Siebel to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, The Tale of Microsoft’s Own Migration

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Last week I sat in on the very interesting webinar “Microsoft Saves $10M in TCO by Implementing New CRM System” from their Meet The Experts series. In this webinar Connor Marsden (US Director of Microsoft Dynamics CRM), Charles Lasco (Solution Manager, MSFT IT) and Tameem Mohammed (Developer Lead for Sales Organization, MSFT IT) talked about the project of moving Microsoft off  Siebel and migrating to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

This was no small task since Microsoft was one of the top five installations of Siebel worldwide. They used Siebel to manage over 10,000 sellers, over 30,000 managed partners, in 100 countries, and over 120,000 managed customers. Microsoft had a very diverse network of audiences, sales and marketing data streams. They had thousands of opportunities and leads to manage that were generated through an extensive marketing function.

One of the interesting things they talked about during the webinar was that there was both a user perspective and a business perspective to be considered in this Microsoft Dynamics CRM from Siebel to CRM migration.  They explained that you need to show clear value and you have to have an agreement on what that value will be throughout the business. So the first step they took in the project was to work not only with IT but also with the business stake holders and product groups at Microsoft to define the project’s success factors and measures.

The first success factor they decided upon was value realization from a productivity standpoint.  “How much time could we give back to the seller on a weekly basis?” explained Charles Lasco. “User satisfaction became another measure because the reality is that unless you have a very stringent organization control, you can't really force people to enter data into a system like this. Or, if you do force them, you are going to get the bare minimum. Satisfaction is the key.” 

The third success factor was predictive deployment plans that can be established and executed. “Time to deployment, like how many users by when,” explained Charles Lasco. Setting these three goals made it easier to ensure everyone was on the same page.

Another very interesting thing they talked about during the webinar is that they changed the way Microsoft IT worked on these types of projects. “Historically IT has been very tech focused,” explains Charles Lasco. “We build the technology, we deploy it, and we make sure it gets delivered. That is how we kind of looked at things.” With this project they took a different approach and they actually brought in some different talent from different parts of the organization that they didn’t traditionally have involved.

They focused on four key areas. “We had user centric design, which meant we really focused on what our users are going to find valuable in this tool,” explains Charles Lasco. They also looked at change management. “Change management as it relates to both the organization and individuals are key.” They also paid particular attention to design for data quality because these types of systems really have a tendency toward propagating bad data. “We focused on how we can clean the garage before we moved and get rid of the garbage which we didn’t need and then put road blocks in place to stop more garbage from coming into our system so it doesn’t become garbage in, garbage out and a storehouse for bad data.”

Finally they looked at a phased execution plan. “What we didn’t do was go into a dark room for three years and come out with a system at the end. That is the inclination of a lot of IT shops including Microsoft to do something like that, to come out with a big bag approach. We focused on small bits at a time and short delivery cycles so we can prove that what we were doing worked, make quick adjustments, and then deliver the next phase,” explained Charles Lasco. At Microsoft the biggest win area for them was opportunity management, so they started their with a couple beta groups and then they tackled contact management through a phased approach.

If you are interested in listening to the whole recorded webcast, please visit:

I don’t want to imply that we, The TM Group, helped Microsoft with this huge migration, but I thought anyone planning to do a CRM implementation could benefit from the interesting approach and lessons learned from this huge migration. If you would like to learn more about how The TM Group can help your business implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM, please visit On our website you’ll learn about The TM Group’s 29 years of experience and hundreds of successful implementations of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, and Microsoft Dynamics NAV as well as Microsoft SharePoint and our custom development and integration services.  Call us today at 888.482.2864 for more information.

by The TM Group Inc.

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