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Data migration from SalesForce system to MS CRM Online: risks and challenges

Data migration to a new CRM is certainly not child’s play. It does not matter, whether you are migrating from to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, or from another system, you will come across some obstacles with the data. Transferring previous data into your new CRM often needs a good amount of effort and requires a very detailed approach.

In this article we would like to consider one case with our regular client, who needed a new data management platform, and asked us to transfer data to a more convenient CRM. Previously they have used SalesForce CRM, but this solution was too expensive and couldn`t provide all the necessary functionality for the client`s data integration processes.

Process of project realization Foremost, the plan of realization was prepared. It was decided to employ a third-party product, Scribe Online, for data migration. Also we came to a decision to use the pre-made mappings of Scribe StarterPack for SalesForce into MS CRM Online. Further required customizations were made in MS CRM Online (custom entities, fields and option sets), and additional mappings were prepared for entities, that weren’t included in StartersPack. Afterwords, the forms for entities were created in MS CRM, based on the forms from SalesForce CRM. Eventually, the data migration was performed successfully.

9 challenges encountered in developing workflow During the work on the project, a lot of problems were revealed and solved. For example:

  1. Lack of created users in the CRM system, all existing users did not have enough rights and permissions, or there were not enough licenses.

  2. Links to inactive or deleted records in SalesForce.

  3. Links to values removed from picklists.

  4. The records with the usage of standard mapping Starter Pack were duplicated.

  5. Incorrect data in some lookups was created.

  6. Adding new entities at the client’s demand, faced with an inability to update deactivated records.

  7. Necessity to extend mappings for majority of pick list values (picklists/option sets)

  8. Incorrect estimated time required to complete some tasks.

  9. Unstable work of Scribe Online, excessive universality Scribe Starter Pack.

Problem solving approach The following approaches were used for overcoming these obstacles:

  1. Necessary permissions and licenses for existing users were added. For absent users, we used User “by default”.

  2. The mappings of StartersPack were modified to avoid possible errors.

  3. Modified existing lists directly in the CRM, and expanded mappings.

  4. The duplicates were removed. Mapping was modified, and additional search conditions for existing records were added. In some cases, data was re-imported.

  5. Modified mapping. Re-imported data.

  6. Added records statuses at the end of the import. Re-imported data.

  7. The mappings were prepared in advance, right after examining entity and fields.

  8. To avoid this problem in future, more careful analysis of the forthcoming work and the possible difficulties is required.

  9. The defects of StarterPack, which made it unstable were fixed.

Our tips to those who are working on similar tasks

  • Firstly, try to avoid Scribe Online if you have any alternatives.

  • Secondly, do not use pre-made mappings from StartersPack.

  • Thirdly, be careful with the work planning process.

Conclusion Lessons learned from the dark side of data migration have been accepted by our team, and we can now resolve all problems and avoid possible risks during the course of data migration process. Thanks to the competence of our team, within 1 month all data was successfully migrated from SalesForce CRM to MS CRM, saving the client money, and more importantly, providing a more convenient system to use.

Dynamica Labs is one of the oldest Dynamics CRM Partners and one of a very few companies with ISO 9001 Quality Management System certification for Dynamics CRM project delivery services.

For over 15 years we have been focused on 3 key CRM project goals: delivering measurable business results, following a cost-effective approach, providing the highest quality standards. Over the course of these years, we've taken part in hundreds of projects from SMEs to blue-chip global companies.


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