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Tech Insights 4 min read

How to prepare your company for a migration to Dynamics 365: An essential guide

Data migration is essential to a well maintained CRM or ERP. You need to constantly improve your solution and keep up with the new software and features if you want to benefit the most from them. So data migration is a big part of your journey to a new and improved CRM or ERP solution. There’s no way around

that.However, it can be a pretty stressful and difficult process if you are not well prepared for it, because, well, data is essential. But no worries, we’ve written a guide for you that will help you prepare yourself and your team for the imminent data migration.

Since it’s a complex process, we also highly recommend being supported by a team of experts.

First, it’s all about preparation

As the title says, the data migration strategy from any CRM to Dynamics 365 requires a lot of preparation. Even though it might seem like an easy task, migrating data from one CRM to another is a lengthy and sometimes costly process.

So the best thing you can do for your organizations is to help them prepare for it. It’ll make the whole process much easier for everybody, especially if your company has already gone through a similar, migration within the past couple of years.

We all know that it can seem a bit intense to ask for frequent migrations, but we also know very well how your company could lose valuable new features, have security issues, and miss the boat if they wait too long. So the perfect preparation is to answer all the questions your team might have, and most importantly, to provide solid proof of the numerous benefits of choosing the migration.

Aside from the preparation with your team, there are a number of things you can do with your Dynamics reseller and their team to technically prepare everybody for the big data migration.

Data Migration 101, the second step: Select the new platform and its features

Obviously, you need to choose the new features of your Dynamics 365. Depending on what your requirements, goals, and demands are, you’ll have different options to choose from. In a CRM or an ERP plan, or both, there’s a lot to evaluate. This is why you’ll have to clarify what are the struggles and ambitions of your company are. Conduct a thorough inspection of every option, and you should find the perfect solution in an instant.

Data Migration 101, the third step: Prepare users

This one is a big one. Like preparing your team for the migration, it’s as important to prepare the end users for the new platform. Because their capacity and willingness to adopt the new CRM or ERP will change everything.

So once the new platform is chosen, you will need to inform, train, involve, and warn the end users about what’s coming up in the next few months, what they should expect, and how it’ll work with the new platform. Take your time, this is an important step.

Data Migration 101, the fourth step: Clean up and organize

Well, the most important thing in a migration is the data. You don’t want to lose it, break it, and certainly not mess it up.

So with your Dynamics reseller, you need to learn the structure of their database and define what’s vital, what’s important, and what can ben cleaned up. This is also a great opportunity to create some rules about data management with your team. So you can organize your data in a logical way that makes sense for everybody.

Data Migration 101, the fifth step: Identify and map your data

Part of the last point is also knowing your data. So, in order to create a successful and stress free data migration strategy, you’ll need to identify the modules you want in your new CRM. It’s also important to analyze how your new CRM or ERP works with data. Map your data in your old solution; it’ll help you find your way in the new features and custom modules of your new solution.

Data Migration 101, the sixth step: Setting up the new CRM

A lot of people think that setting up data migration and system customization are two different things, done by two different teams at two different moments. But in an ideal world, it’s the same team that handles both since they’re inextricably connected. There is no way around that: the system needs to be personalized with the destination location of important legacy data in mind.

Data Migration 101, the seventh step: Test, test, test…

It’s so crucial to test your data migration strategy before the big day because, if we need to repeat it, this is vital information to your company and without them, you cannot function. So, if something completely unexpected were to happen, it would be preferable that it happen in a controlled situation where you can work out the bugs, double check that everything is there, and verify with your team that the results are what they expected.

Take advantage of a free trial and choose a sizable data sample to really test your data migration strategy.

Data Migration 101, the eighth step: Schedule the big data migration

After all this thorough preparation, you and your team should be ready for the big data move. Now that everybody knows what to expect, and you have worked out the problems, it’s time to pick a transferring date for the completion of the data migration.

As you can see, migrating to a new CRM or ERP platform can be really demanding, and if you want to prepare your team well, first you need to be prepared. From choosing a platform to understanding the data map, it’s ultimately all about knowing your company and its reality. This is why Gestisoft spends time with you and your team to not only work out the technical issues, but also to create software that will really suit you. Because it’s a big investment, but also because CRM and ERP software can ensure your future.

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August 30, 2018 by Frédéric Charest VP of Marketing

Data-driven Growth Marketer with a Passion for SEO - Driving Results through Analytics and Optimization