Changing an ERP system can be done in different ways. If you only want to exchange your existing system for a current system without changing the functionality, this can be implemented in the form of a migration. In this case, only the master data that has been cleaned up and updated beforehand, if possible, is “migrated” from the previous system to the new system. The result is the same functionality as before, but on an up-to-date software basis. The simplest form of migration is a re-implementation, which is ideal if the new ERP system is structured similarly to the previous one. If this is not the case, a conversion is an option. The data and information must then be transferred to the format of the new ERP system. The occasionally applied encapsulation and use of “frozen” data in the old system is not recommended because updating is problematic.
If you also want to change or extend functionalities, it is advisable to draw up a requirements specification in which you define the desired functionalities. The selection of the new ERP system should be based on these specifications, which take the processes into account. A change to a new standard software is also carried out by means of a migration. But in addition, the new functionalities are integrated. If possible, avoid individual programming.
Migration to a new ERP system usually takes place in several steps. The data migration to a new database is completely independent from the migration to new programs for the applications. User interface migration can also be performed independently of these two steps. This can provide users with a fresh, more user-friendly interface, but of course this alone does not change functionality or data quality.
If your ERP system needs to communicate with other systems, interfaces may need to be adapted through migration. Your ERP system can then be better integrated into environments.
Do not underestimate the effort required for an ERP migration, especially the effort required for your users. Involve your users in the development of the specifications and lead users from the essential functions also in the selection of a new ERP system. Prepare them well for this change. Solid user training and adequate user support from the vendor can avoid friction during the transition phase.