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GoldMine to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Post I: Typical Migration Challenges

Migrating GoldMine to Microsoft Dynamics CRM: The Whole Story.

Migrating GoldMine to Microsoft Dynamics CRM (MS CRM) presents a range of challenges. This series of 4 blog posts shows how to go about overcoming the pain typically associated with GoldMine Migrations.

This first post is based on an interview with CRM Consultant, John Jenkins at Acts93, who has been implementing and advising on CRM solutions for over 16 years. We discuss with John common problems, solutions, and quick tips for ensuring a successful and comprehensive migration to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

GoldMine to MS CRM, Post I: Typical Migration Challenges

Migrating GoldMine to Microsoft Dynamics CRM (MS CRM) can be “tricky”, to say the least. This post looks at the challenges typically associated with a migration, and how they are overcome by an experienced CRM consultant, John Jenkins.

You’ve done so many migrations, can you do them in your sleep, now?

It’s true, I’ve done a lot of GoldMine to MS CRM migrations, and I’m really comfortable with the approach I need to take, the tools I like to use, and the types of problems that can raise their ugly heads. So, yes, it gets easier in many ways, but I wouldn’t say I could do them in my sleep. No matter how experienced you are, there are still things that can make a migration difficult – dirty GoldMine data, the number of GoldMine fields customized, as well as the amount of customization in MS CRM. These things change with every client, so it’s impossible to fully automate every single piece of the migration. So, even when you are very experienced, as I like to think I am, you can hit a migration that makes you think “Oh no, not again…”. It’s just the nature of CRM migrations.

What is the biggest challenge migrating from GoldMine to MS CRM?

I‘d have to say going from a contact-centric system (GoldMine) to a company-centric one (like MS CRM). It can be a huge headache if data is not consistent – which is more often than I’d like. For instance, if the Company name varies across contacts in GoldMine, even a little, then several different versions of the same company name will be setup in MS CRM unless you clean up the data before migrating. Fortunately, I use a tool that normalizes data to avoid duplications, and has a bunch of data cleansing functions, such as “fuzzy logic”. This saves a lot of time and maintains data integrity.

What about migrating user defined fields?

GoldMine fields Key 1 – Key 5 are often customized, so they vary with almost every migration. These fields need to be mapped, at least to some extent, manually. I tweak pre-set profiles to manage migration of user defined codes in GoldMine and this makes it a whole lot easier.

Do you always use tools with your CRM migrations?

Like many consultants, I really enjoy writing my own code – it makes me feel more in control of the project. But I have to admit that I wouldn’t tackle a migration without a “tool”. The job would simply be too messy, and even if I tried developing my own tools, keeping up with CRM versions would be a drag. Migration tools take a lot of the drudge work out of the migration process and also automate many complex pieces, letting me concentrate on tackling the customer specific aspects.

At the end of the day, my clients want the migration done quickly and cleanly, and using a migration engine is the best way of achieving this. It gives them the result they want, and lets me deliver it for a competitive rate – and without too many headaches.

How much time do migration tools really save you?

It all depends on the tool. Not all tools support every version of the CRM software, some only transfer limited types of information, and others don’t cater for user customizations. I always use Inaport for GoldMine migrations – in fact, all types of CRM migrations – because it provides a high degree of automation, and has excellent tools for dealing with any “non-standard” things that pop up.

What things are automated with the migration tool you use?

Inaport transfers pretty much everything – companies, contacts, additional contacts, notes, emails, attachments, linked documents, history, opportunities, drop-down lists….. it’s very comprehensive. Some areas, such as drop-down lists, need additional attention, but the functions in Inaport are great for refining and managing data transfer.

If you could give one bit of advice for a migration, what would it be?

The thing that gets me and everyone else unstuck in a GoldMine migration, in fact any migration, is that bit of information – quirky codes, incomplete fields, additional data sources, whatever – that the customer somehow forgot to identify in the project specs. It doesn’t matter whose “fault” it is, when a project drags out no one wins. Always be as thorough as you can be in the project specification stage and then go back and check again. That way, with the right tools and experience, the migration will go as planned and to budget, and everyone involved will be happy with the outcome.

Inaport, from InaPlex, delivers CRM integration and data migration solutions for leading CRM systems including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Sage CRM, Infor CRM (previously Saleslogix), Goldmine and ACT. It has a range of connectors and maps for quick results, and its straightforward approach provides a wealth of powerful functions. To learn more please book a free webinar, download a free 30 day evaluation license, or visit the InaPlex website.

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