A Complete Guide to IBM WCS v9 Migration

WebSphere Commerce 9 is here, after a 6-year gap IBM has released this version. Perhaps even more importantly, version 7 has been announced as end of life, as it goes out of support from April 30th 2020. Customers on v7 therefore need to think about a migration to WebSphere Commerce v9.

The most common questions people have regarding migration are:

  • How easy/difficult is this migration going to be?
  • Is there enough time before v7 supports goes off?
  • Is there a quick way to migrate, since it is more of a re-implementation rather than a straight migration?
  • How can the client take advantage of all the new features as part of the migration?

If you are using v7, you may need to plan your migration, as the time is ticking away. Here is a complete guide to IBM WCS v9 migration.

What is a “Migration”?

Let’s start with understanding what a migration is all about!

As per Industry Standards, Migration is defined as three separate activities but the reality is that a single migration may include all three concepts!

Why should you consider “Migration” right now?

  • IBM has announced that they will be pulling the plug on v7 support in April 2019. You will still be able to use extended support though, but it comes with a price.
  • IBM WCS v9 is a BIG step for IBM to change the way their E-commerce platform handles maintenance and customization. In simpler terms, after v9 migration (and if you move all your customization on to the XC platform), clients will not need to spend a single penny for any of the future migrations (if done right), and if you were spending 10 hours to a day updating all your instances across the platform, using “Docker” you would be able to do the same under less than 4 hours.
  • IBM has not just developed an “as a service” cloud business enterprise approaching $10 billion, however it additionally has exploited with significant success its “power of incumbency” among the world’s biggest corporations by offering hardware, software, and consulting services to help those customers convert their legacy systems into cloud or cloud-compatible environments. That turns out to be a $7-billion business for IBM with some excellent customer use cases.

What are all the “Migration” options we have for IBM WCS v9?

My guess is that after reading through this, you will start feeling a lot more relaxed about this whole thing. So, the options are:

1. Lift & Shift (Move, Upgrade) – IBM WCS v9 Migration

This is suitable for customers who:
  • Are not sure if they want to move to the cloud and need more time to evaluate different options.
  • Are not aware of what v9 platform has to offer in detail and need time planning how they can take full advantage of all the new stuff.
  • Want to quickly upgrade their platform to the latest version, and then gradually move their customization in a phased manner taking advantage of new features available on v9.
  • Would take anywhere from 3 – 6 months for implementation.

2. Re-Implementation (Move, Migrate, Upgrade)

This is suitable for customers who:
  • Want a better, faster UI experience for their Desktop/Mobile/Tablet customers, thereby making use of the NEW jQuery Storefront in v9 which takes fluidity, responsiveness, and better load handling capability across all the devices.
  • Want to implement and automate the build, deploy, testing processes (all of this can SAVE a client anywhere between $10K – $30 per month) using the available CI/CD pipeline.
  • Want to take advantage of the new XC architecture. Moving all enhancement to XC container would mean that customers do not have to plan any other migration in the future.
  • Would take anywhere from 9 – 12 months for implementation.

How much will the Migration/Re-Implementation cost (time, money)?

We conducted a 3 week IBM WCS v9 Migration assessment and the results included:
  • Fit-Gap Analysis: Royal Cyber Team (comprising of a Project Manager, Commerce Architect, Database Architect, WCS Developer with XC Experience) will sit with your stakeholders to go through your current solution and flag what “fits” and where the “gap” is! This document was made keeping in mind what new features are available OOTB, what is discontinued/deprecated, and which customizations can be replaced with Royal Cyber “Widgets” (comes with RC Support), etc.
  • High-Level Migration Project Plan: High-Level Plan to give an accurate picture of how much time and the cost will be involved in the complete migration (a phased approach).

Our IBM WCS v9 migration assessment packages are very affordable. For more information on IBM WCS v9 Migration email us at [email protected] or visit www.royalcyber.com

By Akhil Pathania

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