Breaking up is hard to do as they say, and that’s true for when enterprises break-up too. Sure maybe lawyers don’t drive-by slowly blaring their favorite break-up tune then speed off loudly when they catch a glimpse of their defendants. But make no mistake, B2B break-ups can be no less ugly, especially if you haven’t prepared before signing that contract. Business break-ups are becoming more frequent. As recently as, 10 years ago a business might switch HR vendors every 7 years, and now it’s closer to 3.5 years. Problem is you need to get your data out of your existing system and into your new one. Having a strategy for how that is going to happen, and being prepared to make that move will set you up for success.
PreparingHow you prepare for your departure depends a lot on the specific vendor you are leaving. Some cloud vendors will provide you a divestiture package when you leave. Others cloud vendors won’t give you anything and tell you to export the data yourself from the system. On-premise software vendors means you have more control over the migration process, but getting the data out of the system is up to you. So understanding what you expect to get from your vendor is a bid deal because you will have to prepare differently.
The Divestiture PackageDivestiture packages are better because it is a standard format to export, and systems like FuseHR can import those formats easily. However, not all things are as rosy as they might appear. For one, divestiture packages may not contain everything from the original system. One customer had left a vendor and gotten the standard divestiture, but they were using a feature from that vendor that the data from that feature was not included in the divestiture package. When we realized this it was too late to go back to the vendor and get that data. However, the client had negotiated an export of the full database when they terminated so we are able to find that data after all. Be prepared to pay money to receive the divestiture package. Some vendors charge money to receive your data. And as a second rule be prepared to negotiate on what data is included in that export. As in the story above the client negotiated the full data export so be prepared to ask for things they company may not offer up front. You may want to negotiate receiving a portion of the data so you can verify that is has everything you need. That validation process can be very challenging so having someone who knows what to look for can really speed that process up. Getting your divestiture package before you leave let’s you do two things. One it let’s you plan if you need to negotiate for additional data, and two, it let’s you see how well the vendor will communicate what the data means. The good vendors will give you not only a divestiture package, but they provide documentation about what is contained within each file. If you get this information then you can be reasonably certain you can have a clean break-up.
DIY Export PackageSome vendors force you to create your own divestiture package using their tools they provide. On-premise software works this way as well. This can be harder on you up front because you won’t know everything you that is offered, and what might not be there. It’s also much more technical and there are a lot of technical decisions to make when going this route. It’s hard to prepare you for all of the data that could be in these systems so I’ll talk in broad categories. In general you’ll need:
- Employment history
- Organizational structure
- Payroll – pay codes, cost centers, paycheck details, etc.
- Time Data – hours, time cards, etc.
- Benefits – Beneficiaries, benefit plans, etc.
- Applicants and Job Openings