Data Migration Best Practices and Strategies

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Best Practices and Strategies for data migration

What Data Migration methodology should you use?

Data migration projects fail all the time. The failure rate currently stands at an astonishing 38 percent. Those are not good odds. When you move customer data from one system to another, there’s a genuine threat of data loss, downtime, and other issues that could severely affect your organization. Customer relationship management (CRM) migration is a complicated task, and even more complicated when moving data to a complex system like Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM.

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Choose a Data Migration Methodology

Few vice presidents, directors, or senior managers know there’s not one data migration methodology, but many to choose from. In the context of CRM migration, you’ll probably use either the Big Bang method or the Trickle method. There are other methods, but we are going to explain these two, the most common for CRM data migration.

The Big Bang Method

The Big Bang method involves data engineers completing CRM migration within a very specific and very limited amount of time. That’s because the live CRM system — the existing CRM system that moves data to the new system — requires some downtime. Everyone knows downtime is bad for business, so engineers need to move fast.

Big Bang involves a data migration method called Extract, Transform, and Load, or ETL. It’s rather complicated, but here are the basics:

  • Engineers use ETL tools to extract data from the existing CRM system.
  • Then they transform this data into a usable format for the new CRM system, such as Microsoft 365 CRM. Engineers do that because the new system can’t process some data, particularly data found in legacy CRM systems. So engineers clean it all up.
  • Then they load this data into the new system.

The Trickle Method

The Trickle method differs from Big Bang because engineers complete it in stages. It takes more time to complete because the old CRM system and new system run in parallel. There’s usually not any system downtime, if so, very minimal.

Best suited for enterprises that need to be online all the time, Trickle prevents lost revenue, lost productivity, lost customers, and all the other problems that come from downtime. This method is more gradual and time-consuming but it provides a safety net to unforeseen errors. With this in mind, it’s more complicated than Big Bang, so you need to choose the right engineer or architect.

Overall, it’s safe to say you probably can’t do the Big Bang or Trinkle Method alone. And you almost certainly can’t go solo if you want to migrate to a system similar to Microsoft 365. You’ll need a data engineer and perhaps a data architect for guidance in a project this large. Working with a trusted partner ensures you find the right method for your business with a dependable team to get the job done right.

CRM Data Migration Types

Big Bang and Trickle are different methodologiesbut they execute CRM data migration in much the same way. Although specifics depend on the project, CRM data migration typically involves:

Database Migration

Transferring data between two databases — for example, your old database to Microsoft’s Common Data Service so you can use Dynamics 365 CRM. Engineers test the size of the database and assess data security before migration.

Storage Migration

Transferring the volume data from an old storage system to volumes in a newer, more efficient storage system — for example, your old storage system to  Microsoft Azure.

Application Migration

Transferring data frameworks from one application or system to another using a tool like Microsoft Dataverse. Engineers make sure these frameworks communicate with each other. Otherwise, migration fails.

Cloud Migration

Moving data from one cloud service to another — for example, your old cloud service provider to Azure. Enterprises like yours do this all the time to improve data storage, scalability, and security.

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Why You Need a Partner to Implement Your Data Migration Methodology

Whether it’s Big Bang or Trickle, you can see why these complex methodologies need a reputable migration partner to assist in the process. Using a consultant that has experience with CRM is critical for migration success. It’s extremely difficult to migrate without one. As a trusted Microsoft Dynamics 365 partner, we’ve worked on countless Dynamics 365 CRM migrations over the years, providing enterprises with consulting and ongoing support throughout the entire migration process.

Dynamic Consultants Group can help by:
  • Connecting you with data engineers and architects.
  • Guiding you on the best CRM migration method for your business, whether that’s Big Bang, Trickle, or something else entirely.
  • Saving you money on CRM migration.
  • Limiting downtime as much as possible.
  • Providing ongoing support for full Microsoft 365 CRM implementation long after you’ve completed migration. That includes user adoption, training, and more.

CRM Migration and Big Data

CRM migration today is harder than it was yesterday. It will continue to be harder tomorrow than it was today. That’s because the amount of big data grows significantly every minute, with 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created every 24 hours.

All this data comes with a plethora of responsibilities. Businesses and enterprises can’t cut corners during migration when this exceptional amount of information is at potential risk. Working with a reputable partner like Dynamic Consultants Group is the most logical way to go about a Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM migration. Our knowledgeable consultants connect you with experienced data specialists who look after your most prized asset: big data.

CRM Migration and Data Quality

Data quality is one of the biggest sticking points during CRM implementation because it so often goes wrong. When migrating data from one system to another, that data needs to be in the correct format. Otherwise, the new system won’t process it. Or, in the worst-case scenario, the new system will reject it, resulting in data loss. The ETL process during Big Bang removes some risks, but success depends on who’s doing the migration. So you need the right team.

There are other considerations. Data needs to be of the best possible quality for data governance reasons, and enterprises risk penalties for non-compliance with GDPR, HIPAA, and other legislative frameworks if they get things wrong.

Dynamics 365 CRM and Your Data Integration

There’s CRM migration, and then there’s Dynamics 365 CRM integration. As previously mentioned, Microsoft’s CRM is a complicated beast. It differs from most other systems because data moves from an enterprise’s existing architecture to Dynamics 365 CRM to various other services and applications for enhanced customer relationship management — tools like Dynamics 365 SalesDynamics 365 Marketing, and Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. Dataverse does much of the legwork, but you still need a small team of experts to expedite the process.

Many Dynamics 365 CRM migrations fail at this point in the process because things get rather complicated. And it’s for this reason you need a consultant and a data engineer or architect that specializes in Dynamics 365. Migrating to the Microsoft ecosystem is entirely different from migrating to Sage or G Suite or other tools.

Dynamic Consultants Group will provide you with the experts you need to get your data to where you need it to be. Learn more about how our team can help your migration transition happen as painless as possible.

Dynamics 365 provides plenty of scope for data migration when you work with the right team. You can move all kinds of data to the new system, including legacy data from old programs while staying compliant with data governance legislation during the process. Use legacy data for future sales and marketing campaigns and get more value from your data. You can also move new data to Dynamics 365 for valuable customer intelligence that grows your business.

Why Don’t Some Companies Use a Migration Partner?

Some companies prefer to “do it alone” because they fear the cost of working with a migration partner. However, migrating to a CRM system like Dynamics 365 CRM has to be done the right way. When migration fails, it has an enormous impact on the entire organization, regardless of its size. Dynamic Consultants Group has managed hundreds of CRM implementations for businesses like yours. As a Microsoft partner and global leader, we provide custom solutions for your team during and after migration, helping you save costs and protect data in your organization as you move to a new system like Dynamics 365.

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