digital adoption - Mar 10, 2022

5 smart strategies for upgrading your legacy solution

Many businesses struggle when it comes to upgrading their ERP solutions to the newest version, particularly when their solution is no longer supported. For example, businesses still on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, are under increasing pressure to upgrade to D365 Business Central. As their software solution becomes increasingly outdated, the challenge of upgrading grows, as does the impact it can have on existing processes.


Cost savings

Although upgrading is an investment, having increased release cycles can also bring valuable benefits. When businesses commit to incremental, monthly updates, updating to the newest version becomes more manageable and saves money in the long run. For example, an upgrade cycle of 5-10 years can cost as much as $250,000 as opposed to $25,000 when these updates are continuous.  

Strategy 1: Document your processes to create a baseline on your current system to ensure quality assurance of these processes. This can form the basis of your requirement specification. Once the new system is implemented, invest in the success of the onboarding process so your employees are quickly up and running on the new system. 

Resistance to change

Not only is it a struggle to convince experienced users to accept a drop in their work performance and that they have to start over with processes that they’re comfortable with, but businesses must also accept a loss in productivity during the onboarding period. To upgrade has long-term benefits, but businesses still need to deal with the short-term issues such as frustrated users, redesigning work processes, and the inevitable cost that an upgrade typically entails.  

Strategy 2: Change management is the largest aspect of any deployment. Using PowerPoint as a communication tool is great for any executive-level buy-in – giving a tangible overview of how and what’s going to happen. 

Fear of the unknown

For an upgrade to be a success, documentation, and training must be thought into the process – they are key to successful onboarding of users and directly linked to ROI. 

People are inherently opposed to change and the first challenge is to get your users engaged. Often a new interface will incur productivity loss with employees having to learn new processes and shortcuts and keystrokes, which is particularly relevant in heavy data environments.

Strategy 3: Train users on their processes before you go live. By giving your employees a sandbox environment where they can try out their processes without compromising data.  This gets your users engaged and ensures that they are quickly up and running in the new system.

Retention of data

Depending on how old your database is, the job of migrating modifications can potentially be either a large project or technically impractical. The larger the project, the more resistance there will be, and expectations will need to be managed. Often there is a perception – which may not necessarily be accurate – that all processes will need to be changed.

Strategy 4: Use automated process testing (APT) in the planning stage to identify how processes will be impacted and to communicate this to your employees.

Compliance

For many businesses, not being up-to-date is not an option. Any regulated business must be compliant and up to date at all times. However, being up to date can be challenging if you do not know exactly what has changed. And with compliance comes the heavy commitment to full documentation of all your processes.

Strategy 5: In the communication stage, record your processes and use the PowerPoint format for presenting the new processes. Save time by repurposing this content for training. Guided walkthroughs are a great leave-behind after any face-to-face training.

How ClickLearn provides value

Use ClickLearn to record your existing processes as a basis for your requirement specification of the new system and to build your training. The ability to train as you go gets your key players quickly up to speed minimizing production loss. Having a variety of formats supports the different stages in an upgrade scenario, for example, PowerPoint slides are ideal to communicate to stakeholders and interactive videos are perfect for training users in a safe environment before you go live. For future updates, the Replay feature automates the process, making the task of regularly updating pain-free.