The 2019 InaPlex Migration Planning Guide steps through key processes for moving to a new CRM system. Areas covered include Preparation, Data Discovery, Common Problems, Project Structure, Migration Set-up, Testing and Live.
Transferring client details to a new system can be daunting depending on the complexity, volume and quality of data being transferred, and the degree to which data structures differ. A clear and methodical approach to the migration helps identify and circumvent potential problems, and is conducive to a fast, successful and cost-efficient CRM move.
Today, more than ever, a wide range of complex business challenges drive the need to unify information and make it readily available. This, in turn, impacts what is needed from your integration engine.
Selecting a data transfer systems involves identifying and quantifying strategic requirements (summarized in our Blog Post “Six Easy Steps to Identify Data Integration Needs”), and then matching them to integration options. As there are, however, literally hundreds of integration tools to choose from, this Post suggests ways to home in on the types of integration systems that are likely to meet your business imperatives.
The first step is to look at the various categories of integration solutions. There are many ways to sort different systems – for instance ETL versus EAI versus data visualization – however small to medium sized companies, which make up around 99% of businesses and up to half of private sector employment (in the US, at least), can benefit from a more pragmatic sorting, as suggested in the table below.
Select the Category that Best Fits Your Needs
Once you have identified categories and their key attributes, match these to the list of “must-haves” identified from a review of your business requirements. It is best to keep to high-level objectives at this point, as demonstrated in the example below:
The trap to avoid is simplifying needs. For instance, where development time needs to be short, the project is a one-off, or performance monitoring is not important, point and click solutions can be a great bet. On the other hand, if the project is a work in progress and requirements could change suddenly, or if volumes are expected to increase significantly, a point and click may be a bad choice. In other words, don’t be short-sighted. Look beyond the immediate requirements to avoid wasting time and money on an inappropriate approach.
An expansive view is also helpful when reviewing pricing options. Across and within all categories, there can be large differences between initial and ongoing fees. For instance, adding users, increasing volumes and building in more automations/jobs (a complex project can have thousands of these), can all lead to a dramatic increase in cost. As an illustration, the graph below shows how some typical pricing models are related to volume increases.
Too much, too little, or just right?
There are two big problems when selecting an integration approach. The first is to take the process too seriously, the second is not taking it seriously enough. In other words, the evaluation process can become bogged down in detail, or not look beyond the immediate project requirements. These are easy traps to fall into given today’s data complexity and the allure of “quick-fix” tools, however keeping sight of key business desiderata, and making sure these are met, will help identify the integration approaches needed. Done correctly, the final match of requirements against options will result in an approach that helps springboard your company to ongoing success.
Choosing the best integration solution for your company has never been tougher.
Which is surprising, right?
After all, with the plethora of integration tools available today, in some ways it has never been easier to move data around. The sheer range of options, however, is overwhelming, especially as huge differences between systems can make direct comparisons difficult, and what works for one integration project may not work for another.
Yet today, more than ever, being abreast of the digital curve is imperative, and integration is key to this. As Massimo Pezzini, Gartner, recently noted:
“Through 2020, integration work will account for 50% of the time and cost of building a digital platform.”
Given the importance of integration, selecting the wrong solution is expensive in all respects: cost, lost time, and missed opportunities. Clearly, it’s important to make a good choice, especially for critical business opportunities.
Following is a summary of six key areas that impact data transfer today.
With so much to consider, data integration is no longer the realm of simply shuffling data around. Rather, it needs to be viewed as a means of supporting the delivery of highly competitive applications in the context of business processes and data flow. The following table presents ways of managing the complexity associated with today’s business and market demands.
Choosing an integration approach, whether for a specific project or a companywide standard, will be most successful when the entire data requirement – from client need to delivery mechanism to environments – is understood and agreed. Only then should the selection process begin.
Next week’s post will look at three categories of integration solutions and will suggest ways to match them to the identified business need.
InaPlex specializes in data integration and CRM migration services and solutions, with a focus on difficult, niche projects. Our licenses are in use throughout the world and our International Services Team provides implementation and app development. Contact us today for a free presentation, or to chat through your tech needs with one of our consultants.
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