The Journey to the Cloud Can be Bumpy – What to Watch for When Migrating MS Dynamics 365 CRM to the Cloud

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Unless you’ve been stranded on a desert island, you know that companies are moving to the cloud in droves. Experts like Forrester see the cloud infrastructure market growing 35% from 2020 to 2021, reaching $120 billion by the end of this year. If you haven’t already migrated your Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM to the cloud, you probably will soon.

Given all the advantages of migrating Dynamics 365 to the cloud, it’s typically one of the top cloud migrations on everyone’s list. But, the journey to the cloud can include a bumpy ride unless you know how to avoid the obstacles you could run into along the way. Here are some of the most critical issues to address before you start your journey.

1. Start with a Plan

Like any project, you need to develop a migration plan. There are many steps in the process, and a well thought out plan will help you to avoid frustration, confusion, cost overruns, and irritated users.

In addition, a company’s CRM is used by people at all levels for a variety of mission-critical tasks. Making a major change to a CRM like a migration can be extremely disruptive if it doesn’t go smoothly. Make sure that you work with all stakeholders so that you can address everyone’s concerns.

2. Put Your Data in Order

This is an opportunity for some “spring cleaning” when you can do things like removing inactive records and resolving duplications. It will take time, but it will give your new cloud CRM the chance to start fresh with accurate data.

3. Calculate Your Storage Requirements

One of the biggest mistakes you can make on migration is underestimating the amount of storage you need. It results in cost and time overruns, and it’s defeating when you need to add a step in the middle of the migration process. Calculate the data storage requirements and confirm that you have enough storage to complete the migration in one step.

4. Identify Customizations

Find out if there are any customizations you need to consider. You can map the customizations and upload them to the cloud. Just make sure to test them before migrating the data and note any changes that were made.

5. Set Up Active Users

There’s nothing worse than migrating a CRM and losing some of the active users. When that happens, users who diligently created and updated profiles for prospects and clients can’t locate all their hard work. Make sure that you set up user accounts accurately, but feel free to eliminate accounts that aren’t active. Just recognize that you or the stakeholders will need to reassign any orphaned profiles. Also, make sure to set up new users with the exact names that were used in the original installation.

6. Determine How to Handle Historical Data Related to Inactive Users

If you end up with inactive users in the system after the migration, don’t be alarmed because it can happen regardless of how diligent you are. If Microsoft Dynamics 365 can’t match the user in the online version of the software, the records will be sent to the admin account. It’s a good idea to assign a temporary system admin role to all users to make it easy to make adjustments during the migration.

7. Backup Your Original Servers

You may think this tip goes without saying, but if this step isn’t part of your plan, it can be easy to overlook it in the flurry of activity.

8. Check the Migration Before Going Live

Test the migrated system before you launch. Now is the time to get users involved to confirm the accuracy of the cloud system, ensure that all the fields match between the on-premises and online versions, and make sure that the workflows are working well.

9. Establish Migration Phases

It’s often a good idea to complete the migration in at least two phases. The first phase migrates to the cloud while users are working in the on-premises system. You can have your end-users verify the migration in a separate system from the one they normally use.

You then complete the second phase while all users are inactive. During that time, you can migrate any information that has changed since the first move. The advantage is that you can minimize user downtime and complete the final migration very quickly.

Before undertaking a critical process like migrating Dynamics CRM to the cloud, most businesses consider whether they’d get better results if they worked with a partner like Datavail. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we’re experts in all things Microsoft, including Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Azure.

Datavail can help you ensure that your Dynamics 365 CRM migration goes smoothly without interrupting any of your critical business operations. Our large team of experts has assisted hundreds of clients with complicated Microsoft application migrations to the cloud. To ensure that your journey to the cloud goes without a hitch, contact a Dynamics 365 expert.

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