Document management system conversion projects: easy as pie for the specialist

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! There’s no place this quote fits better than in the IT department of a financial service provider, where the IT landscape is often made up of a range of applications working side by side, each of which has been added at a different point over the years. Replacing the document management system is not exactly a sexy topic on the CIO’s digitisation agenda, but the need to do so can be a real worry for an IT manager. It could be that the system will soon reach its end-of-support, or that you, as IT manager, have been asked to cut costs, which seems impossible given the annual maintenance bill. Or it could be that you simply can’t find anyone with the courage to take on such a conversion job.

Hyarchis to the rescue

The trick is to find the right partner. Due to the many exchanges of portfolios between financial service providers, Hyarchis is often approached to handle conversions, i.e. transferring portfolios to the systems of the new party or the new label. A conversion might involve anywhere from 15,000 to 200,000 loans, and millions of documents. Often, the DMS conversion is part of a larger project overhauling the entire primary system.  It’s a great relief to a bank, insurer or mortgage lender when the staff can focus on the migration to the new system, while Hyarchis takes care of everything relating to the files and documents.  And a conversion project happens completely in the background, meaning staff need not worry about interim phases of the conversion and such.

Perfect conversions

Jean-Pierre van de Kruijs, Senior Consultant and a part of the Hyarchis team of conversion specialists: “Whether it’s a conversion, changing an old folder structure to the Hyarchis system, migrating Documentum content to Hyarchis, or replacing the customer’s in-house DMS system, we’ve handled it all. Based on this experience, Hyarchis has developed a conversion method that has proven itself time and time again. And that’s essential too: we can’t afford to have anything go wrong when we’re handling tens of thousands of financial cases and documents belonging to our customers.”

And what is the Hyarchis method exactly?

The first step is to export the entire legacy DMS, which is then saved to a temporary Hyarchis Document Manager archive along with the associated database, ensuring that all documents and data are saved. This is not a process that happens overnight though: it can take up to 14 days. This is due to the enormous volume of course, but also because of the validation process. And no need to worry if the process is interrupted: the system is set up in such a way that, once restarted, the process will automatically pick up where it left off.

From the temporary archive, everything is moved to the new system, though provided with dummy IDs so that the documents and data are not visible in the live system. The system then uses reports to check whether all data matches exactly. Once the necessary checks have been carried out, a conversion weekend with a freeze period is scheduled. Then a delta run is executed: this is an additional export with all the new documents and changes since the initial export. Once this has been successfully completed, the dummy IDs are replaced with the real IDs, and then everything is visible in Hyarchis.

Improve efficiency at the same time

We generally find that our customers want us to improve efficiency while carrying out the conversion. One of the requests we often receive is to reduce the number of file formats to just two: PDF and TIF. Hyarchis Convert Server converts everything to either PDF or TIF and provides its own viewers in the DMS system, meaning no more having to depend on MS Office and the various versions of Word. On the one hand, this saves on the cost of licences and, on the other, it works faster in a Citrix environment for example. To increase speed (given the volumes), the Hyarchis Convert Server is used in parallel-running processes.

The power of Hyarchis

Hyarchis is always refining its conversion tools, and this is also the strength of Hyarchis: if a new interface is needed, the Hyarchis developers can arrange this. Add to this the fact that, thanks to our wealth of experience, you are guaranteed a perfect conversion, there’s nothing standing in the way of replacing that expensive legacy or almost end-of-support application and migrating to Hyarchis Document Manager.