Enterprise-level technology implementations are known for being a challenging and complex process. Shoddy planning, poor communication, and corrupt data can be detrimental not only to the project but to the organization as a whole. According to data collected by Technology Evaluation Centers, nearly 50% of ERP implementations fail the first time around. It’s no wonder that many firms are indecisive when investing in new technology and often do nothing settling for stagnation — no matter the amount of dissatisfaction in the current technology solution and the potential risk of business atrophy. Though this risk-averse behavior is not unfounded, don’t let indecision prevent your firm from adopting new technology, which in turn will foster scalable business growth. With proper planning and the right vendor, your technology implementation will be a success. Below are five steps to help you prepare for the successful implementation of a financial technology platform.
#1 Project Team and Stakeholders
Your implementation project team should consist of individuals who will be directly involved in getting the new technology rolled-out in your organization. This project team typically includes individuals from operations, accounting, and IT, as well as a project manager to head up the process.
When working with Terrapin Technologies, clients can expect a seasoned team who can draw on experience from past successes. The implementation project team works to clearly define project goals and milestones based on the unique needs of each client. The project team, which includes a director, relationship manager, and system architect, coordinate development efforts to manage a successful implementation.
#2 Implementation Plan and Timeline
Creating an implementation plan and timeline helps define a clear path, key priorities, and primary objectives. This planning will help your team remain aligned and foster smooth decision making. Thorough project and change management processes ensure implementations are completed on time and on budget.
We work with our clients to layout important milestones and decide on the timeframe. The timeline is reviewed regularly with our clients. At each milestone on the timeline, there is a go/no go indicator in which we mutually decide to proceed. Typical milestones include kickoff meeting, requirements gathering, data mapping, connectivity and file automation, installation, user acceptance testing, and go-live.
#3 Data Cleansing and Migration
One of the most important steps during an implementation is assessing the quality of your data. In order to have a smooth transition and prevention of future data issues, it’s essential to take the time to ensure the data you’re migrating is accurate and properly stored. When the data has been cleansed and validated, the data is migrated to the new system. This step involves setting up new databases, mapping database fields between systems, and transferring the data.
Every implementation with Terrapin Technologies includes a detailed data integration design phase. Before migration, data is analyzed and cleansed by our team. During this phase, we engineer an extensive data mapping and integration schema. Each data source is identified, duplicates are removed, and the data loading sequence is compiled.
#4 Testing and Data Validation
Once the initial data has loaded, it needs to be tested and validated. The order of data loading is vital and is driven by the analysis of the quality of data from each source. Several periods of dual entry is recommended. This dual entry gives the vendor and the client time to evaluate any changes that need to be made before going live.
At Terrapin Technologies, this process is lead by our implementation team and is discussed at length during the initial kickoff and throughout the entire implementation period. As part of our testing process, all work is validated internally by a QA team. During this testing process, a dedicated tester is assigned to verify the work with the client.
#5 Training and Support
Transitioning from the implementation phase to go-live and on beyond is just as critical as the other stages. Be sure to work with your vendor to facilitate the training of your staff. Inadequate training is a frequent contributor to low technology adoption within organizations. Additionally, the vendor should be available to support your firm post-implementation, ensuring ongoing success.
Post-implementation Terrapin Technologies manages client data, including around-the-clock monitoring, maintaining retrieval schedules and data mapping, and incorporating new sources. With our responsive support staff and quality assurance controls, our clients have confidence in a platform that is stable and data that is reliable. We are hands-on throughout the entire implementation process. Our broad knowledge of the industry, data management expertise, and thorough testing processes guarantee a smooth implementation.