For IT Professionals - Magento Conversions

For IT Specialists / Internal Support

Supporting a business from the inside can be tough.  No matter what your scope of responsibility is, you’ll have different hardware, software, networks, and procedures to handle.  A conversion of your web presence isn’t something to be taken lightly.  We understand that completely.  We will take the work off your hands, keep you informed and involved as much or as little as you want, and hand over a supportable system when we’re done.

How we work with you

The key to a project like this is in the details. Missed parts of a conversion mean more calls to the help desk, determining what happened, and who to send it to.  We don’t want that for you, and we sure don’t want that for us.  Our developers and QA team have done this a lot – so our development and testing processes are mature.

Our objective isn’t just to convert systems and hand you a system that you have to support.  It’s to understand the processes inside your company and streamline them where we can.  Generating reports every day or every week for people? We can make that happen automatically.  Monitoring some data in the system by hand to make sure things are healthy?  How about some alerts set up instead?

Every company is different, but we get IT folks.  We’ll help.  No BS.

The process flow

We outlined the process of the conversion here – but you’ll likely want a more technical view.  So here it is:

First
Gather requirements
Second
Analyze the link structure and content layout of the system
Third
Engage our SEO people to advise on efficient structuring - before we start implementing changes
Fourth
Create a conversion schedule for every page on the website, every extension, cron jobs, and external connections. The same list will function as a testing checklist.
Fifth
Execute conversion. Unit test, then assign completed functions to QA for testing
Sixth
Assign completed sections to customers for UAT.
Seventh
Load and performance testing.
Eighth
Go live.
Ninth
Monitor for log errors, rage clicks, analytics anomalies.
Tenth
Move to the support phase, if required.

Project management

We use both a project management tool as well as bug submission and tracking.  The project tool allows for the review and comment from all interested parties, allows us to gather required feedback and keep history on changes – both requested and implemented.  The bug submission tool allows users of all stripes to report issues with the system once it is in production.

The tools are only part of the management though.  You can have all the tools you want, and if you don’t have a complete and – more importantly, mature – process, it doesn’t matter. The project absolutely will be out of control, even if you don’t know it.

We have used these tools for a lot of projects, and the maturity of these processes allows us not only to keep the conversion time down – but to keep costs down.  And to keep IT experts inside our client’s company informed and involved.

Low hanging fruit for IT

Taking advantage of functionality and performance in Magento 2 isn’t just about getting more sales.  It’s about building a system that is easier to manage, is easier on resources, and creates fewer phone calls and headaches.  Examples:

  • We look very specifically for things that will improve workflow within the IT department.  Example: we have built several workflows for data to be passed from the Magento order databases to an external financial system. If the financial reporting within Magento is deemed inadequate for your finance department, then someone is going to need to transfer that data into your financial system.  We’ve worked with every high-end financial system there is – so we can make it 100% automated.
  • Monitoring and alerting for key issues in Magento is at the top of our list for implementations.  We know what to watch for in terms of failures, and not just with core Magento, but with a great many extensions as well. A monitor for page load times getting too high? Of course. Monitor for when autoship orders don’t get fired off on time because of a cron failure?  Absolutely. Monitors for cron failures themselves? You bet.
  • Diagnosing issues is typically the bane of existence for most IT departments.  Customer says they tried to enter their billing information, but the system wouldn’t let them?  We record every user session for playback later – and those sessions are searchable by name, IP address, you name it. We watch those playbacks to determine the problem for you, send you a link to the recording, and either explain what we did to fix it – or give you the details to explain to the customer just what went wrong.

These are just a few examples – but the most important ones will be the ones that YOU experience that are unique to your customers, your product lines, your fulfillment, etc.  The very first part of the process is to find those pieces, and plan to streamline them as a part of the conversion.

WHAT WILL I GET OUT OF IT OTHER THAN JUST BEING ON THE CURRENT VERSION?

Oh – this is the best question. You didn’t think going to a whole new version of the GOLD STANDARD of e-commerce systems was going to be just like the old system, right? Virtually every part of the system has been improved:
Admin Panel – Much easier to add/edit products and categories, bulk editing of prices and other product data, and user management is greatly improved.
Performance – A new database designed to keep performance and queries humming even with 100,000 products or more We know – we’ve done lots of conversions with huge catalogs.
Security – Beefed up to keep the biggest threats out – and easily respond to new ones. This is arguably the biggest reason to move to Magento 2, especially when Magento 1 starts seeing more vulnerabilities.
User features – Built in functionality like Wishlists, address storage, and programmable preferences make the user experience an elevated buying experience.
Mobile functionality – Responsive measure built right in to Magento 2 make building and maintaining mobile-first websites much more economical.
Improved checkout – Designed from the bottom up, the checkout process flows better, responds faster, and converts more shoppers to buyers. Subscribe and save and other functions are now much easier to manage.

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