Data Migration - DMM5 & Contract Cock-Ups

We are now only a week away from the end of the early bird discounts for DMM5, so if you are thinking of getting a ticket, do it now before the price rises at the end of the month. The event in central London on 24 May will have two streams of speakers - one covering Enterprise Application Migration and one covering SAN and Cloud Migrations.

There will be hands on software workshops where you can get to sample Profiling, Data Quality and ETL software. There will even be free software to take away on the day. And new for this year there will be “Ask the Expert” sessions where you can book a short one to one interview with experts on Enterprise Application Migrations, SAN Migrations, Artificial Intelligence and Master Data Management Migrations. There will also be plenty of networking opportunities. Check it out at www.datamigrationmatters.org.

If you have a Data Migration planned then this is the place to be to meet all those people who have been there, done that.

Now on to the cock-ups.

It seems a piece of unfortunate timing but an old colleague and friend of mine from way back, phoned me up the other day to ask if there was some piece of software that could get him out of a bit of a hole. Seems he had a project that included some data migration elements (and which IT project doesn’t?) and he had assumed, after all the vendor presentations, that his chosen supplier was going to connect to his legacy data store, automatically perform the data mappings, and suck out the data they needed. Of course when he got to that bit of the project plan, the truth dawned. There was the normal gap in understanding between supplier and customer. On the one hand there was my friend, budget committed, software contract signed and implementation plan well advanced. On the other there was his software partner having performed an excellent job at analyzing and tailoring a solution for their client, presenting a well documented data dictionary definition of the fields of data they needed to be delivered to them, preferably in csv format, just as they had stipulated in the contract. They were expecting to carry the data the final mile and here was a client expecting them to connect to someone else’s database of which they had no knowledge so that they could lift and shift it to their software.

Classic DMZ misunderstanding then.

But how had this situation come about? How had they managed to mislead one another so? As I say a strangely unfortunate coincidence for my friend given that this is one of most common mistakes that people make in the supplier-client relationship and one that I will be covering in our planned webinar on the five commonest mistakes in supplier-client relationships. (At the moment I’m putting it at number two but it could move up a notch).

Oh and the short answer to the “Is there any software that will get me out of this hole?” question is “No”. The slightly longer answer is that there is plenty of excellent software out there that will profile legacy data stores but it needs to be used in conjunction with manual activities and techniques that will turn the output from these tools into meaningful activities - be they data mappings or data correction requirements. For the full answer - well you need a properly founded methodological approach to the task. Like PDM. There are no magic bullets.

He tells me he will listen in on how to structure your relationship so both you and the supplier get what you want out of it but it may be a bit late for this project. Still better next time eh?

Johny Morris
jmorris@iergo.co.uk

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About the author
John Morris has over 20 years experience in IT as a programmer, business analyst, project manager and data architect. He has spent the last 10 years working exclusively on data migration and system integration projects. John is the author of Practical Data Migration.

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