Our annual conference on all things to do with data migration enters its sixth year with a programme as interesting and compelling as ever. With a wide variety of speakers and some new sponsors, we are expecting this to be another bumper year.

I have to say that I was surprised that this time around we had our first ticket sales within an hour of the site going live, before I had even publicised the fact internally. To be fair the people involved had been asking about when tickets were due to go on sale but I’m thinking it may be an indicator of how ticket sales will go. Each year, for the last three years, we have been selling out earlier and earlier. So if it is in your list of things to do - get those tickets booked early, don’t wait.

To encourage early sales there will be the early bird temptation of a delegate pass for only £75. That runs until the end of March. After that, the full price is £175. Very reasonable, I’d say, given what you get in return.

And what do you get? Well, those familiar with DMM events will know the format. After an opening plenary session the conference will divide into two streams. This year, one stream will concentrate on software as a service (SaaS) and cloud migrations. This will focus on the likes of Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics amongst others. This is one of the areas where, post recession, there has been a seismic change in IT activity. After nearly 30 years in IT I’ve seen my fair share of economic down turns and recoveries. It always seems, as we emerge from a dip, that the landscape has significantly altered. Trends that were signalled previously somehow gain momentum from the emerging optimism. The ’93 recession saw the emergence of COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) packages based on client server architecture and pretty much the end of large scale DIY development. The 2000 dip saw the growth of data warehousing and large scale MIS. This time around it is the fuller embracement of the internet (which commercially has been around for twenty years now), as a platform both via the cloud metaphor and on the plethora of BOYD (bring your own device) via which we access business content.

Each time, of course, we have to contend with a different set of migration challenges. Now we are migrating from a legacy that includes DIY, the anarchy of the client server desktop as well as lots of smaller, randomly connected COTS packages and data warehouses to a new paradigm - the cloud.

The software on the cloud is also newer and therefore less sophisticated than the COTS packages it supplants but a new development model has emerged. Borrowing from the open software movement, the new vendors consciously create a community of specialist vendors around their core product to create the enhancements and extensions that different enterprises need. We now therefore have not only a more complex legacy to deal with but a more complex target. We also have the naivety in approach that each successive generation brings to the task.

It is time to look in detail at what is really new, what is a significant variant and what is old wine in new bottles.

The other stream will cover the migrations to targets as diverse as hospital systems, financial services migrations and media migrations. All these sessions will be presented by seasoned professionals who have been through data migrations for real and can share tips and insights and highlight possible pitfalls.

As usual, we will also be offering delegates the opportunity to get some hands on experience of leading edge data migration software in our dedicated workshop room. If you have never seen profiling and ETL software in action then this is your chance to get a benchmark. There is really no substitute for seeing and touching it in action to understand what we experts tell you about the benefits of built for purpose over DIY solutions when it comes to data migration software. Of course if you are an established pro then this is maybe the chance to get a hands on experience of some of the tools you have heard about but never touched. I can promise two that really are new comers at least to DMM events.

These sessions prove very popular and we have to restrict numbers to allow all participants the opportunity to get really hands on. I will be explaining nearer the date how to pre-book a seat in these showcases.

Booking details for the show are available on the Data Migration Matters website. We cannot put all the speaker’s details up just yet mind you because not all have been cleared by their respective employers. But as they are free to be announced you will be first to know.

Finally, of course, the great thing about a face to face event is the opportunity to meet and speak to the likes of Dylan Jones of Data Migration Pro or even myself should you be so minded. There will be plenty of networking breaks so please make sure you make yourself known.

Over the next few weeks I will be introducing each of the sponsors and speakers (interspersed with other industry insight of course) but for now check out the web site and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at DMM6.

Twitter @johnymorris

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.