Migration to HostBill – all you need to know
HostBill is an extremely feature rich and well-developed all-in-one platform for automation, billing, client management and support. However we do understand that even though HostBill is the perfect solution for many online businesses, making a switch from other similar system that you are currently using and migrating all the data might seem overwhelming and a bit of a hassle. We’ve been on the market for over 10 years now and since day one we’ve been asked numerous questions regarding migration to HostBill from competitive billing/automation systems. Over the years we’ve performed dozens migrations and as a result we’ve worked out set of best practices for migration to HostBill, so you can rest assured your data will be safe.
Migration to HostBill
At HostBill we have years of hands-on experience in migrating data from various known systems and versions as well as from some inhouse/custom-built systems and we can migrate literally from anything. Multiple times we’ve performed:
- Migration from Whmcs
- Migration from Ubersmith
- Migration from Clientexec
- Migration from Blesta
- Migration from AWBS
- Migration from OBAS (Odin Business Automation Standard) / PBAS
Migration from Whmcs
For Whmcs migration we currently offer two options:
1. Unmanaged/automated migration using provided import tool + documentation. The migration tool is built to be as universal as possible so it comes with few shortcomings – especially if you use some third party Whmcs modules. It is the most cost-effective solution.
2. Managed/custom migration by our staff. With this approach we quote each migration individually based on a short interview and installation check. We then adjust the migration tool to your specific business case and modules used. This solution with individual approach is more costly and is especially meant for enterprise clients or installations with multiple modules etc.
Each migration is different
Even though we’ve performed migrations from the same billing/automation system multiple times, there are no two exactly the same cases of migration. Each installation comes with different set of modules, different types of products offered and different kind and amount of data stored as well as different versions of software migrated to and from. Taking all of that into consideration we do not provide readymade migration tools to just download and run as it wouldn’t be effective. Instead we treat each migration case individually, with proper attention to every little detail, just as a custom development project, where we carefully examine requirements and expected outcome.
No migration is 100% perfect or hassle-free
During the numerous migrations that we’ve performed we’ve learned that no migration is hassle-free (but we know how to handle it). After migration there is always some data-checking required. This is why we perform migration in iterations: initial migration is a test one for client to check the data (nobody knows your clients and services better than you so you may notice if something does not look the way it should after migration). Then we apply patches to migration tool build for this case. Afterwards, the next/final migration is scheduled and takes place. Since all systems are different in general, there are some updates required after migration. i.e: product configurations, pricing/terms etc.
How migration looks like in practice
Just to give you a head-up of how the migration process is carried on in HostBill, here’s the scenario of how we proceed with each migration case.
First, the customer contacts us using website form or support ticket enquiring about migration to HostBill. Then we review the migration case by asking series of questions such as:
- What entities to migrate (invoices, transactions, clients, accounts, products etc)
- Approximate amount of data to migrate (number of clients, invoices, accounts, domains etc)
- What sort of modules/third party integrations were used in old system (payment gateways, hosting modules, domain modules etc.)
- Is there any additional development required – ie. whether HostBill offers modules used by client in previous system.
After receiving migration case details, we estimate costs and time required for the migration and once we settle the costs, we schedule the migration. Prior to proceeding with migration we do a backup – both HostBill and source system should be backed with client’s in-house backup practices. We can then perform initial / test migration to customer’s HostBill (non-production version, with emails/automation disabled to not disrupt end-client services). Once done, the customer is asked to review data migrated into HostBill. If something is missing/broken/inconsistent we patch our migration tools and re-migrate. Once we’re all happy with migrated data we treat it as final, and suggest for switch-over:
- HostBill automation, emailing, client portal is enabled
- Our customer notifies their clients about new billing system
- Customer disables old billing system (so it would not bill the clients or perform automatic tasks as suspensions/terminations).
Ask for refugee discount!
Switching your business core component to something new is both time and resource consuming. Let’s face it – it’s also scary. We can encourage this move with a ‘refugee discount’ – contact us to learn more!