How To Prepare for a Platform Migration

Gary Lungarini

Migrating Platforms? Here are 3 steps to prepare.

Migrating your community to a new platform can be a large task, in our experience these steps will help ensure you are covering all of the strategic considerations as well as some key tasks and milestones. Some have called this a pre-project as it is the preparation needed before you begin the specific tasks to migrate to a new platform.

There are three main areas to this process; Community Strategy, Platform Selection and Implementation Planning. Let’s dive in!

1. Community Strategy

Use your migration as an opportunity to re-evaluate and confirm your overall community strategy. We recommend reviewing your community objectives and business goals as you might not have reconsidered these since your initial launch. While taking the time to document this may seem trivial to your team, the software vendors can leverage this information to explain how their platform can best meet your business needs. Other strategic areas, such as your key use cases, governance policies, and adoption plans, should also be reviewed and refreshed at this time.

2. Platform Selection

Your platform selection process will undoubtedly include a possible RFP process, vendor demonstrations, and specific follow-ups as required on topics such as security, single-sign-on, metrics, and third-party integrations. To properly prepare for this, take the time to document areas of importance, including key integration points, platform sunset requirements, and data migration needs, such as data archiving.

“When we began planning the migration of our English and Chinese communities into one global community we knew we needed a strong partner; Social Edge was the obvious choice. Having worked with the Social Edge team for over five years we understood the strengths they would bring to the project. Their attention to detail, deep community platform knowledge and quality assurance focus were fundamental to our success.”

Lisa Allison

Enterprise Community Manager, Analog Devices 

3. Implementation Planning

This final area of preparation is a crucial step in the process to successfully position your team for the migration project. It involves defining the specific tasks and milestones that are required to ensure a successful migration, as well as assigning responsibilities and establishing timelines. The implementation plan should include a detailed timeline that outlines the specific activities and deliverables for each stage of the migration project. This can help to ensure that everyone involved in the project is on the same page and that there are no surprises or unexpected delays. Preparing contracts with the software vendor and a third-party service provider such as Social Edge should also occur at this time. 

Migrating to a new digital workplace or customer community platform requires careful planning and execution. By assessing your current platform, defining your migration goals, choosing the right platform, developing a migration plan, and testing and training, you can ensure a smooth and successful transition to a new platform.