Stranded by the Wayside, Katalyst Jump Starts Project Server Migration

A Michigan-based auto parts manufacturer was managing its Project Server Hosting in-house through an under-equipped technical team. A decision to migrate to the latest version of Project Server 2016 saw them losing data upto last 4 years. After many failed attempts to fix the problem in-house, they finally had to reach out to Katalyst – an online project management consultant to resuscitate the project and successfully put the migration back on track.

What Went Wrong with the Customer?

A Michigan-based auto parts manufacturing company manages a complex supply chain to provide just-in-time parts to its large customer base of car manufacturers, spread across 19 countries. The competitive nature of the car industry necessitates the company to efficiently manage its projects involving the manufacturing and supply of the auto parts. Delays come with penalties from the company’s customers as well as increase in risk of getting stranded with superfluous inventory.

The company was using the 2013 version of Project Server to manage the projects between its internal teams in sales, procurement, planning and manufacturing, and external teams of vendors and contractors. They have been managing their Project Server with great difficulty because their internal IT team was under-equipped and lacked Project Server administration expertise.

In due course of time the company had grown and now needed a more powerful online project management tool. With the project teams getting bigger and dealing in complex transactions, they were mired by issues ranging from accessibility to reporting and project monitoring. That’s when they decided to migrate to the latest version Microsoft Project Server 2016, which offers many dynamic features over the 2013 version and facilitates easy project management.

But the decision to migrate did not go as well as they would have thought. In the staging environment while testing it, they realized that data upto last 4 years went missing. An ill-planned migration task resulted in existing actual hours from the Timesheet report gone missing. The company’s initial efforts to retrieve the data through re-publishing the project failed. With project teams now stranded, they were losing valuable time. In the customer’s own admission –

“It’s really frustrating that critical data was not fully migrated. Especially, with timesheet data gone missing, our payments would have stopped if we went live. It turned out to be a huge challenge we knew we couldn’t afford to stay surrounded by, for too long.

They finally had to resort to an expert who could bail them out of the botched up migration situation. That’s when they contacted Katalyst – a Project Server hosting and consulting company to resuscitate the project and successfully put the migration task back on track. In the past, the company had used our services and had taken a 30 days free trial with Project Server. Their experience had been good enough to come back to us in a moment of crisis.

How Katalyst Came to the Rescue?

When Katalyst received the request from customer, we heard them patiently. They needed assurance that we will bail them out. Talking to our Project Server expert and ‘support ninjas’ (24×7 support team), the customer seemed confident.

Next, we swirled into action in no time. It was challenging for us as well because we knew the customer had already lost valuable time trying to fix the issue on their own. It took us huge efforts rummaging through the voluminous data, innumerable error messages, and cleaning up the botched up migration task.

Eventually, we found the real problem. They had failed to identify that the issue was with the existing production environment. We found that the data went missing from Reporting Database but was saved in the Publish Database. Our Microsoft certified Project Expert team used internal tools to re-sync all the data from Publish Database to Reporting Database, finally managing to retrieve the data and put the migration task back on track.

Today, this customer has hired our services by outsourcing the management of their Project Server implementation. We provide them 24×7 support assistance via chat, mail and call. Today, their project is running uninterrupted. This is what the customer had to say about us-

“The guys at Katalyst give you hope. They follow that up with expertise not many providers of hosting services can boast of. In a crisis situation, working with them seemed the only solution. Their state-of-the-art set up, expertise and responsive attitude impressed us to the point that today we cannot think of anyone else to manage our Project Server hosting. Thanks guys.