14 June 2022

Why Is Data Migration Crucial for PLM-ERP Integration for D365?

Data migration during PLM-ERP integration for D365

83% of all data migration projects either fail outright or cause significant cost overruns and implementation delays, according to a Gartner study. Since data migration is one key factor that contributes to the success or failure of PLM-ERP integration, it is essential to get it done through the right means and utilize the right resources.

And let’s say you are a large manufacturing business. Then you could be using more than one product lifecycle management (PLM) system or use different formats to record and maintain the product data. This would make it even more challenging to migrate all your data into a unified format before you begin the integration process.

Furthermore, the product data must be integrated through the entire product lifecycle, from product conception, design, manufacture, configuration, service, operation, supply chain, change, and devolution.

So how can you complete a successful data migration and integrate your PLM with the Dynamics 365 ERP?

With specialized experience in the manufacturing industry, we at To-Increase have been empowering various manufacturing businesses to streamline their operations and supply chain with advanced manufacturing solutions.

This article will share the importance of data migration, common data migration scenarios companies could face, and general guidelines to ensure a smooth data migration process.

What is data migration? Why is it important during PLM-ERP integration?

Data migration can be defined as the transfer of data while you implement a new software or application. In a PLM system, it is the process by which product lifecycle data is transferred to a new system from an existing system within your business due to consolidation, system end of life, or current system upgrade.

Data migration is simply the process of transforming your data from the ‘as is’ to the ‘to be’ of your product data.

During PLM-ERP integration, your PLM system owns a plethora of product data, and you must migrate all that data in an ‘acceptable format and location’ before you consider integrating it with the ERP in use (in this case, Dynamics 365).

Data migration is important because it is the precursor to a right PLM-ERP integration. When you have all your data migrated in the right location and the correct format, it forms the basis of a seamless integration process.

On the other hand, if you are unable to carry out the necessary data migration procedures, it leads to a haphazard integration that is delayed due to an incomplete migration.

Let’s say you are using multiple PLM systems, some of which are legacy systems, and the integration solution you opt for does not support the legacy attributed migration, you risk losing all that data in such cases.

The integration solution requires the right data sync to assist in change requests and data release procedures. This makes it important to have a controlled transfer of the bill of materials (BOMs) and other product data between your PLM and ERP systems.

Why is data migration a common challenge during PLM-ERP integration?

Data migration comes across as one of the most significant challenges before the implementation of any new software in a business. Businesses usually find this process challenging because they do not know where to start, are unaware of what is required by whom, and lack knowledge of the overall process.

However, data migration is not as complex as it appears to be. Sometimes all businesses need is the right guidance, knowledge, and support to carry out the data migration successfully and independently.

How can we at To-Increase help with data migration?

Having worked with multiple industries manufacturing several products such as equipment, high-tech gadgets, medical devices, and so on, we are aware of how painstaking the process of data migration can be for a manufacturing business.

We want to be upfront about one fact — we cannot make the entire process and effort of data migration vanish in a jiffy. What we can do, however, is share the experience we have on general guidelines around data migration so that when you begin, you have all the relevant information with you.

If you choose to implement an out-of-the-box PLM-ERP integration solution, then we can help you with a solution, the implementation, and a plan on how to approach the data migration applicable to your business.

This is highly relevant for companies looking to shift to Dynamics 365 ERP, as we have over 17 years of experience as a certified Microsoft independent software vendor (ISV). We work closely with Microsoft and are experts on the Engineering Change Management (ECM) component that’s now part of the standard Dynamics 365 F&SCM offering.

 Talk to us if you'd like to explore more about data migration during PLM-ERP integration.

What are the common data migration scenarios for moving to Dynamics 365 ERP?

There could be two scenarios involving data migration in the context of Dynamics 365 ERP:

Scenario 1: Moving from any ERP to Dynamics 365

This could include:

  • A business shifting from a legacy ERP system to cloud-based Dynamics 365 ERP
  • A business trying to move from any other ERP system, such as SAP, Oracle, and so on, to the Dynamics 365 platform as an ERP
  • A business migrating from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365

In the above cases, the process of data migration would be from scratch. A standard, out-of-the-box integration solution can help and support the data migration process, provided the business chooses to use a PLM-ERP integration solution.

Our recommendation

If you aim to adopt a PLM-ERP integration sometime in the future of your business, the fastest way to migrate from any other ERP to Dynamics 365 is a direct migration to Dynamics 365 with the ECM component.

This will be seamless as it avoids additional hassles around a two-step data migration process, which would be to first move to Dynamics 365 ERP and then activate ECM further in the process. Additionally, if you plan to shift to the cloud-based D365 environment, there is no additional license fee for ECM.

Some specifics on data migration could vary based on your business scenario, and we can offer a complete picture with clear guidance on the data migration scenario applicable to your business.

A general process, however, would include the following steps:

  • Analyze your PLM data and see what you require additionally in Dynamics 365 ERP.
  • Do the data mapping. The mapping on the bills of material (BOM) line could be the same but the product structure strategy could require certain changes. You need to know and understand how your data is structured outside the Dynamics 365 ERP environment.
  • Investigate the standard processes for updating and creating new items daily. This mapping can be the input for the migration as well.
  • Carry out data enrichment and finally load the file in the staging area.

Scenario 2: Moving from Dynamics 365 without ECM to Dynamics 365 with ECM

This scenario applies to businesses that are existing users of Dynamics 365 ERP but have not yet activated the ECM component.

ECM, which is part of the standard D365 offering, handles version management and centralized data ownership with change management and releasing product data to several subsidiaries in line with PLM.

Our recommendation

You must know how to centralize your product data and make various uses of the same product in multiple legal entities.

We can guide businesses on the above, with instructions, and in certain scenarios circumstances also collaborate with the services team on the right strategy for the data migration.

A proactive method of preparation and strategy is the way to get ahead of any consequences that could happen during the migration process. This would help you avoid a situation where you may have to start the data migration process again.

Additionally, you need to make the mapping to ECM with centralized product data to have better-aligned product releases.

Our out-of-the-box, easily configurable PLM-ERP integration solution can help support the data migration process if you choose to use our integration services to streamline the movement of data from your PLM to D365 ERP.

Read this blog to understand more about the implementation process of PLM-ERP integration for Dynamics 365.

Ready to streamline your manufacturing business processes?

Here are the next steps you could take to ensure a smooth data migration before integrating PLM and ERP:

1. Analyze your current status quo and existing processes.

2. Identify what you want to realize with the ECM activation and PLM-ERP integration.

3. Define the future concept of your end-to-end manufacturing processes.

4. Discuss internally with different teams and departments to reach alignment.

5. Decide your 'to be' during migration and how your organizational strategy aligns with the overall migration.

6. Talk to an expert (like us) with specific domain knowledge for guidance on the next relevant steps.

7. Utilize tried and tested methods with a solid toolset to ensure data quality.

8. Go live with the migration after verifying and validating your data for end-users.

If you’re curious to explore the benefits of PLM-ERP integration and what it has to offer you, then you can talk to an expert who will guide you on the scenario relevant to your manufacturing business.

Additionally, you could check out this whitepaper, which shares information on:

  • Why you need a PLM-ERP integration
  • Pitfalls of not integrating ERP and PLM
  • Benefits from integration solution to various stakeholders

Ready to discover how to transform your business with the right technology?

Peter van Leeuwen
Peter van Leeuwen,
Peter van Leeuwen,
Manufacturing Industry Specialist

Also interesting