A Blueprint for a Successful PLM Migration

Do you have the right strategy and tools for your PLM Migration?

Since the economy of today spans the globe, you must work harder to stay ahead of your competition. Your product development processes need to be lean, and you need to bring the right people and processes together. If you’re working on a legacy PLM, chances are your data is siloed, spanning different disciplines. This makes collaboration difficult. For instance, creating a comprehensive bill-of-materials (BOM) from information across different disciplines isn’t easy. And you've decided a new PLM will remove these challenges. Your next step is the PLM migration.

Sample bill-of-materials (BOM) in 3D PDF

How do you increase your chances for a successful PLM Migration?

Whether you plan to transfer legacy data to modern systems or migrate to a new system to adapt to the changing IT landscape, you must strategize accordingly. You want a smoother, less expensive process, and you can achieve this by implementing a solid migration strategy.

But, what PLM Strategy should you use?

Today’s quick pace of technology makes PLM migration an inevitable step. Planning your strategy effectively with the right team and tools can prevent the loss of millions in productivity and downtime. Some ways to ensure your PLM migration strategy is complete include:

  1. Understanding how your business operates to document requirements properly.  
    • As a strategic planning challenge, you’ll have to understand how data is used in your business. How will your data migration strategy affect the users working in the new system? Have your employees been trained to use the new system? Will they be productive on day one, or will they be hindered by lack of access or understanding?
  2. Understanding how different systems from different vendors operate and store data.
    • The challenge lies in comprehending the different architecture of different systems to scope and map your technical requirements effectively. Many new implementations of PLM are not fully understood by the primary stakeholders which may drive poor decisions in data modeling and practices.
  3. Promoting your new system.
    • You need a public relations campaign focused on the benefits of the new system. Understanding the rationale behind the move is key, so be sure to explain the specifics about why you are moving to the new system. Often when you don’t have buy-in from the company as a whole, your project is doomed to failure.

​Follow these PLM Data Migration Best Practices

Depending on your specific use case, you will either benefit from a ‘one time’ migration or an incremental (co-existence) migration strategy.

One time PLM migrations, aka ‘Big Bang’ or bulk migrations, give you the ability to transfer data from your source system to a staging database. This allows you to see any errors or potential issues prior to migrating your data to the target system. See the right below referencing one-time PLM migrations using ETL (Extract, Transform, Load)

Incremental PLM migration is generally for more complex moves from larger enterprises.  An incremental migration employs a co-existence strategy where both the old and the new systems are live. PLM migration is completed incrementally. Users can adapt to the new system while the old system is still operable. Data ownership is transferred from the old system to the new system and information is synched from the owning system based on the system of record. The biggest benefit of this type of migration is that your migration doesn’t need to happen all at once. Instead, it can move at the pace of your business.

Regardless of your strategy, you’ll need careful project planning, defined requirements and the identification of the correct deliverables and tasks.  PLM migrations aren’t a “weekend project”.  They require considerable time and know-how. Your next steps are to determine the best PLM migration tool suited to help migrate your data. 

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