Do you need to move your CRM or migrate from an old version? Dynamics CRM is a great product but if you are running an on-premises version, keeping up with the updates can be a challenge. Every year another update rolls out, which is a great thing for online customers, who get the updates applied automatically. For on-premises customers, it requires a manual upgrade. There are a couple different types of migrations, on-premises version upgrade, or on-premises to Cloud upgrade.
Reasons that come up regularly:
- Moving to a the most recent version from an older version
- Moving from an on-premises to an online hosted version
- Combining two or more CRMs
- Moving to a different online tenant/org
For a client needing to move from on-premises to online, this can be a challenge, as there is not an easy method to do this. Microsoft claims it can be done but you need to be on the latest version of CRM already and there are several other requirements that may cause this to not be possible. For multiple clients we have moved the data using the CRM web APIs and a custom script. This way we could tailor exactly what got migrated and correct any data on the way over. We have also rebuilt customizations and reworked them for the new CRM version.
For clients combining CRMs or moving data from one CRM to another (perhaps an old CRM to a new version of CRM) will require moving data between systems. You can use the built-in Excel imports for the base data (customers, contacts, etc), but it does have some limitations, like not being able to move emails, or notes, or file attachments. We have built data imports using the CRM web APIs and custom scripts instead. There is a lot more control of the data with a custom script. The scripts can make sure that even if there are customers with duplicate names that the customer’s records are all assigned accurately. Excel imports are great if its base data but get too difficult as the number of related records increases. During the setup of the new CRM we have helped rebuild and update the customizations that were in use including workflows, plugins, edit screens, views, and more. See this blog post which describes it in more detail: Consideration when Migrating from On-Premise to Online
For a client moving a CRM from one online tenant/org to another there is a way to have Microsoft move the instance for you. There needs to be testing and possibly some cleanup work done. We have worked through this with one client and it went smoothly.
We encourage clients to strongly consider moving to the cloud if they have an on-premises deployment of CRM. The Cloud option offers many new enhancements and integration options, and upgrades are no longer required.
If you are considering any of these moves for your CRM, please reach out to us for assistance, we have encountered all of these scenarios.