Migrating to Cloud Billing: Dealing with the Non-Technical Aspects
When migrating to an advanced cloud-billing system, there are plenty of technical considerations that demand your attention. However, there are human factors that should be attended to as well. Your team will be working within this new system and they need to be prepared for the migration process and the new work procedures once the platform is implemented.
Even when change is for the best, many people prefer the familiar and the comfortable. This is especially true when it comes to software. It’s understandable, of course: in today’s world, many people feel like as soon as they get used to one software, a newer and greater version comes out. To stay relevant and perform optimally, however, it’s critical to continue evolving along with the software tools we rely on day in and day out.
So, how can you help prepare your team for the transition and give them the tools and encouragement they need to switch to a new system comfortably? How can you set the stage so your transition to a cloud-billing system doesn’t significantly disrupt operations? The key is communication, guidance, and managing expectations.
Offer your team advanced notice of the migration
Make the announcement to your team once you know you’ll be switching over to a cloud-billing system.
Provide advanced notice and explain what it means for them, like what their responsibilities will be during the migration or how it might change their day to day workflow.
This will allow your team to mentally prepare for the upcoming change. People often need some time to acclimate to big changes to their typical routine, so giving them fair warning before the migration begins could ease the transition down the line.
Explain the benefits of the new system
When you announce that a migration to a new cloud-billing system is about to take place, you might experience some pushback. Your team is accustomed to the tools they’ve been using, so any change could seem daunting. Moreover, data migrations are big projects, so it isn’t uncommon that you’ll hear some groans when making the announcement.
To combat a negative reaction, it’s important to explain the benefits of the new system. On one hand, explaining the benefits can help gain buy-in from the team members who see why the new system is superior to the old one. On the other, it shows that you respect them; you’re asking them to learn a brand new system, so it’s only right that you explain to them why you’ve made the decision to undergo this effort.
The benefits of cloud-billing systems are clear. When trying to communicate them to your employees, be sure to include the fact that:
- Cloud-billing systems improve accuracy
- Cloud-billing systems automate payment reminders
- Cloud-billing automates account suspensions or cancellations
- Cloud-billing systems improve revenue collection
These benefits will only help your team do their job more effectively. While there may be a slight learning curve, they will soon master the new cloud-billing system and become as comfortable with it as they are with the old system. In the end, their day-to-day workflow will only become easier to manage.
Provide training sessions to ease the transition
Conquering that learning curve can be made much easier if you provide your team with software training before the migration is complete. Many times, employees will see during a training session that this new tool really is worth the work of growing accustomed to a brand-new system. You can either set up a remote demo or provide on-site training to give your team the opportunity to get hands-on experience with the software before it is even implemented.
- Training sessions help in myriad ways, including:
- Training sessions give your team the chance to learn the software
- Trainees can ask questions of an experienced user
- Employees can ask for help with problems ahead of time
- Training sessions improve morale about the transition by encouraging communication and transparency
Set deadlines and requirements for staff
Giving your team advanced notice and offering training sessions is important, but there needs to be a degree of accountability. Make training sessions mandatory and set deadlines and specific requirements for your staff to meet.
Failure to clearly articulate these deadlines and requirements will lead to confusion, and many staff simply won’t engage with the new software until it is already implemented. That is not something you want to occur; by the time the software is fully implemented and rolled out across your company, you want your staff to feel relatively comfortable navigating it. Once you communicate your expectations, be sure to hold employees accountable. You should be able to review their progress and check that they performed the required tasks by the appropriate deadline.
Migrating to a cloud-billing system doesn’t have to be scary
Cloud-billing systems are a great tool that can improve virtually every aspect of the billing department’s work. Helping your team to see those benefits while giving them plenty of time and training to adjust to the idea of using new software is key to a successful migration. Of course, you must make sure your team takes advantage of the assistance you provide as well. If you follow these steps, though, your transition to a cloud-billing system will be aided by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable team that’s ready to hit the ground running.