In today’s fast-moving commerce business, customer demand is continually changing, new touchpoints are emerging, and innovative ways of communication between consumers and suppliers have appeared. Brands and retailers need to be flexible and agile. They need to be able to build new prototypes quickly, experiment, and create great services for their customers that drive loyalty.

In reality, however, many organizations are kept from building new business models by their slow, hard-to-adapt software platforms which effectively stifle innovation. The only way out: move to another, more flexible architecture.

In this new whitepaper, we suggest a 6-step strategy on how to move from a monolithic commerce platform to commercetools without disrupting your daily business or jeopardizing operations. Of course every project is different and has its own caveats, and we’re by no means suggesting a cookie-cutter approach. Rather, the following strategy is meant as a guiding principle or a framework which, from practical experience, tremendously increases the chance for success.

  1. Discovery and Gap Analysis
    1. Taking stock: Evaluate what your current platform offers and what it does not support.
    2. Setting priorities: Decide which processes and edge cases have to be migrated immediately.
    3. Gap analysis: What’re the differences between out-of-the-box, 3rd party, and customized features?
    4. Build teams: Measure horizontally organized skill sets vs. cross-functional and vertical teams
  1. Build a Migration Roadmap
    List important milestones, deliverables, and a timeline. Roughly speaking, there are 3 areas which are the basis for the roadmap:

    1. Data
    2. Business Logic
    3. UI/UX
  1.  Extract Data
    commercetools uses an extremely flexible data model that allows for real-time updates to its structure. Download the whitepaper to learn more about objects, sub-types, and object attributes.
  1. Import and Verify Data
    While commercetools does offer its own version of ImpEx, it’s easier to use some custom code, extract the data you want, and import it into commercetools by calling the appropriate APIs. Get specific links in the white paper.
  1. Build Custom Extensions
    EXAMPLE: Let’s say you imported your product catalog to commercetools and you have made sure that this catalog is regularly synced between the old and the new system. Download the whitepaper to learn how you can override part of the process by having commercetools deliver the data – a classic case of Martin Fowler’s strangler pattern.
  1. Migrate User Interface
    The term “migrate” is a bit of a misnomer in this context, because in most cases you are facing a complete rebuild. Check out this diagram and learn more in the white paper:

This whitepaper suggests a framework for helping you migrate your digital assets from your current, monolithic software stack to commercetools. As we have mentioned before, this is not a one-click solution but a project involving many aspects. Especially when it comes to moving custom functionality and individual user interfaces, most artifacts have to be built from scratch.

This kind of solution allows you to build a highly effective and scalable network of services, enabling you to innovate and grow your business. To stay relevant for your customers, you cannot have technical teams deal with maintenance and updates – instead, they need to build customer-facing features which generate real tangible business value. Download your copy now.

(Image: unsplash.com)