1 Keep the project management in-house, even if you hire a consultant to implement your integration project. Have experienced project managers on staff to monitor every stage of the process.
2 Test in a real environment and end-to-end before going live. Take your time moving data from the legacy systems to the new platforms, and do it in bite-size chunks so that you can fix glitches as you go.
3 Make sure your back-end data is cleansed and filtered for front-end use. When it comes to data migration, take nothing for granted.
4 Bring in a focus group of customers after you’ve tested the system with your sales, marketing and customer service reps. Then go back and redesign the front end so that customers can actually use it.
5 Train and retrain the customer service reps on the new systems.
6 Don’t expect productivity gains for months after the new platforms go live, and don’t make business decisions based on anticipated projected savings or gains. Wait to see if they materialize.