So you’re planning a migration from Salesforce to Dynamics 365? Here’s what you need to know about migrating from Salesforce to Dynamics 365 with better results.
Salesforce vs Dynamics 365: Why do people migrate to Microsoft Dynamics from Salesforce?
The data migration process in general can prove quite challenging, given the momentous task of collecting the data from its original location, differences in format structures used by the new system, and potential errors in loading data to its new location. Since most of the customization on Salesforce is programmed in its proprietary code, migrating away from the platform presents its own obstacles.
Despite all these challenges, what drives customers to move from Salesforce to Dynamics 365?
- A leading reason is the extra functionality that Salesforce CRM does not offer.
- Another is the easy integration with existing Microsoft products like Word, Office 365, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, etc.
- There is also the fact that Microsoft’s offering costs less than Salesforce.
- Dynamics 365 allows companies to scale their usage of the products and apps they need to use.
- Microsoft’s platform additionally provides connections to Microsoft PowerApps and Power BI
- Salesforce sells all add-on functionality at an extra cost. In contrast, most of these features are contained in Microsoft Dynamics. For example, Einstein Analytics Platform in Salesforce is extra, while Microsoft Dynamics Cortana Intelligence Suite is a part of the existing Dynamics offering.
Things to consider before a data migration
Now that you have decided to migrate your data, good practices will take you a long way in avoiding common pitfalls.
Planning is key, as several tasks must be performed to guarantee an effective product migration, and they must be carried out in the proper order.
Assess and explore the data in your source system
Before switching, you need to ensure your own house is in order. While your data may be cataloged across thousands of datasets and fields, many of those may be duplicates, inaccurate, or of no use.
At this initial stage, it is important to notice shortfalls in your prospective data to avoid risking your migration. A productive exercise is to get familiar with the fields in your prospective CRM and use these to organize the data in your source system. By this, you can organize and cleanse your data, understanding exactly what your new CRM solution is aiming for.
This may be quite easy if data fields are related (such as an address, customer name, or contact number). However, if you discover that your new product has fields that your old platform does not, you may have to take data from many fields to populate these. If your new platform does not contain fields to store your existing data, you can schedule ahead of time whether you have to create new fields manually or if you will house your misfit data in another way.
Data cleansing and profiling
After understanding the depth of your data and how your records compare to that of the new platform, you can clean up that data in preparation for switching.
Data cleansing enables you to critically examine the quality of your data, whether you can repeat errors in bulk or address data anomalies, and how you’ll go about grouping your data to switch to the new platform. If you discover repeat patterns of data fields that are empty or not maintained properly, contemplate whether this data is important or whether it has been not input for a reason.
While you must carry all essential data with you to the next system, have in mind that the less data that needs to be migrated, the easier and faster the process.
Things to look out for when cleansing and profiling your data:
● Have clarity on where and how your data is stored.
● Define your policies, data standards, and quality requirements. Include multiple facets of your organization to ensure these policies are comprehensive and inclusive.
● Carry out an objective examination of the current data quality in comparison to the policies and standards you have just defined.
● Evaluate the root cause of any bad data and track the potential impact of this bad data.
● Manually enhance your data and create systems to avoid bad data in the future in connection to the root causes you have identified.
● After you’ve profiled and created systems to maintain your data, monitor to ensure the processes are being performed.
Plan a timeline for the migration
You need to map out a timeline for your migration, in which each aspect of your business is clear on what is expected of them and in what time frame. After this, then you may carry out your migration.
Migrating away from Salesforce to Dynamics 365
As said earlier, planning is the most crucial thing you can do to ensure a successful CRM migration away from Salesforce to Dynamics 365.
Some things to consider:
- The business processes you will migrate.
- Who to involve in the migration. Define and interact with key stakeholders such as end-users for advocacy and senior leaders to give buy-in.
- The target date to finish your migration. Never wait until the last minute to make the move. Give yourself and your team three to four months to gather data, have conversations, and determine how your CRM should operate.
- The deployment option to choose from. You can switch to Dynamics 365 online, in a private cloud, or on premise. Understand which deployment will fulfill your organization’s specific needs and unique CRM goals.
Establish your migration type
There are some decisions to be made when mulling over switching from Salesforce to Dynamics 365, such as how much are you planning to change and how fast does this change need to occur? These are questions that will aid you in deciding between a total implementation or just a “re-platforming.”
Complete implementation requires a thorough data reconciliation. Companies planning to improve their business processes and take full advantage of Dynamics 365 and all its aspects would likely prefer this method.
“Re-platforming” is easier, as it requires you to take existing data in Salesforce and reflect it in Dynamics 365.
Prepare your data
Your new CRM mirrors the data you move. Prioritizing the quality of your data is crucial to migration success. Ensure data accuracy by considering:
● Data cleansing: It is advisable to clean and profile data for continuous dependability and validity. Pre-migration is a good time to carry this out. Examine data for errors to correct, confirm data fulfills required naming standards, flag unfinished records for updating, and erase duplicate entries.
● Data grouping: This process entails spotting data categories in Salesforce and matching to their related labels on Dynamics 365. Grouping establishes a blueprint for ease of data switching.
Migrate your information
Migrating data includes sending out information from Salesforce and importing it into Dynamics 365. There are variations between Dynamics 365 and Salesforce that influence this migration:
● Export: Not all data fields can be extracted from Salesforce because some entities may not be obtained by Dynamics 365. All fields you wish to take out must be marked “visible” and outlined accurately, with correct letter cases.
● Import: Utilize the Dynamics 365 data import template, which accounts for any disparities in calculated fields and custom entity types. Prepare for the import at least two weeks before the new CRM takeoff or make the switch in batches.
Both Dynamics 365 and Salesforce were developed to integrate with third-party systems. But not all integrations you made use of in Salesforce will be applicable to Dynamics 365. Decide which apps you would prefer to copy when you migrate. Contemplate Microsoft’s other business tools such as Business Central ERP, Office 365 suite, Flow, and Power BI.
Your company may also speculate using data integration middleware such as Scribe or Kingsway Soft. These services can act as a tool for translating data away from Salesforce to Dynamics 365 CRM. This can be useful for more complicated migrations.
Switching to Dynamics 365 exposes your business to a world of better possibilities. Microsoft’s integrations with Business Central ERP, Office 365, Suite, Power BI, and Flow will widen your company’s horizons, and these tools will work together coherently with the aim of business growth.
Dynamics Consulting Group, a committed Microsoft partner, can support a smooth Salesforce migration. With years of CRM experience, our consultants will help you through planning, migration, data preparation, and integration. In addition, we can also train your company’s staff. Contact us today to schedule a Teams meeting to learn more about our services.
Tony Pimpo is a CRM consultant with a background across the consulting, marketing and online media industries, aiming to facilitate successful relationships between customers and end-users. He has experience managing and contributing to successful teams and D365 projects, along with gathering, understanding and documenting business requirements.