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Data migration case study

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Data migration case study

Data migration from SalesForce system to MS CRM Online: risks and challenges

Data migration to a new CRM is certainly not child`s play. It does not matter, whether you are migrating from to Microsoft Dynamics CRM or from another system you will come across some obstacles with data. Transferring previous data into your new CRM often needs a good amount of effort and requires very detailed approach.

In this article we would like to consider one case with our regular client, who needed new data management platform, and asked us to transfer data to more convenient CRM. Previously they have used SalesForce CRM but this solution was too expensive and couldn`t provide all nessesary functionality for client`s data integration processes.

Process of project realization

Foremost the plan of realization was prepared. It was decided to employ a third-party product Scribe Online for data migration. Also it was came to a decision to use pre-made mappings of Scribe StarterPack for SalesForce into MS CRM Online. Further required customizations were made in MS CRM Online (custom entities, fields and option sets) and additional mappings were prepared for entities, that weren’t included into StartersPack. Afterwords, the forms for entities were created in MS CRM based on the forms from SalesForce CRM. Eventually data migration was performed successfully.


9 challenges encountered in developing workflow

During the work on the project a lot of problems were revealed and solved. For example:

  1. Lack of created users in the CRM system, all existing users had not enough rights and permissions or there were not enough licenses.

  2. Links to inactive or deleted records in SalesForce.

  3. Links to values removed from picklists.

  4. The records with the usage of standard mapping Starter Pack were duplicated.

  5. Incorrect data in some lookups was created.

  6. Adding new entities on client’s demand faced with inability to update deactivated records.

  7. Necessity to extend mappings for majority of pick list values (picklists/option sets)

  8. Incorrect estimated time required to complete some tasks.

  9. Unstable work of Scribe Online, excessive universality Scribe Starter Pack.


Problem solving approach

Following approaches were used for overcoming these obstacles:

  1. Necessary permissions and licenses for existing users were added. For absent users it was used User “by default”.

  2. The mappings of StartersPack were modified for avoiding possible errors.

  3. Modified existent lists directly in the CRM and expanded mappings.

  4. The duplicates were removed. Mapping was modified and additional search conditions of existing records were added. In some cases – data were re-imported.

  5. Modified mapping. Re-imported data.

  6. Added records statuses at the end of import. Re-imported data.

  7. The mappings were prepared in advance right after examining entity and its fields.

  8. To avoid this problem in future more careful analysis of the forthcoming work and the possible difficulties is required.

  9. The defects of StarterPack which made it work unstable were fixed.


Our tips to those who are working on similar tasks

  • Firstly, try to avoid Scribe Online if you have any alternatives .

  • Secondly, do not use pre-made mappings from StartersPack.

  • Thirdly, be careful with the work planning process.



Lessons learned from the dark side of data migration have been accepted by our team and we could resolve all problems and avoid possible risks in a course of data migration process. Thanks to the competence of our team within 1 month all data were successfully migrated from SalesForce CRM to MS CRM, saving client budget and what is more important – providing more convenient system to use.

About Dynamica Labs
Dynamica Labs is one of the oldest Dynamics CRM Partners and one of a very few companies with ISO 9001 Quality Management System certification for Dynamics CRM project delivery services.

For over 15 years we have been focused on 3 key CRM project goals: delivering measurable business results, following a cost-effective approach, providing the highest quality standards. Over the course of these years, we’ve taken part in hundreds of projects from SMEs to blue-chip global companies.

Igor Sarov