migration

From years of experience, we’ve learned that 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 upon the transfer to Zoho Desk. That’s why we offer a demo migration when we take twenty random tickets from your old platform and transfer them over to Zoho Desk.

The trial lasts no more than five minutes and is entirely free of charge. If something doesn’t line up properly, you can return to mapping, make the needed adjustments, and redo the demo. You can repeat it several times if needed until you get the perfect results.

After the Demo Migration

1. Check the result in Zoho Desk

The demo migration mirrors the way the Full Data Migration will go, but on a smaller scale. So, after the demo is complete, make sure to 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;
  • the customers and companies are migrated correctly;
  • the attachments are migrated.
Note: It’s crucial to check each ticket, primarily its location and quality features, to detect any issues right away.

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 Zoho Desk, 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 personalization.

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 Zoho Desk 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. Initiate Full Data Migration

All of your previous efforts boil down to this very moment. If you’re satisfied with the way your demo went, start a Full Data Migration by pressing a ‘Start’ button. Starting from this moment, all of the records will start to transfer one by one to Zoho Desk.

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. Speaking about that, you can also schedule the migration to start at a specific time and date.
  • Agree to the checklist. That is quite important, so you won't be able to proceed to the Full Data Migration until you actually view the checklist, go through the requirements and if everything looks good - agree to it by putting a check into the corresponding box.

3. Don’t change anything

We’ve mentioned above that your presence during the migration process can be very beneficial. But that’s all you have to do – monitor things from time and time without interfering with the process itself in any way. 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

Phew. The hard part is over. There are just a few more things to be done, but they are a drop in the bucket compared to all the previous efforts. Naturally, after the Full Data Migration is complete, you’ll have to examine the results, just like you did after the demo. But, it’s no longer that small test portion of data. This time, you will probably need your agents’ help to cut the time.

Remember that you shouldn't 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.

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 manually update the internal links in Knowledge Base (if you migrated one).

Last but not least, reforward your emails to the platform, and your Zoho Desk account is ready to be up and running.

Wrapping it Up

That’s it. As you can see, the data migration is not that hard, let alone scary, if trusted to the right people. Help Desk Migration service will take care of your data to ensure you have the best experience prior to, during, and after the transfer.

If you still have some questions about the data migration to Zoho Desk, our super-friendly support team is always ready to help. Click on the chat icon and get to talking.

More data migration checklists here.

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