A swift, successful data migration empowers this national equipment provider to exponentially expand their fleet

During our recent M&A deal, Headspring proved the value of their ongoing partnership by acting quickly to assess the applications on both sides of the deal and develop a migration plan. With Headspring taking the lead, we were able to migrate data and transition to the go-forward solution in record time. Just seven months from signing, we reported to investors that we were working from a single set of systems. It was a proud moment to be in IT.

VP of Information Technology

The Story

Our client, an esteemed national equipment provider, had recently acquired a major competitor with high-quality assets in desirable regions. The acquisition would expand the company’s reach and nearly double their assets. The acquired company’s system, however, was highly manual—it lacked the efficient infrastructure and automated processes that our client had already developed. The M&A’s success would depend in part on the quick and strategic integration of technology, processes, and staff.

Headspring was already a trusted partner to the company—we’d helped them combine their database system and field service app into one, and, over time, helped them modernize their application. Our deep experience with both their systems and business put us in a prime position to advise and guide the M&A transition. We stepped in to assess both systems, offer recommendations, and lead the successful database migration.

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Challenges

  • The acquired company’s asset-tracking system was flexible, but highly manual compared to our client’s system—all processes would move over to our client ​
  • Our client would need to determine what to keep from the acquired system, what needed to be moved over, and what the interim transition time would be
  • Data quality was a big concern in terms of merging databases: The companies had different ideas about what fields were required and how they should be structured and certain language varied across systems
  • Data-mapping discrepancies, which would be uncovered during the migration, required a quick-change solution to keep things moving towards the goal
  • The deadline was tight: We had less than a year to assess and migrate the system…no small feat for a company with hundreds of employees and thousands of units to track

Solution

  • Conducted a thorough assessment of both companies’ technology and processes to understand the migration challenges and how to transition with minimal business disruption​
  • Met with the acquired company’s software team as well as our client’s stakeholders to thoroughly map all needs and requirements
  • Led a data-mapping exercise pre-migration to understand how fields from the old software would map to fields in the new system, while also identifying and resolving language discrepancies
  • Streamlined the multi-phased migration process by leveraging the existing software (a C# ASP.NET web application) as an external module and using simple SQL statements to avoid complex logic
  • Configured the migration tool (a C# command line application) using human-readable Excel spreadsheets to enable customization and documentation of notes that would help streamline subsequent migration phases
  • Created OctopusDeploy jobs that could be customized to run the migration tool with any desired parameters and input files and generate output logs

Results

  • Successfully migrated data on ~3,000 assets from the acquired system to our client’s in just 17 weeks, including all associated equipment, contract, and maintenance/service histories​
  • Our client is successfully managing twice the number assets as they were before the migration
  • Teams now have the greater ability to track the maintenance history of different unit types
  • Members of the acquired company’s staff have become key stakeholders in helping teams understand, translate, and use the data post-migration
  • Because we removed previously-imposed limits on the number of assets the application was able to manage, our client was able to expand their fleet by 10x

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