Beyond20: A ServiceNow Elite Partner Your Guide to the ServiceNow Migration Process - Beyond20



We get it: Moving to a new ITSM platform can be a demanding initiative. But with the right partner, your migration to ServiceNow can transform your organization for the better. Here's our approach.

How to Successfully Migrate to ServiceNow

Every ITSM and digital transformation journey is different. When an organization finds itself at a crossroads, and technology needs to change, a trusted partner with the experience, expertise, and vision to lead the way is a critical ingredient in achieving success. Beyond20 has been a premier Cherwell partner since 2012, and we have helped hundreds of organizations implement, enhance, and maintain the platform through six major version upgrades, countless feature and content updates, and managed the transition from primarily on-premise to cloud and hosted solutions. And through it all, we have blazed trails and pushed the boundaries of what is possible with an ITSM platform. As needs evolve, many clients find their outcomes require a different solution. We understand that value comes from choosing the right technology to support those outcomes.

We also understand that change is not just about slapping a new logo on the front of the application and expecting fireworks. As a ServiceNow partner, our migration program was developed to ensure that not only will the transition from a legacy ITSM platform to the NOW Platform be as seamless as possible, but that the organization itself will be ready to make the leap when the time comes.


Discovery: Establishing Your ServiceNow Migration Strategy

Beyond20 is more than just a technology broker. Our team of ITIL certified professionals have years of experience assessing and designing processes, in addition to developing and implementing those processes in technology platforms.

The first step to migrating from any legacy ITSM platform to the NOW Platform involves a deeper understanding of two major components: 1) organizational vision, and 2) current state of readiness to implement.


Organizational Vision

Our advisory team can facilitate stakeholder workshops to define and document the business objectives, critical success factors, and metrics to ensure that the right outcomes are achieved through migration. This effort includes discussing what features and components of the NOW Platform the organization intends to leverage, and it can help to set expectations for how work will change after migration.


This is a great time to consider the direction the organization wants to take. We can provide strategic guidance to help prioritize the puzzle pieces to ensure the greatest success in the shortest amount of time.

Current State of Readiness

Assessing where the organization is today in its platform maturity and readiness to transform is a key component in establishing timelines, building requirements, and allocating the right resources for the migration.


Beyond20 will provide guidance for this ITSM assessment:

  • Stakeholder identification: platform administrators, users, and probable consumers of the platform will be included in these discussions

  • Ensuring executive level sponsorship and engagement

  • Reviewing security requirements and interfacing with the security team

  • Evaluate how the Cherwell platform is configured today.   What objects, processes, mApps, and workflows are critical and need to be migrated?

  • Evaluate data state

  • Evaluate external integrations

ITSM Systems & Organizational Change

Additionally, we can help prepare the organization itself for this change. A new platform isn’t just about technology, organizational change management is a huge part of gaining the right traction and getting buy-in across the enterprise when introducing new tools and ways of working. Digital transformation is just that: transformation. Our team has the experience and expertise to garner champions up and down the org chart, improving adoption and easing the burden on the platform administration team.


ServiceNow Migration Preparation

Now that there is an understanding of where the organization stands, as well as where the organization wants to be, it’s time to get to planning the migration. This is one of those steps that is so easy to forget, but it is also one that can make or break a migration. There are probably many moving parts already inherent in the platform you are using.



It is likely that you have had Cherwell in place for years. There needs to be appropriate governance from leadership, project and portfolio management, and technical management to ensure success. This phase involves establishing a governance team to oversee the migration. Beyond20 will help build this team with the right stakeholders and help set requirements and expectations to plan and design a successful migration. We have been managing projects great and small for years. And our staff of experienced, knowledgeable project and program managers will get the transformation underway effectively, and they will guide the project throughout to keep everyone focused on successful migration.


Activities Beyond20 will undertake in this phase include:

  • Defining a cadence for the project

  • Establishing a meeting schedule

  • Creating an organizational change management plan

  • Work with executive sponsors and platform owners to build a RACI model to ensure everyone understands roles and responsibilities across the organization

  • Plan a transition from project governance to operational governance once the migration is complete and the new platform is live

Risk Management and Compliance

This phase also includes the necessary steps to ensure that risk and compliance are addressed before design and implementation. We will work with the organization’s security and compliance teams to define the requirements and parameters that must be adhered to in order to successfully release the new platform. We have security specialists that can facilitate this discussion and our understanding and expertise in the areas of compliance and risk management can help guide the organization to ensure a secure system going forward.



It may feel like it has been a long journey to get to the place where designing the new system and building the migration processes are finally upon us, but the reality is that this phase needs its predecessors to create the valuable outcomes the organization wants to fully achieve with this migration. Design is a key component and the foundation on which this phase rests must be solid.


Design Session

Our solutions architects will evaluate all the processes and data to be migrated and facilitate deep-dive design sessions to ensure that no stone is left unturned. Our design services are second to none in the industry, and our experts will define and document each user story to maximize the outcomes. This activity will include identifying one-steps and automation processes that will later be recreated as workflows in ServiceNow. If Cherwell has been in place for a long time, this list is likely long and complex. Rest assured that our architects understand and can offer solutions, even if a 1:1 migration is not 100% feasible. Where external system integrations are identified, appropriate processes and development tactics will be assessed and designed. Our solutions consultants are seasoned developers and have integrated everything from simple data imports from CSV to highly complex API configuration—and everything in between. The goal is to design the system such that no functionality is lost, and new efficiencies are discovered and agreed before a single configuration step is taken.


During this phase Beyond20 will:

  • Facilitate detailed design sessions with stakeholders to define requirements for the system

  • Define and re-design workflows in ServiceNow that will replace those processes in Cherwell that must be maintained

  • Create a data migration plan to ensure all critical data is moved or properly referenced within the NOW Platform

  • Identify and define external integrations, especially those that will require development against an API

  • Document all requirements as user stories that will be the basis for an agile implementation project

  • Review and revise the design documentation until the organization is satisfied that all requirements have been properly captured and articulated

  • Collaborate with project management teams to develop a sprint schedule from the agreed user stories and build the necessary collateral content to drive the project to completion

Design Document

Our design documents are thorough and provide the blueprint that the implementation teams can follow and refer to throughout the project. However, we also understand that needs may change, especially within the context of such a large and impactful migration. We work in an agile, iterative way to ensure maximum flexibility as we progress through the various phases of migration. Our project plans are broken down into two-week sprints, and progress is communicated before, during, and after each iteration to ensure that what is being built meets with the needs and desires of the organization. A detailed backlog is maintained by our project management team to capture evolving requirements, and we will work closely with the organization to continually set and meet expectations.


Building Your New ITSM System

With a detailed design and plan for implementation firmly established, it is time to build the new system. This phase is truly where the magic happens. With each sprint review, the organization will see and can test each piece of functionality as it is built in ServiceNow. This experience can open doors to even greater functionality down the road, or even expose alternate ways of working that may be considered immediately. The flexibility of short, visible development cycles provides stakeholders the chance to improve on the fly and identify future state features in near real time.


Beyond20’s solutions consultants will deliver during this phase:

  • Sprint planning – this is a critical step where our consultants will establish a level of effort and select those user stories that will be developed in each two-week sprint

  • Configuration and development of user stories

  • Sprint review – this is a demonstration of configured functionality conducted near the end of each sprint to allow the consumer to review and test the developed system based on the user stories completed during the sprint

  • Backlog grooming – this step provides our consultants an opportunity to reorganize the development backlog to accommodate changing needs and to communicate current status to the project management team

  • User acceptance testing – each sprint affords stakeholders the chance to “kick the tires” on the system to ensure that the configured functionality meets with their needs and requirements

Configuration and Development

Throughout each iterative two-week development cycle, Beyond20 solutions consultants transform each user story into defined deliverables, which can be demonstrated as part of the sprint review meeting. This means that for every requirement, a development resource will create, review, and integrate the necessary records, attributes, processes, and automations to accomplish the requested functionality. All of our consultants are ITIL certified, and they are backed up by ITIL experts with decades of experience in the field, which means that your processes are in the best possible hands.



Inherent in all our development, configuration, and implementation projects is a testing and quality assurance component, which allows our team of skilled testers the time and opportunity to ensure that every user story not only delivers the desired outcome, but also that each new piece of functionality works with all existing configurations. This regression testing is a step that Beyond20 believes shortens the overall timeline necessary to develop the entire system. By injecting such tests directly into the development cycle, there is less need for a long period of QA and testing prior to go-live. This model allows for a smoother transition to production, and it affords the developers a shorter path to addressing issues, without the need to unravel weeks—or even months—of work to find solutions.


Launch and Early Life Support

The moment of truth has arrived. The new platform has been fully developed and is ready for delivery. This phase is, without question, the most exciting time yet in this transformative journey. Before the final release, the project team, developers, governance team, security and compliance, and other key stakeholders will reassemble to determine timing, resources, and steps to finally launch the NOW Platform into production.


There are key steps that must be considered during this phase:

  • Final data migration schedule – this step ensures that all required data is migrated at the time of release to eliminate the possibility of data loss during the transition

  • Closure of all open records in Cherwell – Incidents, Requests, Changes, and any open tasks or approvals should be resolved and closed in the legacy platform, if possible.   Alternatively, the team may have decided that existing records may continue to be handled in Cherwell for a set period, and all new records will be created in ServiceNow

  • Release schedule – this step involves determining the best time to fully transition to the NOW Platform

  • Communication Plan – this step ensures that the entire organization is aware of the release and allows for feedback and open dialogue with stakeholders to ensure maximum buy-in

  • Training – ensure that everyone is familiar with the new way of working, and that all users understand how to make the jump to the NOW Platform

  • System testing – A key step where QA tests on the production system are defined and scheduled to ensure a smooth deployment

  • Change Management – Documenting the request for change, approaching the change authority to assess and schedule the change, and garnering final authorization to launch the platform must take place

  • Release and Deployment – the final step to launching the NOW Platform and fully transitioning from Cherwell to ServiceNow

ServiceNow Training

All the preparation in the world will be for naught if no one knows how to use the platform. This phase includes training modules for ServiceNow administrators, technicians, and end users. There will be, without a doubt, stakeholders that are not quite ready to let go of the existing platform. And we understand that this level of organizational change is disruptive. Our training programs are designed to ensure that not only are users ready to tackle the new system, but they are also fully prepared to shift to new ways of working.


Early Life Support

There will likely be a period of transition where both systems are active. Our experience shows that this is a critical time for users to understand their role and embrace the new. We will continue to work with stakeholders to foster a culture of continual improvement and adoption of the NOW Platform. This is the stage at which the organizational change plan established during the discovery and preparation phases will swing into action. It is critical to keep the lines of communication open and encourage feedback from all stakeholders. Success depends on buy-in and acceptance of the new system at this point, and we have tons of experience guiding organizations of all sizes and in all stages of maturity through this period.


Measure and Adjust

Now that it’s up and running, it’s time to dust off those critical success factors and metrics defined in the early phases. It is important to remember that there will absolutely be areas that will need improvement and remediation. This is why we measure, and this is why it is so important to engender a culture that embraces a continual improvement practice. Remember, this is about reaching business objectives, and there are bound to be changes along the way, so measuring against the vision is the key to understanding next steps.


This phase includes the following activities:

  • Measuring whether the business objectives identified in the first phase have been met; or, if these objectives can only be achieved after some time of platform utilization, defining a timeline and benchmarks for measuring the success of the migration

  • Identifying changes in goals over the course of the project; there are inevitable changes in outcomes in large projects such as a tool migration, so it is important to re-align the measurements with the updated goals

  • Assessing next steps; what enhancements need to be made that were not feasible during the transition?

  • How does the organization maintain momentum now that the transition is complete?This activity is crucial to maintaining good velocity on continual improvement

  • Celebrating the success of the project. It is important to recognize the achievement of all stakeholders in this initiative. There is a lot of effort and time that goes into this type of transformation, and it is worth noting how much everyone has contributed


The business objectives that were defined in Phase 1 can help to define key performance indicators going forward. If one of the success factors was to reduce the amount of time incidents remain open, we can quickly identify that a reduction in mean time to resolve (MTTR) would be a great way to measure that goal. Beyond20 will help the organization define these initial KPIs, but an additional step is to understand how these metrics will change over time. All improvements should be tied to a business objective, and the vision is bound to shift as an organization evolves and matures. So, it is important to revisit what is being measured from time to time to re-align with those business goals.


Communication and Awareness

This is also a great time to publicize your success. Migrating from one platform to another is no small feat, and it is important to celebrate, alongside all stakeholders, the accomplishment. Beyond20 can help designing and executing an awareness campaign, and we can ensure that the lines of communication and continuous feedback loops are established to keep the momentum going.


Operational Excellence

Fostering a culture of continual improvement, sharing success, and developing continual feedback loops are all important factors in developing a successful service management practice. Now that the technology has been adapted to meet the challenges of supporting the organization’s service needs, maintaining and enhancing the platform can continue as part of the evolution and maturity of the enterprise. Beyond20’s experience and expertise make us an excellent choice to guide you through your ServiceNow migration – from Cherwell or any legacy ITSM platform. Get in touch today and tell us about your project.


Ready to move to the now platform?

We'll get you there in one piece. Let us know what you're looking to achieve and we'll get back to you within 24 hours.
Work With Us