Sitecore Commerce 8.2.1: Tips For Transitioning To A New Platform

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When you’re moving houses, you may spend a lot of time planning the move. But no matter what, packing seems to take twice as long as you thought it would, and you always need twice as many boxes as you’d counted on. But if moving furniture seems daunting, try getting an entire enterprise to migrate to a new software platform! Here are some suggestions to make this transition smoothly.

1. Remember The Big Picture

Implementing Sitecore Commerce 8.2.1 can sharpen your brand and encourage new sales, but, like any major change in business, it may take time, patience and effort. Accept that going in. Don’t start cutting corners if you get frustrated by the process. Don’t let a temporary delay distract you from your ultimate goals.

2. Do It In The Off-Season

Plan the transition to occur during a slower time in your industry, when your workload is lighter. Even if the transition is technologically flawless, you will still have staff, customers and vendors who need time to adapt to the new system. They may be stressed by the new technology, and they’re going to go slower for a bit. Give them time to adjust. Similarly, get big, important projects done first, so that a tech delay won’t hurt in-progress work.

3. Get A Captain For The New Ship

Appoint one staffer as the lead point of contact for the transition. It’s that person’s job to know absolutely everything about the platform switch–from software installation to scheduling training. The software vendors will benefit from having a single source of contact, and you and your staff will take comfort in knowing there is a designated person to go to with any questions and concerns.

4. Train, Train and Train

Encourage your staff to think of the new platform as an opportunity for skill development. Given that, don’t pitch working in the new system as something they need to master in one fell swoop, but as a time for real learning. As Suttle-Straus suggest, provide multiple opportunities for training. Train in small chunks, and start well-before the platform goes live. After initial Sitecore training, provide tools for independent practice (e.g., videos of training sessions, downloadable instruction slides, etc.). Then, offer more advanced training, once they feel they’ve mastered some of the basics.

5. Don’t Throw Out the Bathwater Just Yet

Hopefully, everything will be great from the get-go, but give yourself room in case it doesn’t. If at all possible, don’t just throw a switch so the old system is dead, and the new system is your only option. Instead, have both systems running in parallel, and run daily and weekly reports to compare results–so you can see exactly what is and isn’t working. Once you have the kinks worked out, and staff feels comfortable with the new system, that’s when you go live and yank the old plug.

Excited to implement Sitecore 8.2.1 but confused about the most efficient, strategic approach? Get in touch today to discuss next steps. Since 2007, we’ve been trusted by many of the top companies in the world to integrate Sitecore as well as other eCommerce solutions. We’d love to play a role in your success!

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