On the Day of Your Zendesk Migration: A Survival Toolkit
How to prepare for the day of your Zendesk migration, and ensure a seamless transition.
The day of your Zendesk migration can be stressful. It is no small feat to time and execute a swift and seamless transfer of an active helpdesk. Your agents and your customers rely on your systems to be operational, and any unexpected downtime can be a huge problem.

To alleviate as much stress as possible when you finally hit that "go" button, you can take some simple steps on the actual day you migrate:

Make yourself available.

This is the cardinal rule. You must be present while the migration is running.

Even if you've delegated the Zendesk migration task to someone else (Import2, your developer team, or a consultant), you need to be present in case they have any questions or concerns in real-time as they are working with the data. And just as if you were doing it yourself, you should check in periodically with how the data looks in your Zendesk environment. That way, if something looks "off", you can take action right away. Remember, you want to avoid any system "downtime" as much as possible, so don't wait to review and raise questions if something comes up.

Don't make any last minute changes.

It may seem obvious, but it can be tempting to want to make some last-minute tweaks. Whether it be to your helpdesk setup, your migration requirements, even something as simple as a field name update. Don't make any changes and still expect to run the migration on time! If the change is critical, then it is best to take a step back and reschedule the migration to a later date. If the change can be done post-migration - then wait until then. Just a simple change to a field name can result in 1,000's of errors in a data migration, and it is something that can easily be done after-the-fact.

Following this rule will avoid most major headaches on the day of your migration.


Remember to "turn off" your old helpdesk and route all potential sources of communication to Zendesk.

As part of your Zendesk migration project plan, you (hopefully) determined a final cutover date for your team to stop working in your old helpdesk. At the moment you press "go" on the migration, you are essentially taking a "snapshot" of your old helpdesk data and copying that over to Zendesk. You do not want any further data entry going into your old system - those additions or updates would not be reflected in the data that ends up in Zendesk.

Do what you need to do to remind your team to stop working on tickets in your old helpdesk. You can send an email reminder, have a calendar event or even deactivate access, to ensure no one accidentally logs in and makes any changes. This will ensure you do not end up with data in "limbo" and subsequently deal with the headache of figuring out what data was missed during the migration.

Use the list you compiled during your project planning of all the potential sources of customer communication and double-check those are all being routed into Zendesk. This includes any website form which creates a ticket, chatbots, help center links, and so on. You do not want any tickets being created in your old system after the migration starts.

Make a personal plan for how to handle issues.

You don't want to be taken off guard if your migration results in more errors than you anticipated, or if you see data that looks "off". Instead of panicking or rushing to pause or cancel the migration, decide how you want to handle any issues that arise.

For example, come up with a strategy for dealing with errors. Will you resolve them in real-time, or will you wait until the migration is complete to see a full list and tackle it then? Will you enlist the help of your support team to resolve them post-migration?

Or, what if you see data which looks inaccurate which will critically impact your company's ability to do business? Will you pull the plug on the migration and start again from scratch when you've had a chance to assess the issues? Or, will you make an attempt to fix post-migration?


Ideally, there will be little to do on the day of the migration. You've planned and prepped, tested and validated. The final, full migration to Zendesk should reflect that preparation and should result in exactly what you expected. In the event things come up (and they do!), just breathe and remember to review the above to survive the day-of.