Whether you’re running a retail location or a SaaS company, cloud billing is a more efficient way of managing recurring revenue streams and securing payments while maintaining customer privacy.
The sooner you switch, the sooner you can enjoy the benefits that come with an automated cloud billing system. This guide will help walk you through the essential steps for a successful migration.
1. Appoint a migration architect
A migration architect is an individual responsible for overseeing the entire process from start to finish. This person will plan and execute your migration, including implementing strategy, setting priorities, and monitoring the data migration itself.
Appointing a migration architect creates a centralized role through which all migration information flows and from which all final decisions are made. A migration architect should excel at coordinating team members and articulating their rationale for decisions. The migration architect should also be able to work quickly and efficiently. The longer your data and applications are in limbo, the more productivity will suffer.
A migration architect’s job might primarily be technical in nature, but it is also about people. With any migration, core processes are subject to change along with the adoption of new tools. A migration architect should be able to serve as a point person to explain any procedural changes and why they are necessary.
2. Prioritize migration components and create a data migration plan
Will you migrate the entire application at once in a “lift and shift” move, or will you migrate gradually — component by component?
When shifting an application piecemeal, you should first determine which capabilities will be migrated in what order. The recommended approach is to migrate services that don’t impact customers first, setting the infrastructure for when your consumer-facing capabilities make the change. This way, if you run into any problems, they are contained internally and won’t impact customer experience. Once your internal capabilities are migrated, the external, consumer-facing services should follow.
Depending on the depth and breadth of your application, you might want to use a service map to govern the process. For a function as critical as billing, mapping your process is a wise move that can save you time, effort, and money. Service maps help you identify which components are dependent on which, a crucial determination to make when establishing your priorities for data migration.
3. Plan how you will operate in the new system
As the migration is underway, you should establish a plan for day-to-day operations in the new environment. Contingency plans for new policies and processes that will make working within the new system more effective and user-friendly should be clearly outlined and communicated to team members. You should also establish a dynamic and adaptable troubleshooting process because even the best software runs into problems eventually.
Also, how will you measure the success of your migration? Is your cloud billing system outperforming your legacy system? Was it all worth it? Understand the criteria necessary to measure whether your project was a success and be prepared to test it. This not only requires brainpower but also teamwork. Your team needs to be fully apprised of the migration progress and how it will ultimately impact daily operations.
4. Switch over to the new system
Once your application and data have been successfully migrated to the cloud, it’s time to switch over production and start using it. There are two options here: do it all at once or do it gradually.
When it comes to your billing system, switching over production all at once means every automated invoice, payment reminder, suspension, and cancellation will be conducted through the cloud. If there are any unknown issues that occurred during migration, it could impact the entirety of your customer base. Segmenting your clientele and switching them over to the new platform in small groups allows you to test the waters and ensure everything is working correctly.
For example, if you have a subset of customers with uncomplicated billing or with regular monthly payments that seldom change, you could migrate these accounts first to observe how smoothly the transition goes. Once these customers are successfully brought on to the new system, you can begin bringing over more complicated accounts with variable activity.
5. Check that the migration went smoothly and set KPIs
Once production is entirely switched over, keep tabs on operations to ensure the migration went smoothly. If you gradually changed over your processes, you’ve probably been testing along the way. Even if there were no hiccups, don’t stop now! The benefit of the cloud is that it’s a dynamic environment, so catching any inefficiencies or errors that might have resulted from migration is key. You can fix these problems swiftly!
You should also establish a list of key performance indicators (KPIs), developed from baselines captured in your legacy system. These KPIs are a barometer of how successful your migration to the cloud was, as well as measurements of the improvements you’ve achieved as a result.
Congratulations! You’ve made it through the process of migrating your billing system to the cloud. Billing systems rely on user experience to ensure payments are made in a timely way and reminders are received promptly and positively. Your investment in a migration process, both financial and labor, is an important step to optimizing one of your most critical business processes for years to come.
Are you ready to migrate to a cloud billing solution? Contact us at Ubersmith for a free trial — we will be happy to help you get started.