All CRM solutions have different capabilities and benefits. Zoho CRM is ideal for certain projects because it is supported by multiple devices and uses automated customer management processes. Microsoft Dynamics is preferable for other applications because it has highly advanced reporting and filtering tools. You may find that your current CRM doesn’t meet your needs.
Essential Data Migration Practices
It may be prudent to migrate data from one CRM platform to another. Unfortunately, some of your data sets may not be compatible and you may encounter several challenges, such as data duplication, even if they use the same SQL structures.
Before migrating data, it's important to understand the technical nuances of both CRM platforms so you can take the necessary precautions. Here are some tips to migrate data properly.
1. Choose the Right Application for Your Database Size
There are several tools that you can use for data migration. Scribe is arguably the best for small databases. Unfortunately, you can't use it to migrate over 32 MB of data at a time.
SSIS is a better alternative for migrating larger data sets. Other sophisticated data migration tools will be needed as Hadoop and other Big Data tools lead to more scalable CRM data sets in the future.
2. Decide What Data Should Be Excluded From the Migration
Even if you're using SSIS, migrating large data sets can take a couple of weeks or more. It also increases the risk of data duplication issues, particularly if you didn't set enough space aside for some of your data sets.
The simplest solution is to eliminate unnecessary data. For example, you could consider limiting data migration to data based on its age.
3. Know What Type of Data You're Working With
Use a SQL analyzer or another data analysis tool to run aggregates before beginning any data migration. Here are some things that you'll need to pay attention to:
- Data sets without any values.
- Bit size of your data fields.
- Number of unique data values.
- Empty strings.
It will be a lot easier to migrate data when you know what types of data you're working with.
4. Merging and Deduplication
Duplicate data is a common problem with many legacy databases. You have a couple of options:
- Bulk merge and extract the source data.
- Deduplicate data if there are only a few duplicate fields.
Deduplication is an easier alternative that requires fewer data sets.
5. Staging Poorly Structured Data
CRM data is often stored in unstructured formats. It needs to be carefully cleaned up before it can be migrated with SSIS or any other data migration tool.
Data staging is the easiest way to address this problem. It should be used to simulate separated values and eliminate special characters (unless you need to retain them, of course).
Informatica is one of the best tools available. You can read more about it here.
Project Managers Must Plan the Data Migration Process Carefully
The preceding steps are applicable to SQL programmers and big data engineers. However, there are also factors that project managers must take into consideration.
Transferring data from one legacy CRM system to another is time- and resource-intensive. Because each CRM system encapsulates data differently, you will need to think it through carefully. Here are some complications you need to be aware of:
- Your current CRM may store certain information in a single text field. The other legacy system may contain the data in multiple fields.
- Your project manager may lack the SQL and big data competencies needed to oversee the migration.
- Migrating large data sets to a new CRM can take weeks. If you need to expedite the process, you’ll need to decide what data to prioritize. You may not be able to easily migrate other data in the future, so make the choice wisely.
- Many companies have new customers that are still being integrated into their CRM systems. They should also know how to build custom applicant tracking system, so those new leads don’t get lost in the migration.
It’s important to assign migration to a qualified data engineer. You must also give them a clear set of parameters that they must follow. They should also have the right CRM software to improve the business process.
CRM migration is a complex process. You need to prepare for a variety of factors, such as slow transfer speeds, duplication errors, and incompatible data types. Make sure you are prepared for these challenges before beginning the process.