This is the eighth article within a short series that explores the options available to a partner when moving a customer from Sage CRM Cloud edition (sagecrm.com) to Sage CRM on premise.

The last article provided a summary of a practical procedure to migrate data.

In this article, I want to consider the deployment possibilities for Sage CRM on-premise edition. Sage CRM has a web-based architecture that gives customers the freedom and flexibility to choose what is best for their business. And this may be on-premise, a private cloud implementation, on a public cloud offering or a hybrid implementation.

'Cost' is not the only factor that decides what is best for a business as applications and services need to be run where they’re most effective.

The size of a business, and whether it is focussed on a local, international or global market or its need to integrate with other systems will influence the deployment choices. Other questions that may be relevant are

  • Is it better for the business to have a one-time investment?
  • Is the preference for the business to pay monthly for the services it needs?
  • What level of management and control does a business want over all your data?
  • Is the preference for the business to have dedicated IT staff to provide support, or would the business rather outsource all this to an external provider?
  • What is more important to a business data security or data accessibility?

Moving away from Public Cloud

With the end of life announced for SageCRM.com we are moving away from a public cloud service. A SageCRM.com customer was previously used to Sage assuming all the responsibilities associated with maintaining the infrastructure and the service stability. Sage carried out the system-wide backups and had a disaster recovery plan and looked after the updates of the Software. It was certainly true that SageCRM.com required customers to be responsible for their application level security but Sage was accountable for physical security and enforcing the external firewall policies.

Destination Implementations

On-Premise

When Sage CRM is implemented on-premise, it means that everything needs to be implemented within a customers physical control.
A typical on-premise implementation involves thinking about the required hardware, the infrastructure and the software need to be financed (although this may be via subscription). Sage CRM would need to be installed and run on servers and machines that are controlled in-house and are managed by an internal IT team.

Implementing Sage CRM in-house has both pros and cons. A major plus is that the customer will be in charge of everything. This is both the data and the applications. If there is a need to highly customise or modify the Sage CRM this can be easily done whenever the customer wants, to suit their business needs.

But the customer would need to understand that they are responsible for the recurring maintenance and support costs and that they own the job of keeping the system up and running and secure.

For certain industries, such as the financial and healthcare industries that deal with customer sensitive information and have strict regulations on where the data is stored and managed, on-premise can be the only option.

Private Cloud

A private cloud implementation of Sage CRM is an 'off-premise' deployment via a private cloud infrastructure provider or managed service provider. Typically this is a single tenant environment, in which computing resources are rented by a customer for their sole use although virtual private clouds (VPC) provide an exception to this rule.

Within a private cloud implementation the customer would need to purchase (or subscribe to) the Sage CRM licenses but without the upfront infrastructure and hardware costs.

A traditional private cloud hosting will be proprietary, customised infrastructure that will either be outsourced to a data centre or be built on the premises of the company offering the managed services and then linked to the customers own private network.

VPCs tend to be less expensive than private cloud implementations because they can be created within a multi-tenant public cloud environment shared by various users. The public cloud offering is for the operating system and underpinning software. The desired separation of a system here is achieved not by physical separation of hardware, but by a network-based separation granted with private subnets.

The use of a private cloud or VPC implementation allows a customer to start with a low initial investment and still get all the functionality of Sage CRM then later expand or change capacity the needs of the business changes. And contracts will allow management of the costs through annual or monthly hosting and licensing fee.

Private cloud implementations of Sage CRM can offer a faster deployment, in comparison to on-premise, hosted implementations because service providers will typically have a range of prebuilt server environments that match the requirements of the CRM software.

A private cloud implementation should give customers the flexibility and control over the customisation and upgrading of their instance of Sage CRM. It may be the best option for small to medium-sized companies that don't have IT staff available in house or who want to free up resources. It can be a big attraction not to have to worry about hardware maintenance and support although the customer will still be responsible for handling upgrades of Sage CRM, patching of supporting software and ensuring that the underlying environment matches the requirements for Sage CRM.

Hybrid Cloud

Sage CRM is pretty well suited for use within a hybrid cloud computing environment. We can implement Sage CRM in a system that uses a mix of on-premises, private cloud and third-party, or public cloud services.

This is especially important when Sage CRM is integrating with systems like Sage Accounting software or systems like MailChimp.

In the final article, I will look at some of the 3rd Party options and partner expertise available to customers. I will consider the different migration tools and services that can be used.

Please do feel free to let me know of any that you think should be included in this last article.

Migrating a SageCRM.com database to an instance of Sage CRM 2018 R3

Links to all the articles in the series