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Certify Customers Migrating to a new SIS (DRAFT)

Updated Mar 24, 2021

Certify Customers Migrating to a new SIS

Use this doc suggestions on how we can be best prepared to guide a client thru their SIS migration and preserve their data quality initial with Certify. 

Common Challenges/Considerations:

  • If a district is moving from an onsite SIS installation in hosted, we can need assistance from the SIS vendor. Depending on who that is, we have varying relationships and response times. MAB 
  • If a district moves to hosted PowerSchool, they must run a PowerSchool VPN for us to connect to their database and that is flaky and often drops. We monitor it and proactively notify the customer, but it’s not the best situation. MAB 
  • Sometimes we must re-install our DGA. MAB 
  • RE: on-(district)-prem to hosted migration support from Aeries and ISCORP, their support has been surprisingly quick. Of course that does not guarantee future requests will be so quick but the ones over the last few months have been quick. Martin Rodriguez 
  • RE: hosted PowerSchool VPN connections, while we have not had any real push back from districts as to the frequent requests to reconnect their VPN connection, I’m sure it is a hassle for the district to have to reconnect it so often. Charles C. in DEV once talked about us providing a solution to the district to somehow auto-reconnect the connection but that has taken a back seat with all of the other DEV work. And, frankly, it might not be possible. Fortunately, the vast majority of re-connection requests are handled very quickly by our districts and they understand it is an issue with PowerSchool’s VPN and not one that we’ve created. Martin Rodriguez 
  • If it is a supported SIS, the change should really be invisible on the customer’s side. We now have rules lists by State and SIS so we can use these if needed to show what rules will be running for them in the new SIS. MAB 
  • SIS changes are usually done during the summer when most districts have Certify disabled. When we shift to the new SIS, often there isn’t much data to validate until school starts. MAB 
  • Over this past year, there have been a handful that have migrated from on-prem to hosted SIS during the school year, usually during a break, either Winter Break or Spring Break. Martin Rodriguez

Business Challenges: 

  • If they are a CAE customer and move to an unsupported SIS, we can try to retain them as a CertifyPEIMS or CertifyCALPADS only customer, but they still have to pay full price, so that is a hard sell. They can move to CEE and we can possibly map a new SIS, but we would only consider this for districts of a certain size and certain SISs. MAB  
  • If an on-premises district, we need to have the effort resourced internally and supported by an Executive champion...someone that can budget service $ and assign resources to migrating/remapping the rules. EA 

Timeline: 

  • If it is a supported SIS, then the timeline is the same as any new customer. We usually say 2 weeks from the time we have the agent installed/connected to the new SIS. MAB
  • We have in the past had situations where we are running Certify again the old and new SIS as they migrated to help the district find migration issues. MAB 

Resources:  

Who are the typical district stakeholders to be involved in planning to support a SIS migration and it’s impact to Certify, etc?   

  • Certify Admin, possibly a district’s network IT specialist, or SIS vendor if hosted. MAB 
  • Executive sponsorship (CIO, CTO or the C-level of what every department the end-users are in). These are the folks that will ensure we have the resources to execute the tactical plan. EA 
  • Meeting with C-level to provide overview of steps and commitment in resources. We should set the expectation that the migration of Certify should be part of the overall migration from a funding line-item, resourcing and timelines perspective. EA 

CEE Considerations:  

  • CEE is more extended due to custom work that may be necessary in new SIS. Basic functionality can be available in the same timeline as CAE. 
  • For CEE hosted and on-premises, we need to tie task and final Certify migration timelines to their SIS migration efforts and timelines with a goal to not have any (or much) lag-time in between systems. Create urgency and commitment around being able to continuously support their end users and district-wide data quality program. EA 
  • CEE – moves to PowerSchool are very problematic for larger customers. Also a highly competitive space. We have not been successful with any of them. - JP  
  • If a CEE hosted district, we need to make the remapping work and additional rule requirement gather for the new SIS is seamless and simple and we need again to have the requirement gathering and rule review stages resourced by an executive champion and managed from a timeline perspective. EA  
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