Data Migration

Whether switching from an existing CRM / Customer Support application or merging the data from a corporate restructure, preparing to merge your data requires significant attention.

Who are the key people with the business and application experience to undertake this? Which entities from the legacy system will be carried forward? Will all historic data be included or only active customers, contacts, products, and related items? How do the entities map? What are the dependencies among these data sets? How will duplicate data be identified and rectified? How are we going to move all of those attachments? What’s going to happen to data that is edited while the migration is underway?

When faced with the need to migrate data from a legacy system into Salesforce, the typical solution is to perform this process:

  1. Extract data from the legacy system in CSV format.
  2. Edit the data as necessary, possibly recreating relationships using Microsoft Excel “vlookup” functions to patch in existing Salesforce IDs
  3. Upload the CSVs using Salesforce’s Data Loader product, mapping columns into existing Salesforce fields as necessary.

Unfortunately, using Excel and this approach for all but the simplest data (think “Marketing Event Leads”) is doomed to failure.

Goativity has done this successfully many times. We:

  • Gain proficiency in the legacy source system to understand the data, how it is represented, and how users currently interact with it. This involves working with the current data owners if possible.
  • Create a comprehensive data plan to make sure that nothing useful is lost but also that legacy data/identifiers never become obstacles to users in the new system.
  • Customize the product UI for internal users of the merged data and optionally external customers/partners in a Salesforce portal (Community Site)
  • Create a Data Migration Process that will rigorously move all of the data predictably and perfectly – usually within a weekend!

Check out our “Characteristics of a good Data Migration” page to see what we consider mandatory in these engagements .

Contact us to find out more about how we do this!