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Data Migration Considerations

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Data Migration General Considerations and Pricing

In order to determine the price of data migration, we need to see the structure of your existing data in order to evaluate the cost of migration.  Migrating data can be very expensive given the broad nature of what is typically collected.  We base our migration cost on several factors:

1.  Number of Fields to be Migrated.  The number of actual fields that we have to migrate (as opposed to the number of records) significantly affects the price of migration.  Thus, if there are 100 fields (e.g., name, address, phone, gender, etc), the price will be less than if there are 200 fields.  However, it typically doesn't matter how many records we migrate.  For instance if you have 10,000 records to migrate versus 100,000 records, the price is the same.  This is because we have to write a (computer) script to move each record from your existing system to our system.  So, the most cost effective way to have your data migrated is to figure out which fields are the most important and limit the migration to those fields.  

2.  Complexity of the Fields to be Migrated.  The cost of data migration will be dependent on the complexity of the fields we migrate.  Some fields are pretty straight forward (e.g., Date of Birth is likely the same field in your existing system as it is in LegalServer).  However, some fields require special (often complex) programming to migrate (e.g., using one field in combination with other factors to set another field).  

3.  The Structure of the Data.  Depending on where things are stored in your database will affect the price of migration as well.  So for instance, if documents or email records are stored in a remote location as opposed to within the database, we will need to write special code to migrate them into LegalServer.  This can significantly impact pricing.

4. The Underlying Database Currently Storing your Data.  A final factor in determining the price of data migration is the underlying database used to store your existing data (e.g., SQL DB).  For example, while this is less and less a factor, some older versions of databases are not "relational" (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relational_database), which can increase the complexity of moving data into LegalServer.

5.  The Number of Databases to be Migrated.  Typically we will only migrate a single database to LegalServer.  This is due to the fact that multiple databases may have conflicting records and undefined relationships, which will cause the migration to fail (or produce bad data).  Thus, we typically require that you merge your databases in to one single database.  Occasionally we will do this for you, however, it can dramatically increase the price of the Migration.

Frequently Asked Questions About Data Migration

1.  Can you migrate records from a certain date forward?

The answer to this question is yes, however, it too will increase the price since we have to write code to first determine whether the record can be migrated (e.g.,, within the specified date range), in addition to the code to migrate the data.  This is not recommended.  However, feel free to update your database to delete the records you want removed for the purposes of migration prior to uploading your sample database to us.

2.  Does the number of records affect price?

The answer is typically no, the number of records will not affect price in most circumstances.  We have to write computer code for each field to be migrated.  The computer will run that computer code as many times as it needs to get each record, but there is very little difference in terms of our time and materials if the computer runs that code 10,000 times or 100,000 times.  Therefore, we base pricing on the number of fields as opposed to the number of records.

3.  Why do you limit the number of databases that can be migrated?

We limit the number databases that can be migrated to one since combining data from multiple databases can be tricky and often produces invalid results.  If two databases are used to maintain your records, you can merge the databases prior to giving us the sample copy on which we will base your data migrations.

4.  Why does the database have to be the exact copy of what the final version will be?

The reason we require you to upload an exact copy of the database that will ultimately be migrated (upon final migration) is because we have to write computer code to move each piece of data from your existing system to our new system.  If the structure of your database changes, then the code we write will no longer work when you upload your final data to us.

5.  How can I lower the cost to migrate our data to LegalServer?

The easiest way to reduce the cost of migrating data is to select only the fields that are absolutely essential to bring over from your current system (as opposed to bringing everything over).  For example, it might make sense to bring over data that could be used to determine conflicts of interests in previous cases, but not bring over everything that was done in those cases.  This is especially true if you will continue to have access to your old system for reference.

Steps to Getting a Quote on Data Migration

1.  Sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (to allow us to see your data and database).

2.  Upload a Single, Exact Copy of your Database to one of our Secure Servers.

3.  Indicate which Fields / Tables you would like Migrated

4.  Based on that, we can give you a Flat Fee Price

Data Migration Process

If an organization requires data to be migrated (not included in standard pricing), we will work with your agency through our Data Analysis & Migration Process.  At the onset of the project, the agency will provide PSTI with an exact copy of the data that needs to be migrated.  For all intensive purposes, the data should be an exact copy with regards to its form and structure (what we are trying to avoid writing the data migration scripts and having the structure change before we run the final migration).

PSTI will take your existing database and run it through a series of steps to get it into a format that can be migrated to LegalServer.  As part of this process, we will post a (password protected) web-based site that outlines the table and field structure of your existing system (Online Data Document).

Using the Online Data Document, PSTI will work with your team to analyze and document your data such that our data migration team can ultimately migrate the data to LegalServer.  As part of this phase, we will (together) indicate and agree on what data will be migrated, where it will be migrated to and any special instructions about each data element.  Data might also be marked for Interview & Discovery, which means that it will need to be discussed to see if any additional development needs to be done.

At the completion of the Documentation Phase, the PSTI Data Migration team will write software to migrate the data and post the test data on a demo/test site.  Organizational Representatives will review the migrated data and provide feed back as to any data migration failures.

After testing and training is complete, we will ask for the “final” copy of your data.  This final data will be migrated immediately prior to your LegalServer Go Live (launching of LegalServer).