Having participated in 2 data processing conversions during my career I'm aware of what's involved.
Direct conversion is an implementation process that involves essentially “switching off” the current system entirely and “switching on” the new system to take its place all at once. The old system is no longer available for use from that point onward. The old system and new systems are vastly distinct from each other. The greatest risk is the learning curve required by users and participants to interact effectively with the new system. Other major risks include the new system not performing as per the requirement report specifications, which will impact the business in a profoundly negative manner as the old system will no longer be available as a redundant failover.
Elance/Upwork seems to have used a parallel conversion. Then again, with what's going on with the new Upwork site, Upwork took not just one conversion approach, but took bits and pieces of each one and lumped them all together. That involves running both the current and the new system together for some period of time. At some pre‐determined time, the current system is decommissioned entirely and all users and participants interact solely with the new system.
The switch to the new system will occur at a time when EVERYONE is confident that the new system will perform the tasks it was originally intended for. This does not see to be the case as, aside from complaints about low rates, and cheap clients, there are posts galore both on Elance and Upwork complaining of bugs, missing features., partial profile transfers and the moving the clients of members who are registered and operating as companies to Upwork but not accommodating a contractors company to operate as a company nor transferring any jobs they may have done, or feedback they received among other things, different profile appearing, slowness and not being able to log into Upwork at all, (to name just a few.)
Phased conversion involves a gradual introduction of the new system while the current system is
transposed with the new system, process by process. TESTING and TRAINING would occur during the implementation of each new element during the implementation. Alongside this gradual replacement, training must be ongoing to ensure that users and participants are well versed with the new system during its gradual implementation.
Pilot conversion involves setting up the new system for a small group of users and participants, while the remaining majority of users and participants still interact with the current system. At some pre‐determined period in time, when all the bugs are worked out, when the system is function propoerly, the pilot system is installed for all users and participants and the current system is then switched off.
No matter what type of conversion a company may undertake, you'll notice that extensive testing as well as training would be required as the new system is implemented. This just doesn't seem to be the case. Odesk, I'm assuming, was working ok before the name change to Upwork, when they AQUIRED, and I say aquired because IMO there is no way with what's going on that Elance was Merged into Upwork. Upwork is in way too big of a rush to handle the influx of clients and contractors from Elance. Not enough testing (if any) was initiated.
When this so called Merge (acquisition) was first announced, the contractors on Elance were told repeatly that Elance and Odesk would remain 2 seperate platforms. In all that time, I doubt that plans of any type of conversion was even thought about. And all of a sudden, it was decided to get Odesk changed to Upwork and to move all clients and contractors from Elance to Upwork. And because of that, what is going on now, is inevitable. It will only get worst before it gets better especially since Upwork keeps adding more and more clients and contractors from Elance.
@Kathy T wrote:
it was decided to get Odesk changed to Upwork and to move all clients and contractors from Elance to Upwork. And because of that, what is going on now, is inevitable. It will only get worst before it gets better especially since Upwork keeps adding more and more clients and contractors from Elance.
I know I don't like to make two major changes concurrently -- it compounds the difficulty of fixing bugs because there are two sets of code that are suspect, not to mention possible interactions between them -- and in the case of Upwork, the results speak for themselves.