This past weekend, I finished project-managing my first customer 4.0 upgrade. We’ve done new customer installations on 4.0, and our office has done a 4.0 upgrade, but this was the first customer upgrade I’ve walked through. I learned three things from this project that I want to share with you.
First, I know people don’t like this term – but you need to think of this as a “forklift upgrade.” There are some wonderful architectural improvements with 4.0 (using virtual servers for example). However, for planning purposes, those improvements create a project plan that looks much more like a new installation than a simple transition. I don’t mean that to sound like a bad thing – I just want you to be prepared for that when you begin your planning. Carefully estimate how long you need to get this work done – then add a bit more time to your plan. You’ll be glad you did.
Second, your database migration will take much longer than you think. Interactive has provided a series of scripts and utilities that will allow you to move your data from your 3.0 system to your 4.0 system. This is great for maintaining your call history. However, this does not happen quickly. You will need to involve your DBA to be part of the process – and you need to allow plenty of time to get this done. It takes several hours, and perhaps several iterations, depending on the amount of data you’re migrating. If you have been a CIC user for many years, you may even want to consider migrating only a portion of your data (perhaps the most recent 3 years or so).Lesson 3
Third, plan for extensive user-acceptance testing. In 4.0, there are new ways of indicating the settings for security, client templates, call flow, and license assignment (to name a few). This provides excellent, granular control – but it also makes it possible to miss check-boxes that you need. Therefore, user acceptance testing becomes critical to catch as much of this as possible before your go-live. I’m telling my customers that they need two weeks of testing – and they need more than one person doing it. The customer we just worked with was very diligent about testing. They found several key things we fixed before their go-live. As a result, their agents (and their business) were back at “full-speed” very quickly. Their hard work really paid off. Be sure to allow yourself enough time to do this step well.
I may come up with a few more lessons-learned as we continue “post-cut” support and I’ll include those in a future post. For now, I want to be sure you plan, plan and plan some more as you get ready to move to 4.0.