Organizations must realize Zinc MAPS is becoming progressively more outdated and unsupported each day. Veeva purchased Zinc Ahead (September 2017) and has already stopped updating the tool. They have also indicated the company will stop investing in support for Zinc MAPS after 2020. There are 3 paths a company using Zinc MAPS can take: migrate to PromoMats, transition to a non-PromoMats tool, or continue unsupported. To ensure the right decision for the organization, there are four key considerations:
1. Collectively Prepare
If organizations have Zinc MAPS then they likely have complex workflow processes that suit their needs. Adopting new technology requires an in-depth look at the existing process strengths, weaknesses, and the anticipation of future needs. New Promotional Materials Management platforms (PMM) offer new features and different workflows that must be considered for adoption as part of the transition. It is imperative the organization allocate the necessary time to gather internal feedback and input from current Zinc MAPS users.
2. Organizational Timing
Executing a PMM migration is no small undertaking. Along with collectively preparing and receiving key input from across the organization, timing should be strongly considered. Take these timing considerations under advisement:
- Global Coordination – Think globally about how the system will be used post-migration. Are all PMM job types necessary to migrate? Prior to undertaking a change of this magnitude, think about what is really valuable upfront.
- Current Activities – Avoid migrating new systems prior to product launch; Acquisitions and divestments could be a perfect time to migrate.
- Keep it Simple – Ask questions throughout the planning phase like, “Does our organization really need all PMM jobs moved to the new system?”
- Be Realistic – Evaluate the organization’s goals and objectives to ensure they are obtainable and within reach. If it takes your organization 4 months to review and approve jobs, then planning for 2 weeks to do the same prior to migration is not possible.
- When to Not Transition – In-process materials can be a challenge to migrate. Complete existing workflows and start new workflows on the new systems, then decommission old systems after all workflows are complete.
3. Configuration and Customization
End-user feedback on legacy system and current state processes are important. This information will impact the business requirements and subsequent vendor evaluations. Evaluate business requirements against vendor products to determine first, if their product can be configured to meet basic requirements, and second, how or to what degree of customized configuration is needed. Realize customization will create future state complexities around maintenance and upgrades, which drive higher organizational IT and business training costs.
4. Change Management and Training
Seventy percent of all IT implementations fail to achieve all desired outcomes due to lack of change management. Implementing a transition of this scale requires a strong change management strategy and robust methodology. Establishing this foundation is essential for organizational buy-in, commitment, and overall adoption. This will ensure that the new system fully achieves the desired effectiveness, organizational goals and outcomes.
Taking these considerations seriously will make or break a successful migration away from Zinc MAPS. Prepare for success by asking the right questions. Be realistic and align activities around organizational roadmaps. Realize there is major organizational impact by customizing versus configuration. Finally, be proactive by utilizing a strong change management methodology to ensure employee adoption.
The time to act is now.
As Zinc MAPS becomes progressively obsolete, don’t be left scrambling. Now is the time for organizations to plan for a strong and resilient future by identifying where their PMM process needs to go.