DPM Technology Solutions specializes in the implementation of Advologix, the premier cloud-based legal practice management application.
Our services include, but are not limited to:
Providing configuration and implementation advice and consulting on the Advologix application.
Migrating data from existing systems to Advologix.
Complete configuration and database setup.
End user training, documentation, and onsite support where appropriate.
Post implementation, on-going support and maintenance – upgrades, new user training.
Full custom development services.
Integration with other applications and platforms.
At DPM Technology Solutions, we strive to ensure our clients achieve maximum value for their technology investment, and we don’t stop working until they are fully satisfied.
Things To Consider
Migrating Data From Time Matters To AdvoLogix
If you’re still in the process of making a decision on an AdvoLogix purchase, we hope you’ll find this tip sheet helpful and informative as you weigh your options.
Migrating data from one system to another always presents its challenges. A good gauge to determine how difficult a data migration will be is by noting the overall differences in the platforms. Time Matters and AdvoLogix are two very different systems, despite being similar in their purpose. But that doesn’t mean that data migration from one to the other needs to be a painful and expensive process. During our years of AdvoLogix implementations, DPM Technology Solutions has seen our share of Time Matters data, and we’ve learned a few things along the way. The following are things to consider as you prepare to migrate your data from Time Matters to AdvoLogix:
Understand The Platform
As you probably already know, AdvoLogix is built on the Salesforce.com platform. That in itself provides some foundational elements that need to be factored into your data migration plan:
There is a limit to data and file storage in Salesforce.com. While this is based on your license allocation, purchasing additional storage space can be very costly. Knowing your storage limits in advance helps in planning your migration against your future data storage needs
Salesforce.com has a very specific data formatting requirement for different types of data elements. For example, there are specific standards for data being loaded into the following type of fields (not a complete list): Date, Date/Time, Email, Url, Check Boxes and Number. Data from Time Matters will need to be converted into the acceptable format for loading into AdvoLogix
Relational Data (for example, what Contacts are linked to a specific Matter) have relationships structured differently in AdvoLogix than they do in Time Matters. This will need to be accounted for during the loading process.
Baseline Your Data Quality
When it comes to data quality, there are two rules: Rule #1 is that nobody’s perfect. Rule #2 is that some are a lot less perfect than others. No matter how hard you’ve tried to keep your data consistent in Time Matters, no two people keep records the same way. That’s why it’s a good idea to export your data into Excel just to take a look. How is the data populated in the fields? Is there any inconsistency among how different users entered names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, websites, etc...? Did they even enter the right data into the correct fields, or did they invent their own system of record keeping? Having a look at the data before migration planning will give you an idea of your starting point, and how much the data needs to be cleaned up prior to importing. If it’s really bad, you may want to take some internal actions in order to clean up the data prior, or hire a data service to do the cleanup/formatting job for you.
Determine What To Migrate
At this point, you probably realize that data migration is not as simple as exporting from Time Matters and importing to AdvoLogix in two simple steps. Therefore, it’s important to take the factors already covered (storage limits, format, data cleanup, etc...) – and a few more – into consideration when you determine what records you want to migrate:
Do you really need everything? – If you have 15 years or more invested in Time Matters, do you really need to migrate all that data? Most people’s gut instinct is to transfer it all out of fear that they “might need it someday.” However, after the fact, clients often realize that they didn’t need all of the data they thought they did, and the effort to clean it up, reformat it and load it was not worth the money and time spent on the task.
Will having a backup file suffice? – Consider exporting the archived data into an easily searchable file (such as Excel) and having the data stored and available on a local server, just in case you need to access something from, say, the year 1998. Note that this option always allows you to go back. If you find that there are too many essential records missing from AdvoLogix, the archived records can always be loaded at a later date.
What is really important? – Obviously active Matters/Cases are essential, so is your rolodex of Clients and other Contacts. So more than likely all Contacts will be migrated, as well as all active Matters. Maybe you also want the last year’s worth of Matters and all of their related records. You can decide whatever you feel is essential for your business, and load whatever is within your level of comfort. But reducing the size of the overall cleanup/formatting effort will save you time and money in the long run, so be discriminate.
Determine How You'll Import it
Once you decide the parameters around what you’ll migrate, you’ll need to make some decisions about how you’ll import the data. There are basically two categories of considerations here. The first is regarding changes in data that occurred since it was entered in Time Matters. For example, your practice may have had employees creating and owning records in Time Matters that are no longer with the business. What happens to those when they are imported into AdvoLogix? Who will own them going forward? A similar principle applies to the different codes that could be assigned a Matter or a Contact. Obviously the list of codes may change over time. How will those translate into AdvoLogix fields? These types of decisions will need to be made as you begin to map the data to AdvoLogix. The second consideration is the import tools you will use. There are several options for loading data into AdvoLogix, from free utilities to paid products. The choice will be yours, and each have their pros and cons that will need to be considered against your data model and importing needs. Starting to plan for the “how” early on will reduce the pressure and mistakes that accompany last minute decisions.
Test Load a Sample
The only way you’ll know for sure that the data looks correct in AdvoLogix is to load a sample in a Sandbox prior to the go-live. This is an essential step not only to ensure your data is mapped and formatted correctly, but it also validates any configuration changes and development that occurred during the implementation. Quite often, it’s a hard thing to visualize. Therefore, seeing everything in the context of the working AdvoLogix application will serve as a check that both the data and configuration goals for the project were accomplished to your satisfaction.
We hope that these tips will help you plan and execute a successful data migration from Time Matters to AdvoLogix. Please note that DPM Technology Solutions is an AdvoLogix Implementation Partner and has worked with legal practices of all types and sizes. If you find yourself in need of additional help, or simply have a question, our data and implementation experts are at your disposal, invested in your success.