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How do I convince support to research known migration issues before they start our upgrade?

Before a big upgrade, it's important to test prior to deploying. Sometimes, support staff disagrees. Here's how to handle it.

Q: Are you aware of any good sources of information on the pitfalls and problems that companies have had migrating to Win2K on the desktop?

I'm a developer at a small credit card bank and our tech support group is planning on migrating from Win95/Win98 to Win2K on about 200 systems (of which 160 are new). The tech support group has not done any research into potential problems and they've done no system configuration testing. They tell me they don't think its necessary.

I've been through operating system upgrades at other companies and I'm very worried.  I'm looking for ammunition to convince the support guys that they need to spend some time testing and researching known issues before they start rolling systems out.

A: Testing is not necessary? Testing is always prudent and often necessary for success.  If you are using Win95/Win98 chances are you have some applications that will not behave well (or work at all ) under Windows 2000. Microsoft is clearly moving away from DOS style applications which worked very nicely under 95/98 - not so much so under NT.  Win2K does have some tools and resource kit tools to assist, but if you do not know what software you have and test it under Win2000 you could definitely come into some lost time trying to make applications work. 200 isn't a lot of machines, and as long as they are all the same model it might be okay.  But if some of the machines are not the same hardware, you could have some problems with the upgrades.

A little testing goes a long way.  At the least a listing of all the software used by the company should be made and validated with the various vendors as being supported under Windows 2000. I have found some pretty suprising results just doing this much.  Not fun when your financial account application isn't supported and the department upgrades the accountants

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