Customer Management System

There are tons of systems out there trying to improve business processes of utility companies in general or electric companies in specific.

The key is still doing the re-engineering process well and the application system will just a tool to follow the processes. I put some of my thoughts about Electric Management System in this blog. Feel free to read and comment.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Data Conversion Process for Customer Management System

The Conversion Process consists of a series of activities designed to make the migration (or transfer) of information from one system to a similar application possible, efficient and reliable.

The elaboration of a conversion methodology entails the identification, selection, gathering, and initial loading of all the necessary data to the databases of the new system to be implemented.

The conversion aims to successfully transfer information from the current Contract and Billing Systems to new Customer Management System (CMS).

It is possible to summarize the general tasks of Conversion with the following simple questions:

1) What do we need?

This involves a study of the new requirements of the CMS version to be installed for the company.

2) What do we have?

This refers to an inventory and diagnosis of all possible data sources that the Current System uses. This may include system files, procedural documentations, operational laws to abide by, flat files, etc.

3) How do we relate the two?

Once both what we have and what we need have been identified, the next step would be to scrutinize the information:

a. Which of the Current System information can be used for the CMS?
b. Which of the Current System information still have to be verified for their usability in the CMS?
c. Which of the Current System information can be discarded as non-useable or non-relevant for the CMS?
d. How can we get CMS required information that are unavailable in the Current System?

For the current project, migrating information from the Current System into the new data structure of the CMS involves the following tasks:

• Analysis of the Current System information to be uploaded to the CMS and the identification of the amount of historic data to be migrated from the Current System into the CMS.

• Definition of data selection criteria and conversion processes, as well as the development of controls to ensure the quality of the converted information, as well as the data gathered from other non-system sources.

• Study of conversion risks and alternatives to be able to minimize the impact the defined conversion procedures would have on the resulting information.

• Establishment of a cut-over procedure for all the business offices that will use the CMS which implies a necessary but temporary hold on selected business processes before the actual conversion.

• Actual execution of all Conversion and Cutover procedures.

• Presentation of the quantitative results of the conversion to ensure parity with the information from the Current Systems.

It must be remembered that there may also be basic CMS data that are not readily available nor can be derived from the Current Systems. To procure the unavailable information, data must be gathered from the field, through surveys or research activities, in what is collectively known as “Data Gathering Campaigns.”

The development of a series of validation processes and programs is also necessary to guarantee the quality of the information gathered. Furthermore, procedures must be defined to keep the gathered information up-to-date from the moment the campaigns were initiated until the final Conversion.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

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