Your ERP is the systematic backbone of your company, and it is important to get the most value you can from your investment. New releases and versions of VISUAL contain enhanced functionality that can make your company run more efficiently. In addition, VISUAL upgrades allow you to take advantage of new versions of underlying technology, like Windows, server operating systems, and database platforms. Having a regular cadence of upgrading keeps you current and up-to-date with all the latest technology, and reduces your risk of falling behind to an unsupported version of your ERP. At Visual South, we have been performing upgrades for over 25 years, and have developed a successful process that our clients can rely on.
What is the VISUAL upgrade process?
Prior to providing an estimate of the time needed to upgrade, we always gather as much information as possible about your environment, as every customer’s situation is different. We typically direct our customers here to learn more about the latest versions of VISUAL and ask them to fill out a questionnaire, which is automatically sent to our technical team to review and use to create an estimate. Once the estimate is agreed to, we launch the methodology and steps listed below:
The preconversion step is when our consultants aquire a copy of our customer’s database, and then upgrade it in our own environment. This is performed so our consultants can prove that the database can be upgraded, and validate the process for doing so. This process will be used again in the actual conversion step.
After the preconversion is complete, we typically install the upgraded database into a test environment for our customer—we’re testing the database to ensure it is functioning the way we expect it to. Our customers can do this on their own, with our assistance, or with us fully managing the testing process. The goal is to discover as many issues and validate as many processes as possible prior to going live.
Next, we provide training on the new version of the software that’s tailored to the customer’s individual situation. Or, more specifically, we introduce the customer to the new functionality, so they can take advantage of it. In some cases, there is turnover, and the upgrade is a good time to address any new training needs that come about as a result of the decision to upgrade.
Once testing and training are complete, we schedule the actual conversion. This typically takes place over a weekend, but in some cases, customers are able to accommodate this on a weekday if they are shut down or it’s a holiday, etc. Basically, we take what we have developed from the preconversion, along with anything uncovered from the testing phase, and perform the actual conversion in the production environment.
We provide go-live support for our customers after the VISUAL upgrade. This is to ensure everything goes smoothly, and there are resources available to address any issue that pops up as a result of the upgrade. We want our users to be happy.
Related: Read our VISUAL (formerly known as VISUAL Manufacturing) review
A VISUAL upgrade is a “non-event,” meaning there are typically few issues, and the process is smooth, thanks to the methodology we have developed. If you are considering upgrading to Version 9 or above, check out our Shop Floor Mobile page. Shop Floor Mobile is available to be licensed for customers running those versions of the software.