Moving your business data from one system to another can be very challenging. The risk of errors and not selecting the right data is high, as well as the time it takes to follow through with the process. The scope of the challenge depends on what data is migrated and how the new system will interpret it.
We've put together this checklist for migrating CRM data to minimise risk and set you up for success.
- Identify the team that will be tasked with the migration
CRM migration is usually technically complex, so it's important you select the right team with expertise that can support you. This will reduce the risk of blindspots as they can assess the scope from different points of view. Select this team carefully, as those without the right experience will increase the risk of errors or slow down the project as you collate viewpoints.
- Examine the existing and new CRM system
The scope of the challenge is often defined by the differences between the systems. If the new system is a new version from the same vendor, you will likely discover many of the data tables can stay the same. Moving your CRM to a completely new vendor will be more difficult. CRM's usually approach data tables differently. For instance, a contact record could be held inside an account table rather than a separate entity, but the new system has these split. Therefore its not just a case of identifying the data to migrate but understanding how it will need to be rearranged for the new system to recognise it.
- Identify the right tools
Data migration tools can make your life much easier. You can save significant time by setting up automation processes for moving data. Some CRMs vendors have their own native tools, which work great for systems that are similar in structure, however they'll often fall down when the differences are large when the vendors are different. For this scenario, specialist third-party tools such as Pentaho or Talend Open Studio.
- Cleanse dirty data
Keeping duplicated data or records you don't need anymore can be negative for your business, it can slow the system down, or inaccurate information can lead to poor actions. Before migrating to the new system, this would be a good opportunity to clean up the system by reviewing what needs to be kept.
- Setup migration tests
Selecting a data sample to be migrated to the new system can be extremely informative in discovering if you are on the right track. It allows you to go back and forth through trial and error to find out what needs to be fixed before a full data migration occurs.
- Pause active processes during migration
If are closing in on the stage to migrate all your data to the new CRM, ensure you pause background processes as this can interfere with the copying of data. We would also advise migrating data during out-of-work hours as information is less likely to be changed by a user during this time which may not carry over to the new system.
- Continue to test post migration
If you have just completed the bulk of your migration, you might be tempted to inform the business and bring people over to start using it. However, we would advise you to thoroughly test the system and task your migration team to support you in testing. They'll be able to find issues you may have overlooked or not understood that will need rectifying before you go live.
If you are going through your own migration process but require external expertise, Serversys can support you. We have performed many CRM data migrations in the past for many complex projects and different industries.