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Migrating Legacy Subscribers

Migrating Legacy Subscribers

Overview 

Migration of data into Subscribe is the process of creating Subscribe objects with properties

derived from data from an external source, typically a legacy billing system. 

 

Subscribe objects included in migration are Account, PaymentMethod, AutoBill, and Transaction (historical).

 

Other Subscribe objects are not typically covered in the scope of migration unless they are sub-objects of those listed above.

 

When migrating to Subscribe, the merchant has two options:

1) they can self-migrate, undertake the development and execution of migration scripts with Vindicia support or

 

2) they can have Vindicia perform the migration on their behalf.

 

The general migration process is the same regardless of whether the merchant has selected the self-migration option or has opted for Vindicia to perform the migration. 

 

In this document, we will discuss the migration process and indicate where that process may differ depending on which option the merchant chooses.

 

Migration Process 

Migration of users into Subscribe can either be performed by the Merchant or Vindicia, but either party will follow the same general process:

  1. Map
  2. Extract
  3. Transform
  4. Load
  5. Reconcile

NOTE: Migration of PCI data (e.g., cardholder data) can be performed by the merchant if the merchant has access to the full cardholder data.  Alternatively, Vindicia can migrate cardholders directly from the payment processor via a secure, PCI compliant process.

Map

The Merchant and Vindicia will work together to identify the data elements that will be migrated into Subscribe for each object.  While some data elements are standard and are required by all merchants, many data elements are specific to a given merchant and their integration to Subscribe. 

The merchant will then map each data element back to their legacy billing system. It is common to find that there is no direct, one-to-one, correlation between a data element needed in Subscribe and the merchant’s legacy billing system.  In this case, the merchant will need to identify the information from the legacy billing system that can be used to derive the value that will be migrated to Subscribe.

Once all data values have been identified and mapped, the merchant will be able to create a data extract.

Extract

The merchant will need to work with their in-house support team and/or the legacy billing system vendor to create an extract of the required data.  You may find that you’ll need to refine the data mappings created in the previous step to reflect what is actually available from the legacy billing system and/or that you will need to extract data from multiple systems in order to get the full set of data needed in Subscribe.

Transform

Transformation of individual data elements can often be performed as part of the extraction step.  

The output of the transformation will leave the data in the format needed for loading it into Subscribe.

Load

The load process takes the transformed data as it’s input and, using the Subscribe APIs, creates the corresponding objects in Subscribe.

For non-PCI data this process can create the Account, Payment Method and Subscription in a single step.  For PCI compliance reasons, Vindicia may need to create the Payment Method.  This requires a coordinated three-step process in which the merchant creates the Account object, Vindicia then creates the Payment Method for those accounts and, in the third step, the merchant creates the subscription thus tying the Account and Payment Method together. 

Reconcile

Reconciliation is the final, and arguably the most important, step in the process.  It speaks to the merchant’s ability to validate that the migration has completed and that all users have been successfully migrated.

The process of reconciling a migration is different for every merchant.  It will depend, in part, on the migration model used, the data that has been migrated, and the information available from the merchant’s legacy billing system.  Vindicia will work with the merchant during the design phase of the migration project to specifically define and document how the migration reconciliation will work but, in general, you will want to know if:

  • Every user was migrated
  • Every migrated user has the correct subscription and entitlements
  • Every migrated subscription has the:
    • - Correct products
    • - Correct price
    • - Correct recurrence period and date

Once you have verified the above, you can have confidence that no subscribers have been missed or left behind as a result of the migration.

Migration Models 

There are two basic migration models that can be employed:

  • One-time Migration
  • Staggered Migration 

Both have benefits and drawbacks.  The most appropriate option will depend on the merchant, their operational constraints, resource availability, risk tolerance, etc.  

During the design phase of the migration project, Vindicia will work with the merchant to determine the model that best suits that merchant.

One-Time Migration

In a one-time migration, all legacy subscribers are migrated into Subscribe at one-time, in one shot.  Once the migration is done, the legacy system is decommissioned and Subscribe is used for billing all users moving forward.  

This often requires the merchant to take their service offline or at least prevent new users from signing up for service during the migration.  As new subscriber signups are critical for growth, any amount of downtime, even a day or two, maybe unacceptable.  

Staggered Migration

In a staggered migration, legacy subscribers are migrated into Subscribe in groups.  The size and the makeup of each cohort to be migrated will depend on the given merchant, but some commonly used  groupings are:

  • By renewal date
  • By geographic area
  • By payment method
  • By purchased product
  • Alphabetically by User Name

Staggered migrations are often less risky than one-time migrations as they provide the merchant the ability to ease into their new solution, allowing time to react to any issues or problems that might arise with one group of migrated users before migrating the next group.  In addition, a staggered migration does not require the merchant’s service to be shut down for any period of time.  It does however require that the merchant run both their Subscribe based system and their legacy system in parallel for a period of time.

Hybrid Migration

Vindicia recommends a hybrid approach to migration.  Our best practice recommendation is to launch your Subscribe based service for new sign-ups first and to operate in that mode for a period of time after which you would migrate your existing subscribers using either a one-time migration or a staggered migration approach.  

Initially launching for just new users provides the merchant the opportunity to conduct a beta test of their new solution, ironing out any kinks or issues there may be in the solution before migrating existing users, thus lowering the risk that current users would be impacted by the roll-out of the new system while ensuring the fastest possible time to market of the new solution.

Design and Implement Your Migration Solution 

Vindicia will work with the merchant to design and implement the migration solution.  The specific role Vindicia will take in this effort depends on the migration options selected by the merchant.  The following table lays out the high-level activities in the design and implementation of the solution and the role the merchant and Vindicia will play for each of the Self Migration and Vindicia Migration options.

 

Item

Self Migration

Vindicia Migration

Review and document migration use cases

Joint Merchant and Vindicia

Joint Merchant and Vindicia

Document migration solution design

Joint Merchant and Vindicia

Joint Merchant and Vindicia

Map legacy billing data 

Merchant with Vindicia Support

Merchant with Vindicia Support

Develop migration scripts

Merchant with Vindicia Support

Vindicia with Merchant Support

Test migration scripts

Merchant with Vindicia Support

Vindicia with Merchant Support

Extract legacy data

Merchant

Merchant

Transform legacy data

Merchant with Vindicia Support

Vindicia with Merchant Support

Load legacy data

Merchant with Vindicia Support

Vindicia with Merchant Support

Load CC payment information

Vindicia with Merchant Support

Vindicia with Merchant Support

Reconcile migrated data

Merchant with Vindicia Support

Vindicia with Merchant Support

Migration Use Cases 

During the migration project, Vindicia will work with the merchant to identify each use case required to successfully migrate all of the merchant’s subscribers from their legacy billing system to Subscribe.

The following use cases represent a common set of use cases employed for the typical migration.

Use Case

Name

Description

SubM-9-001

Migrate customers’ subscriptions that are in good standing and are paid with a Credit Card

As a Merchant, I want to migrate currently active subscribers that pay via credit card from my legacy system to my Subscribe based solution.

Pre-Condition

Vindicia has access to subscriber credit card data in a PCI secure manner.

Merchant has access to subscriber account information for purposes of migration.

Post-Condition

Merchant has created the migrated accounts in Subscribe.

Vindicia has created the Credit Card Payment Methods in Subscribe and matched them to the Merchant created accounts.

Merchant has created the subscriptions in Subscribe and mapped them to the Payment Methods created by Vindicia.

A single historic transaction is available in Subscribe, if applicable, including taxation, if applicable.

Future billings are correctly predicted.

Account has been granted appropriate Entitlements.

SubM-9-002

Migrate customers’ subscriptions that are in good standing and are paid via PayPal

As a Merchant, I want to migrate currently active subscribers that pay via PayPal from my legacy system to my Subscribe based solution.

Pre-Condition

Merchant has access to subscriber account information for purposes of migration, including the PayPal BAID.

Post-Condition

Merchant has created the migrated accounts in Subscribe, including the Payment Method and Subscription

A single historic transaction is available in Subscribe, if applicable, including taxation, if applicable.

Future billings are correctly predicted.

Account has been granted appropriate Entitlements.

SubM-9-003

Migrate customers’ subscriptions that are in good standing and are paid via a 3rd party billing platform

As a Merchant, I want to create subscriptions in Subscribe for active subscribers that have purchased a subscription via an In-App Purchase to my Subscribe based solution.

Pre-Condition

Merchant has access to subscriber account information for purposes of migration.

Post-Condition

Merchant has created the migrated accounts in Subscribe, including the Payment Method and Subscription.

A single historic transaction is available in Subscribe, if applicable, including taxation, if applicable.

Future billings are correctly predicted.

Account has been granted appropriate Entitlements, if applicable.

SubM-9-004

Migrate customers’ subscriptions that are NOT in good standing.

As a Merchant, I want to migrate currently active subscribers from my legacy system to my Subscribe based solution where the subscription has an unpaid balance, i.e. is in grace/retry.

Pre-Condition

Vindicia has access to subscriber credit card data in a PCI secure manner.

Merchant has access to subscriber account information for purposes of migration.

Post-Condition

Merchant has created the migrated accounts in Subscribe.

Vindicia has created the Credit Card Payment Methods in Subscribe and matched them to the Merchant created accounts.

Merchant has created the subscriptions in Subscribe and mapped them to the Payment Methods created by Vindicia.

Subscription reflects appropriate retry count in accordance with the merchants retry strategy configured in Subscribe.

A single historic transaction is available in Subscribe, if applicable, including taxation, if applicable.

Future billings are correctly predicted.

Account has been granted appropriate Entitlements

 

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