Migrating from SalesForce.com to Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Written By: Eric Gjerdevig

from May 25, 2012

There are a lot of considerations for existing Salesforce.com customers when considering a move to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  The largest barrier in switching is data migration.  There is a lot more to a data migration than simply exporting data from Salesforce.com and importing it into Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Let’s take a look at some things to review and consider. 

The Personalized Account Review is a monthly email sent to Salesforce.com administrators. This can help create a data migration plan based on the data in the Review.  Additionally, evaluating the core CRM functionssales, service, and marketingis a relatively straightforward exercise. Many of the standard fields in Salesforce.com map directly to Microsoft Dynamics CRM (the terminology and built-in processes are similar).

It is relatively easy to export standard and custom fields from Salesforce.com into reports and files. Another option is the Salesforce.com APEX Data Loader tool. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has provided import maps to handle a few different Salesforce.com export scenarios that can streamline the data migration process but these do not handle Salesforce.com custom objects or fields. Those maps need to be configured separately.

The number of customizations is another measure that can help understand the complexity involved in the data migration. Review the customizations to determine which Salesforce.com custom fields, if any, map to Microsoft Dynamics CRM standard fields. An example is with the Account object.  Administrators can go to Setup > App Setup > Customize > Accounts > Fields and scroll down to Custom Fields & Relationships.  This provides the custom fields added to the accounts object. 

Another important area of review is whether any custom fields apply to more than one page layout for a given object. For example, you could have an Opportunity page layout for selling services and a different Opportunity page layout for selling products. Each page layout can contain similar fields and unique fields. Page layouts are not provided by the Personalized Account Review. Thus, they should be evaluated carefully to determine the number of forms to be set up in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Finally, a careful review of any custom application development in Salesforce.com is vital.  This usually indicates a high level of complexity. The application could have been built declaratively with standard Salesforce.com tools, coded in Apex or Visualforce (Salesforce.com proprietary development tools), or it was installed from the AppExchange as a package of custom applications, fields, and objects. Custom applications are typically created for industry or company specific purposes and require additional considerations for data migrations. These applications will likely need to be developed in Microsoft Dynamics CRM to accommodate the migration of data.

Two final areas of consideration are the existing usage of mobile devices and chatter.  Salesforce.com provides solutions for the iPhone, Blackberry, Android, and other devices. This can present a challenge if the same functionality isn’t provided in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The Salesforce.com Mobile Administration Console is used to set up and manage mobile configurations. Go to Setup > Administration Setup > Salesforce Mobile > Configurations and select one of the configurations to evaluate what features are used. Chatter could be a significant barrier to a company switching if not considered as part of the data migration analysis. Microsoft Office 365 also offers a full cloud communication and collaboration suite in addition to numerous partner offerings that can meet this need.

Contact your local Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner for help in migrating from Salesforce.com.