A Great Wind is Blowing…for Data Migration

By Derek Choy, VP of Engineering

 

A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache.
Catherine the Great

A great wind is blowing in the business world, but it’s not wind…it’s a cloud. Or the cloud, to be more accurate. And while the cloud enables so much more than any of us originally imagined, it also offers up the potential for some serious headaches. The headache I’m thinking of today is data migration…

Those who have gone through data migration of any kind will agree that it is a disruptive, not to mention tedious process that adds no direct value to a business. It doesn’t help us do our jobs better or faster. It just helps us switch platforms. That’s it. Which is why it is something we all try to avoid at any cost.

Billing data migration is several levels of magnitude worse than typical data migration. The data structures are significantly more complex, especially when dealing with subscription businesses. They aren’t consistently mapped from one system to another. And any mistake in the migration process can have serious consequences: at best, unhappy customers; at worst, a legal nightmare.

One way to avoid this type of headache is to choose a cloud-based billing system that satisfies your requirements today, as well as those that will come up in the future. While it’s difficult to know what you’ll need from a subscription billing solution a year or two down the road, it’s possible to lay out a variety of scenarios that will help you visualize what your needs might be.

Although it might be tempting to save on costs now by choosing a subscription billing system with basic – albeit static – functionality, in the end it will cost you more. As your business grows, you will need to switch to another solution and the necessary migration of billing data will lead to additional costs, both in terms of finances and general business disruption. The easiest and most efficient option is to choose a scalable, Saas-based billing solution from the very start, like the Aria Subscription Billing Platform. Even if you don’t need certain capabilities today – e.g. account and subscription plan hierarchies – there is a very good chance that you will need this more advanced functionality eventually. Imagine how nice it would be to simply turn on this feature when your business is ready, instead of going through the headache of data migration.

About the Author

Derek Choy
Derek’s engineering background is truly comprehensive; he spent eight years at eBay, where he was critical in building and operating their billing and payments platform. Derek holds degrees in computational fluid dynamics in aeronautical applications from Stanford and Imperial College, London. So don’t get into a conversation with him about compressible versus incompressible flow unless you have a couple of hours. Derek's passion is to create innovative applications that not only meet today's requirements, but to anticipate what’s required down the road. He is an active aviator and photographer.

The Forrester Wave: Subscription Billing Platforms, Q4 2015

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