This is a new short series of articles that explore the options available to a partner when moving a customer from an existing CRM or contact management system to Sage CRM on-premise.

When a Sage partner recommends a new accounting system to a customer that customer may well have an existing contact management system or a point solution for customer service or marketing.

If the accounting system and CRM system are not brought together then the customer may struggle to address key business process needs where the customer life-cycle crosses the front-to-back-office divide. This can often result in departmental silos of information, administrative overhead and inefficiencies and verbal sign-off requirements/process duplication.

Sage CRM integrates with a very wide range of Sage accounting products around the world. Most of the integrations are with what Sage calls the "200cloud franchise" products. These are Sage 100cloud, Sage 200cloud or Sage 300cloud. But there are other partner-enabled integrations with products like Sage 50 and Sage X3.

The features of Sage CRM, when integrated with information from the backend accounting system, can quickly become essential whether you are focussed on the management and operation of the business as a whole or a particular function such as Sales, Marketing or Customer Service.

This need for the integration to harness business processes, and the ability to manage customer relationships more effectively, reduce costs, increase profitability are all-powerful drivers for the customer to adopt Sage CRM as a new or replacement CRM system.

Before going any further I need to be clear that it would be the customer and their partner that would be responsible for the migration of data from any previous CRM system. Depending on the product and the nature of what needs to be migrated from the old system this may be more or less difficult and there are 3rd party tools available to ease the job. These tools are often known as “load & transform” software and they can enable data to be transferred into a new installation of Sage CRM if required. And Sage CRM can either be deployed On-Premise or within a hosted environment.

So what do we need to consider if you have a customer using a legacy system who wants to move their data to Sage CRM? Below are the questions that the articles over the next few weeks will address.

Sage CRM 2019 R2: Migrating to Sage CRM

  1. Introduction
    • Starting to explore the options available to a partner when moving a customer from an existing CRM or contact management system to Sage CRM.
  2. What are the typical types of older system? What is the typical database size and complexity?
    • Partners should understand the size of the problem and the opportunity. Getting a sense of typical system can help with planning especially when they may be several customers that need to be migrated and it is desirable to standardise the approach.
  3. What are the options for extracting the data from a legacy CRM system?
    • This could range from a flat-file download to only API access.
  4. What do we need to migrate?
    • Any project needs to consider its scope with time and resources available. For the migration of legacy data to Sage CRM, we need to take quite a cold hard look at what needs to be brought across whether that is Business Data, Documents, Custom Entities and Business Rules.
  5. What are the data differences (structure, terminology etc) between the legacy system and a Sage CRM database?
    • We need to look at the differences in data structures and objects to understand the work that needs to be carried out to all the migration to succeed.
  6. How will we maintain data integrity?
    • How will you maintain the integrity of data especially referential integrity as the data moves from one database to another? We want to be able to ensure that all communications, opportunities, notes etc all remain the children of the correct company and person entities and that no orphaned or widowed records are created.

  7. What 3rd Party options and partner expertise is available?
    • This last article will look at the different migration tools and services that are available within the partner community.