How Huge is “Huge” When It Comes to CCM Migration Costs?

Migration and conversion to a new publishing or customer communications management (CCM) platform can be very expensive for most organizations.

Consider that our typical insurance client has approximately 20 to 30 content generating applications (billing, policy, claims, etc.) across their different lines of business. They also have 10 to 15 consuming applications – for example, a viewing capability embedded in a call center user interface enabling a phone rep to answer our questions about a bill when we call. Roughly speaking, it can cost in the ballpark of $250,000 per generating or consuming application to switch from one publishing tool to another. That’s $7.5 million to $11 million to make the change when you consider the full effort, including updating requirements, development, testing, etc.

Then throw in the conversion of the communication templates themselves – perhaps 5,000 or so – at a cost of approximately $1,000 each (assuming just 10 hours per template). That’s another $5 million. Depending on a client’s specifics, the overall cost easily exceeds $10 million.

Migration Options

For many clients, diving into their forms libraries is like an archeological dig. Lots of dust certainly, and not much documentation. Conversion utilities for specific software migrations have been created over the years, but have historically had marginal impact on both time and cost involved in migration. The most cost-effective method is often a lift-and-shift approach executed using offshore resources.

Vendors with multiple CCM tools in their portfolio should have an upper hand in providing efficient migration tooling and utilities, but tool acquisitions often bring together very different technology stacks and limit the synergy opportunities. Beyond the traditional on-premises CCM solutions, there are now cloud based options and third-party providers such as the print shop vendors who would love to expand their footprint in digital delivery by migrating you to their solutions.

Guidance

If you think you’re facing migration in the next five years, you can’t kick this can down the road for too long. Given the potential costs highlighted above, I’d rather ask my business partners to swallow a $3 million expense for the next five years instead of backing myself into a corner and asking to spend $15 million in 2023. Most firms couldn’t complete the conversion in a single year anyway. And you must make your CCM platform solid if it’s going to play any significant role in your digital transformation strategy.

So, it’s time to get started.

How to Select Enterprise Software

Rich Medina
James Watson
I’m President and co-founder of Doculabs, serving as executive sponsor on consulting engagements for financial services clients.