Exaggerated Challenges of SPM / SRM Data Migration

/Exaggerated Challenges of SPM / SRM Data Migration
Exaggerated Challenges of SPM / SRM Data Migration2017-10-05T08:18:33+00:00
OutPerfom-SRM- Exaggerated Challenges of SPM SRM Data Migration

OutPerfom-SRM- Exaggerated Challenges of SPM SRM Data Migration

Why many SPM /SRM Solution Providers Exaggerate the Challenges of SPM Data Migration.

As the costs faced by Oil & Gas Companies running either internally hosted, or co-located Supplier Performance & Relationship Management (SPM/SRM) systems grows, the business case for moving to a fully managed cloud based service is also growing. This has resulted in a significant increase in demand for Data Migration services. This post is primarily focused on Vendor to Vendor Data Migration although many of the lessons are also relevant to an in-house to cloud migration.

Over the last few years there has been a large increase in the number of vendors in the SPM /SRM market place, which through a highly competitive landscape is also leading to an increase in the number of Oil & Gas Operators migrating data to new vendors with superior SPM / SRM offerings. With such high competition comes the growing feeling of need for outgoing vendors to justify why a migration of your data to another vendor or cloud based service would not work.

Many see this as a challenge and the matter is often complicated by incumbent vendor led myths that present this as an extremely major challenge.

In this post I am keen to dispel the myth being presented to many companies running SPM / SRM that moving data from one proprietary system to another more modern one is a major challenge. However lets take a step back and understand the reason for the Need to Migrate away from the current Vendor. What’s driving that ?

Possible Reasons for Migrating your SPM / SRM System

While there are many reasons for Migrating Systems to another vendor they usually fall into 6 main categories

1) The current system is outdated in comparison to other market offerings

2) The current vendors system does not integrate well with other existing data sources.

3) The system is costly to maintain from an internal time and effort standpoint.

4) The current system is PC or Network based and does not have a cloud based offering for supplier collaboration

5) The Risks of remaining status quo with current vendor are rising significantly including:

  • Vendors Ability to support, maintain, and further develop the software system.
  • Vendor Experience – Loss of Key Personnel with relevant domain and product knowledge experience.
  • Poor Financial position of Vendor and the associated risks.
  • The Vendors Loss of other key customers or Market share is seen as a growing concern.
  • Market Exit by vendor from this type or Software Offering or Vertical Market.
  • Change of Vendor Ownership or Control has changed the overall Business Strategy that was once seen as value add.
  • Close down scenario – the current vendor has gone out of business / gone into receivership.

6) Cost comparisons / Licensing Cost and overall cost savings from moving to a new vendor.

While many of the reasons are stemming from technology fit, market offering or features roadmap perspective there is a growing acknowledgement that vendor risk is becoming the main driver for change.

Timing your Migration

Depending on which of the above is your reason moving it will have a direct impact on the way in which you plan the timescales of your migration as some have the luxury of time and where risks are high your time may be limited. So its vital you understand the impact behind your reason for Migration and look at how fast you need to accomplish the project.

Rationale for the Myth

While I understand why competitors in this space exaggerate the difficulties of a data migration from their system to another vendors platform it most often driven from the commercial threats associated with the loss of a client and associated revenue. A client changing platforms represents the end of a decent maintenance and transactional income stream for the Vendor so they are hardly likely to encourage it. I have heard of suppliers telling their clients that a data migration to a competitor is impossible. We have even heard of one supplier which doesn’t offer a data migration from an older version of their own software to a newer version.

SPM / SRM Data Migration is not Rocket Science

I want businesses to understand their options, and know that moving data from one system to another is an everyday event in the modern IT world.

Data migration can either mean the process of translating data from one format to another or the process of moving data from one storage device to another. Moving SPM data from one system to another involves both, but it is an increasingly common event in our industry, and managed properly presents more opportunities than threats to a business making the move.

Migration as an Opportunity for Spring Clean

Companies that have had their legacy SPM system operational for a number of years will have a lot of valuable supplier data, yet within this they have often accumulated quite a lot of clutter. A data migration can offer the opportunity to have a monumental tidy up, producing benefits across the board, especially in circumstances where the existing system has been developed many years ago in older legacy code. From a business efficiency perspective, a decent migration of the SPM data should be a positive experience.

In one case we used the data migration phase as an opportunity to integrate a few other internal data sources thereby providing more efficiencies than the original legacy application.

14 Questions when Considering a SPM / SRM Data Migration

When planning a Data Migration you should ask yourself the following questions.

  1. Why do we want to Migrate the data. What is driving this consideration?
  2. Do the Post Migration benefits outweigh remaining with the status quo.
  3. Have we compiled a matrix of benefits versus downsides.
  4. What are the risks of not migrating the data. How probable is their outcome and what is the business impact if these risks materialize.
  5. Do we own the data, what is our contractual position in respect to licensing.
  6. Have we weighed up the risks with respect to current Incumbent
  7. What are the impacts on the Business during the Migration?
  8. Will my Suppliers be impacted during the Migration process?
  9. How Long will the Migration Last, How long do we have?
  10. What is the Cost of the Migration and is there an overall ROI business case.
  11. What is the worse case scenario if we do not migrate the data and the risks with current legacy system / incumbent materialize.
  12. How frequently is your incumbent backing up data and do you have Access to these Backups?
  13. Can you export / download all the data from the current system.
  14. Do you have an escrow Agreement in place for code and underlying databases data sources? How frequent is escrow account updated.

Importance of Backups, Export Capability and Escrow Availability

I think that points 12 through 14 deserve special attention as they are fundamental to your Migration Success. If none of the answers to points 12 to 14 are “Yes” then it may impact how you approach the conversation with the outgoing vendor and as a result. If after failing to reach an agreement on getting your data you may find that pursuing the legal route is your only recourse.

If you have not got an Escrow account in place now might be the time to do so. When doing so the frequency of update of Escrow accounts is important. So assuming you have access to backups on a Daily, Weekly, Monthly basis then a Quarterly update to the Escrow account should work fine.

Data Mapping

So lets assume that you either have your data, its in escrow or your current incumbent will give you the data and that you now want to migrate your SPM data. So lets look briefly at Data Mapping and its components.

Mapping Approach

Over the years we have managed dozens of data migrations for businesses moving from older platforms to the Actian systems and as a result the process has become extremely effective and efficient. As database integration specialists we have developed our own mapping interfaces that once mapped between applications ensure data integrity at the highest levels. The older systems whether internally hosted or hosted in the cloud usually deal with data in a rigidly structured manner, so getting the data out and mapped across is the same process for every instance. This makes the process very repeatable and incrementally safer the more times it is completed.

The main data structure of many SPM offerings include, database tables, fields, and elements below, many of which are needed in mapping data from one SPM system to another. These include but not limited to:

  • Hierarchy Data – listing of regions, districts, cities etc and their structure.
  • Questions Library – listing of scorecard Questions
  • Category lines – listing of Category Lines.
  • Scorecard Data – Data for all scorecards submitted to date.
  • Scorecard Sections – listing of Sections used in scorecards.
  • Attachments Table – including associated files.
  • KPI Library – Listing of KPIs by category line
  • KPI Targets & Bands – Listing of Bands and Targets
  • Weightings Table – Listing of Scorecard Section & Questions Weightings
  • Reports Library – indicating which KPI s are included on each report
  • Dashboards Table – what graphs are included on each dashboard by user.
  • Suppliers Data – Listing of all Suppliers registered on the system
  • User Account Data – listing of all users either suppliers or internal users
  • Permissions Data – permissions of various users.
  • Actions Data – data associated with any actions past and present.
  • Assets Data – Listing of Assets you monitor performance against, e.g Wells, Rigs,
  • Audit Trail – What was changed and when.

The relationships between these is usually achieved via record ID’s and as such the relationship can be reconstructed for historic data,

Assuming that you have all of the above in your data backup or Escrow account the likelihood is that you will have every success in your migration. While its not essential to have all it does help with the setup and the retention integrity of any historic data gathered.

For those of you that have seen my other articles on best practices for SPM Systems Implementation the above will make sense. If you have not seen Part 1 and Part 2 of that series on best practices I would recommend you have a look at. Part 3 is available next week


I hope you found the above useful and would welcome your feedback.

Kind regards



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About : Daryl Fullerton 

Daryl is a Supplier Performance and Relationship Management Specialist at Outperform SRM. He provides guidance and consultancy on the design, development and Implementation of various Supplier Performance & Relationship Management Systems for Global Oil & Gas Operators and Service Companies across Upstream, Midstream and Downstream Sectors.

Specialism’s include Supplier Performance & Relationship Management, Supplier Risk Management, Supplier Enablement, Operational Risk Management, Contract Compliance Management, Scorecards, KPI’s, P2P Process Automation, PIDX Standards, and Management Information & Reporting Systems.

A keen promoter and believer of the importance and focus on his ‘partnering to solve approach‘ in improving Operator / Supplier Relations in 2015 Daryl was awarded the honor of “Supply Chain Pros to Know” in recognition of the leading supply chain professionals and experts worldwide.

Connect with / follow Daryl on Linkedin


About : OutPerform SRM
OutPerform SRM is a management consulting firm that helps leading Oil & Gas businesses establish value added solutions for effective Supplier Relationship Management (SRM). We help our clients reduce inefficiencies, reduce costs, and make lasting improvements within their Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), Supplier Performance Management (SPM), and many more important business critical Supply Chain Initiatives . Through our hands on experience with Major Oil and Gas Operators over the last 17 years we’ve now built a firm uniquely equipped to this task across all Major Category Lines.

Our Experts have Experience of working with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders with the ability to build relationship and influence outcomes. Our Experience of supplier performance management includes detailed knowledge of processes and frameworks including commercial performance management of contracts and knowledge of supplier risk management techniques.

You can also follow OutPerform SRM on Linkedin


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