What is PLM Migration?

PLM Migration is the process by which product lifecycle data is transferred to a new or existing PLM system because of consolidation, system end of life, or current system upgrade. PLM migration of data can include but is not limited to bills-of-materials (BOMs), CAD Documents, Change Data, Configurations and Effectivities, Classification, and more.

While systems may have similar data, they may also have different mechanics and formats which increases the difficulty of system to system transformation. To perform a successful PLM migration, it is essential to have effective data translation, specific migration strategies, and systems intelligence.

PLM Migration with OpenPDM
OpenPDM Migrate is the Industry Leading Tool for Data Migration – Learn more about OpenPDM Migrate here.

Factors to Consider BEFORE Your PLM Migration / CAD Data Migration

Migrating and replacing existing part structures and CAD is a challenge. You need the right strategy and know-how for a successful migration. Without an effective strategy, moving large amounts of design data becomes increasingly difficult. Defining the best strategy, such as ‘big bang’ or ‘incremental’ migration, along with leveraging the right toolset, will ultimately enable a smooth and successful migration. To get a full understanding of your PLM migration, you need to make sure that you ask the right questions.

From a systems architecture view:

  • Are you replacing or re-aligning your current PLM system?
  • Will a brand new target system be set up or are you migrating to an existing system?
  • What interfaces to other systems will you need?

From an organizational view:

  • ​What are the deadlines and timeframes for your migration?
  • Do you have the right internal and/or external resources?
  • Will this be completed in-house or will you hire someone?
  • What is your budget?

From a process view:

  • Which processes are you implementing?
  • Which cross-system processes are you implementing?
  • Which data are you sharing between old and new systems?

From a data view:

  • ​What data are you providing? How much data are you providing?
  • What is the quality of your meta data and CAD data?
  • Are you migrating the whole history? What is the quality of historical data?
  • ​​How will you transform old data to fit new processes?

What is Your PLM migration / CAD Data Migration strategy?

Each use case is different, and some cases may benefit from a ‘one time’ migration instead of an incremental migration. But what benefits do we see with each?

‘Big Bang’ Migration

PROSTEP Big Bang Data Migration

What is a ‘big bang’ data migration? Two definitions exist:

  • Big Bang Data Centric – All data is moved to the new system.
  • Big Bang User Centric – All users are moved at one point in time to the new system.

‘Big Bang’ Data Centric Migration

'Big Bang' data Centric Migration

Advantages The migration process is executed only once. The migration does not have to deal with delta calculations migration. Disadvantage Blackout time for business can be very high.Training all users at once for the new system can be challenging.

Big Bang Data Migration Process

One-time migrations, aka ‘Big Bang’ or bulk migrations, give you the ability to export data from the source system to a staging database (extract). Data is then mapped to the target system format and any data issues are fixed (transform). Once completed, the entire staging database is imported to the production system.

  • The source system is locked for any changes.
  • All relevant data is moved to the new system.
  • After the data movement all users work in the new system.

Note the blackout time is the critical factor for a big bang data migration approach. During a big bang migration, the longest that a business may not have access to data is a weekend plus 2-3 working days.

Big Bang User Centric Data Migration

Though this strategy is more complex, the added advantage of this migration is a reduction in your blackout time. All users will start working in the new system at a certain point in time. However, this is NOT true for the data.

Big Bang User Centric Migration

Typically, this approach is separated by:
Frontloading

  • Your source system is locked for changes or cloned to a test system to maintain a snapshot of the product system.
  • After export of relevant data, the system is unlocked again.
  • The snapshot is migrated to the new system (long migration period), the users remain in the source system and continue working in it while frontloading runs.

Delta Migration

  • Your source system is locked for changes.
  • Delta of the snapshot to the current system is migrated.
  • ​After delta migration, all users start working in the new system.

Advantage

  • The blackout time for the business is reduced significantly.

Disadvantages

  • ​The migration needs to identify the delta in the source system and export only this delta.
  • The migration needs to import the delta incrementally of the target system.
  • Cloning the production system and locking the system until all data is exported.
  • Training all users to the new system simultaneously is a challenge.

Incremental Data Migration

Incremental Data Migration

Incremental migrations allow more complex enterprises to transition from one PLM to another. Migration does not need to happen all at once. Instead, it moves at a pace of your choosing. Users can move to the new system with a new project or remain on the old system until the completion of the existing work. Data ownership is transferred from the old system to the new system and information is synced from the owning system based on the system of record. The following requirements may lead you to implement this approach:

  • Your legacy system has a large user and data base which can’t be moved in a single ‘big bang’
  • Your customer has multiple sites to migrate one after the next to the new system
  • Each site can be migrated as a separate migration chunk.

If you’re moving forward with this migration strategy, you need to understand how the source system data (and users) can be allocated into migration chunks – per project, per program, etc. – and the order in which your migration is executed. Your migration process must be centered around the goal of moving all data into the new system. You must understand that each object knows the exact location of its master, which is often a great technical and organizational challenge.
Advantages

  • The migration is split up into smaller migration chunks which are better maintainable for a migration process.
  • Training end users can be planned per migration chunk

Disadvantages

  • Moving migration chunks instead of the complete database causes additional effort on organization and technical level
  • The migration has to deal with already migrated data (reuse when migration chunks overlap)
  • An organizational and technical solution must be defined to lock migrated data in source system (one master principal)
  • For overlapping data in the migration chunks a process is required to bring new revisions from target system to source system

​Coexistence Data Migration

From a technology point of view, a coexistence data migration is the most complex and challenging approach for data migration. In this strategy, the legacy system and the new system must be kept in sync long enough to move all data to the new system. As this strategy focuses on minimizing the impact of the migration process for the business, it involves a bi-directional interface to enable a continuous business process. Both systems ‘coexist’ while your migration process occurs.

In short, coexistence is a mix of incremental migration for large data migrations and bi-directional synchronization processes. The approach must ensure that each object knows exactly where the master is.

Advantages

  • Enables staged migration data
  • Staged migration allows for easier PLM adoption strategies
  • Errors are more easily controlled and corrected
  • Enables migration to move at the pace of the business

Disadvantages

  • GIGO – garbage in, garbage out – If your old data is bad, you will have bad data in your new system
  • Order of import operations is not always transparent
  • Performance is not as good
  • Testing can be cumbersome

Regardless of your chosen strategy, the route to a successful migration includes careful project planning, defined requirements, and identification of the correct deliverables and tasks. Given the considerable complexity of migrations, what tools are best suited to help migrate your data?

Whether your chosen method of PLM migration is one time, staged or incremental, you need a ​tool that increases the likelihood of success. When you replace a PLM system, you want to ensure:

  • Project success
  • Manageable data migration
  • High level of performance for future viability
  • Optimal process monitoring
  • Individualized solutions
  • High level of economic efficiency

6 Steps to a Successful PLM Migration

Steps to PLM Data Migration

1. AS IS ANALYSIS – Start with an AS-IS ANALYSIS of your current state and your existing processes. You’ll need to be able to map these to your new system. A common challenge PROSTEP experiences is data quality, and you should address any concerns for data quality before any migration.

Consider the following during this phase:

  • What is your current PLM Architecture?
  • How does your PLM information flow, and what are your capabilities?
  • What is your current system challenges?
  • How efficient and capable is your current system? Do you have performance, data, and usage statistics to compare?
  • What is the quality of the data to be migrated?

2. TO-BE DEFINITION – Decide what your TO-BE DEFINITION of how your new system will be set up and running. When migrating to a new system, how will this impact and modify your current processes?

Consider the following during this phase:

  • How does your business strategy align with this migration?
  • What migration strategy makes the most sense given your use case?
  • Will you need vendor support for the migration?
  • Will you be following best practices, and how will you realign your business processes?

3. SYSTEM SELECTION – Determine what tools will best suit your project and have a project plan laid out.

Consider the following during this phase:

  • Establish a pilot/proof of concept
  • Understand and procure the required hardware and software
  • Determine a solution partner if required.

4. IMPLEMENTATION – Verify and validate your data, so from an end-user perspective, migration to the new system works as expected.

Consider the following during this phase:

  • IT project management
  • detailed specification
  • system configuration and customization
  • data conversion and migration

5. GO LIVE PREPARATION – Ensure robust training for end-users and admins to prepare for go-live to a new system.

Consider the following during this phase:

  • migration rehearsals
  • rollout scheduling

6. GO-LIVE – Depending on your methodology, you might have to migrate with less than 100% of all data migrated. 

Consider the following during this phase:

  • Delta migration
  • IT Support 
  • On-site end user

The Leading Tool for PLM Migration

OpenPDM Migrate

The industry-leading tool for PLM Migration is OpenPDM Migrate. Specifically built to enable a smoother migration to any PLM, you’ll be able to migrate your existing data all at once (big bang) or ‘incrementally.’

OpenPDM Migrate:

  • is an analysis tool used to check source data (volume, type, etc.)
  • has flexibility to structure the data to be migrated (project, product, etc.)
  • leverages a high level of performance and error tolerance thanks to packing and parallelization
  • can transfer CAD models and structures
  • utilizes BI-DIRECTIONAL synchronization for incremental migrations
  • can migrate data from multiple data sources (systems and files)
  • has process monitoring using a migration cockpit.

Top 5 Reasons to use OpenPDM Migrate

  • optimized and exclusively built to migrate data to and from leading PLM systems
  • customized to your preferred migration strategy
  • backed by expert consulting and project planning to ensure a smooth migration
  • support for various data models to quickly transfer all of your data all at once, phased, or incrementally
  • support for various versions so you can migrate to your version of choice
  • set project preferences

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PROSTEP INC

PROSTEP is the world's leading product life cycle integration and migration specialists for the discrete manufacturing industry.

With locations throughout the globe, PROSTEP partners with leading technology firms and industry giants in automotive, aerospace, and shipbuilding.

Our solutions help you quickly and efficiently move your forwards towards digital transformation by easily integrating multiple systems throughout a variety a disciplines, by quickly migrating your current systems for improved performance, and establishing a standard data exchange for all engineering processes and workflows.

Inquiries please send us a message or email us at infocenter@prostep.com.