With the growing expansion of digital commerce and the increasing complexities of business processes, millions of companies around the world are quickly employing and adopting various applications and tools that ease their operations. These tools cater to specific areas of the business and maintain a smooth running of the business processes. It is with the help of these tools that data is efficiently maintained within systems and can be used for further processing. Among all the other applications used by an organization, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution is perhaps the most crucial to the business owner. A CRM solution is the platform that maintains and manages all the customer-related data and information.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM is one of the finest and top-notch CRM solutions in the market today. Helping thousands of organizations on a daily basis, the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM caters to the customers by providing them the best-in-class experience and functionality. Many businesses who had not been using Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM are now quickly adopting this powerful solution since it facilitates perpetual business growth. We also encourage our readers and customers to switch to Dynamics 365 CRM since it truly gives the power in the hands of the business owners. But here is where the trick is! Migrating data from your existing CRM solution can a tough walk if you are not aware of the path – many think that data migration is a simple and easy task, a technical effort of mapping and moving data from one application to another. But that is not the scenario. As it turns out, migrating data from your old CRM solution to a new one, say Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, can single-handedly be one of the most intricate, complicated and crucial components of the entire CRM implementation process.
There are a number of things that are to be considered before employing CRM data migration to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM. Hence, below we have listed some of the top picks for successful CRM data migration to Dynamics 365 CRM that ensure the smoother running of business processes and increased efficiency of applications. Also, we have organized a webinar titled Successful Data Migration to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM: Strategy and Best Practices that talks about the best practices and methodologies to be used while implementing CRM data migration to Dynamics 365 CRM. Do register to know all about successful data migration!
Things to consider while Migrating Data to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM
A CRM solution holds customer records for any organization. Losing these records means a great deal to that organization. Data migration can often be an overwhelming task and the risk of losing data cannot be taken. With strict practices and strategies, a company can easily implement a CRM data migration process and migrate all data to its new CRM.
1. Work with the Legacy Systems
When you are planning to migrate your data to a new CRM solution, first have a look at your legacy systems use cases. Find if everything has been happening right there – check aspects of the processes like email integration, task automation and key integrations. Once done, try downloading all the data from your legacy system and upload it to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM. This might sound easy, but the success of the process defined depends on the compatibility of the two applications and the data structure within.
2. Employ a CRM Data Migration tool
One of the most popular CRM data migration practices is to employ a robust data migration tool that can automate the processes and take the load of the cumbersome task. The aim is to use a tool that handles CRM data migration automatically and can be easily configured to meet the requirements of any organization. While businesses can employ Microsoft’s Import Wizard to move data in the CRM, there are other tools too e.g. Scribe, APPSeCONNECT Data Migration tool, SSIS, etc. that help in the quick movement of data. These tools cater to ease the process of data migration to a huge extent. However, this method can only work if both the applications are similar in architecture to each other.
3. Using Custom Script
One of the most efficient ways of migrating CRM data to Microsoft Dynamics 365 is to a custom script where all the data is transferred by API calls. This is an efficient method when a third-party migration tool is working on the source CRM and knowing the data type and data format of the source CRM can help accelerate the scripts. Try indexing tables with queries regarding speed and runtime, define special identifiers to all source data and then migrate to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM. This might help you troubleshoot in case something goes wrong and you won’t have to start from scratch.
4. Cleaning and Mapping Data is Crucial
One of the most important things to work on while implementing CRM data migration is to avoid the migration of wrong or erroneous data. This data, though small, can be lethal to the business in the long run. It is prudent in this case to first analyze the data that is present, know what it contains and in which type and format, know how is it organized and what are the compatibility ratio of the two applications. Once you are aware of the data, it is time to choose which data need to be migrated. Also, check the source data and confirm whether all fields present are of use or not. Once you have segregated your data, it is time for you to map them. Data mapping is extremely crucial as it defines which data goes where after the migration. It is considered one of the most stringent processes where required modules in the new CRM are identified and created.
5. Backup your data
CRM data is extremely important to business owners and the loss of it means a lot to them. Data migration from an existing CRM to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM can be lengthy process and things can go haywire anytime. Knowing how crucial your business is for you, we consider suggesting you create a backup of your data a prevent any loss. If you are employing tools that migrate CRM data but do not practice data backup, you should refrain.
6. Run some tests before migrating
If you think you are all set with CRM data migration to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, stop right there! Before you implement your data migration process, run some tests to check the success of the operation and make sure all data is being transferred in the correct order. Having a test run before the migration can help you know the errors that might happen or the amount of time and components required for the process. These prevent any kind of error in the live environment and can be handled before the implementation. Also, if anything goes wrong, you don’t lose anything.
7. Don’t forget your file attachments
In your legacy CRM, file attachments can be stored in hundreds of folders across the entire network. In the hustle, don’t overlook and forget about your file attachments. It is crucial that you migrate all your file attachments as you migrate your CRM data – bring all of them under one centralized place and then migrate them into the new CRM. Decide which attachments will be stored where and ensure proper handling. You can choose your local system or cloud storage to save them and even though it might be a time-consuming task, this can be easily done with the help of data migration tools.
8. Final Deployment
Once you have tested the CRM data migration, adjust the scripts for the final deployment of the process. With proper planning and efforts, successful CRM data migration can be achieved in days and once the test team has given a green signal, it is time for your process to go live. The real data migration process is a slow and critical one and we recommend deploying the CRM data migration process to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM on a Friday, as you will be able to leverage the advantage of the weekend to ensure successful and accurate data migration. this way you might be able to double-check the solution and repair any unforeseen error before the week starts. Also, once the process starts, look out for erroneous data, duplicate entries, etc. and remove them.
While CRM data migration is a critical and time-taking process, it is an extremely sought after business aspect too. Making the process of data migration between CRMs easy will accelerate the usage of such solutions. There are many parameters that come into play when a CRM data migration process is employed and these are a part of both the technical and business exercise of the organization. Following proven tactics and strategies can help organizations easily migrate CRM data from their existing CRM a brand new one.
Planning to migrate data to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM?
- Understand the intricacies of data in your business
- Migrate Master as well as Transactional data to CRM
- Plan for a successful approach to CRM data migration
- The power of Dynamics 365 CRM and its connectivity
- Prepare Templates for migration
- Learn about data cleaning, import, verification
- Find the right solutions and tools for CRM data migration
Now, you can easily migrate your data from one application to another with complete security and without any disruption. You can have a seamless data exchange between Enterprise Applications, Legacy Systems and even between Databases!