Case study: Integrating almost a million records in SAP

Auckland has about half a million recorded graves in 56 cemeteries, ranging from tiny burial grounds on Great Barrier Island to the sprawling 108-hectare Waikumete Cemetery.

Until 2010, cemeteries were managed by four local councils, three district councils and one regional council. Then, the councils merged to form a single Auckland Council, and cemeteries management was also unified.
Auckland Council engaged Stellar Consulting to scope, and then to deliver, the migration of cemetery data in a centralised SAP ERP solution.

“The cemeteries team were working with records in five separate systems, most of which contained data that had already been migrated from multiple systems,” says Catherine Moore, Auckland Cemeteries Manager.

“We also had over 100 spreadsheets that we tracked information in. There was critical information such as email addresses and mobile phone numbers in notes fields because there wasn’t an identified location for that information. Mapping was paper-based. Financial systems were complex and not integrated with cemetery information.”

The data migration project began in June 2017 with launch scheduled for April 2018.

Charlie Anstey

Charlie Anstey

“The total number of records was close to a million,” says Stellar’s Charlie Anstey, the Data Migration Lead who worked on the project. “That includes not just records of the deceased, but also records of every memorial and every owner of a burial plot. Some of these records date from the early 1800s.”

The data migration challenge was large and complex. The team followed a structured methodology to prepare data for loading and this, combined with project and risk management disciplines, ensured that the migration was completed on time and in budget.

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