Considerations When Migrating Dynamics CRM from On-Premises to the Cloud

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A user stretches out their hand to touch a button to upgrade software components.

Migrating from an on-premises Dynamics CRM system to Dynamics 365 in the cloud involves several considerations that can impact the success of the transition. It includes upgrading to more modern software as well as moving data and operations from local servers to a managed cloud environment. This can offer numerous advantages in terms of scalability, accessibility, and integration with other cloud services.

Let’s take a look at the key aspects you need to consider. We’ll also discuss why upgrading might be beneficial and how to effectively prepare for the migration. You’ll also see why it’s important to partner with a trusted expert to guide you through this process.

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Why Upgrade from Dynamics CRM On-Premises to Dynamics 365?

Upgrading from Dynamics CRM to Dynamics 365 brings significant benefits that can transform how a business manages customer relationships and internal processes. One of the primary reasons for making this shift is to take advantage of the cloud-based features of Dynamics 365, which are designed to enhance productivity, efficiency, and user experience. Here are some key advantages:

  • Continuous Updates and Support: Dynamics 365 users receive all the updates and enhancements coming from Microsoft, bringing you the latest features, security patches, and compliance measures automatically. This contrasts with the older, on-premises CRM, where upgrades are deployed manually, and support is ceased unless you’re on an extended support plan with Microsoft or your implementation partner.
  • Advanced Features: Dynamics 365 offers advanced analytics tools, artificial intelligence capabilities, and more robust automation features (such as Power Automate). These tools help organizations better understand customer needs, predict trends, and streamline operations.

Moreover, moving to Dynamics 365 can significantly reduce IT overhead related to maintaining server infrastructure, as Microsoft takes on the responsibility for hardware, software, and network security in the cloud environment. This shift not only reduces the physical footprint of IT resources but also enhances the scalability of IT services, allowing businesses to seamlessly adjust resources based on demand. Here are additional reasons why the upgrade is worthwhile:

  • Improved Accessibility and Mobility: With Dynamics 365, users can access their CRM tools from anywhere, on any device, provided they have internet access. This mobility is invaluable for organizations with remote or traveling employees, improving productivity and collaboration.
  • Integration with Other Microsoft Services: Dynamics 365 integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft products like Office 365, Outlook, and SharePoint, providing a unified experience that boosts productivity and efficiency.

How to Prepare for the Migration from Dynamics CRM On-Premises to Dynamics 365 Sales

Understanding your upgrade options is the first step in the migration process. Dynamics 365 can be implemented with different approaches, each catering to different business needs and existing setups:

  • CRM Out-of-the-Box: Ideal for businesses looking for a quick transition with minimal customization, leveraging the core functionalities of Dynamics 365.
  • Fresh Look: Suitable for organizations willing to rethink their CRM strategy and streamline their processes by eliminating unnecessary customizations.
  • Lift and Shift: This approach involves migrating existing CRM functionalities “as is” to the cloud, suitable for those who want their new solution to closely mirror the functionality and processes of their legacy system.
  • Lift and Shift with Enhancements: Combines the ‘Lift and Shift’ approach with selective enhancements or additions to improve the CRM’s functionality.

Next, you’ll want to take the time to form an action plan to ensure all important functionality is preserved, data is cleaned and migrated, and the new system is prepared for use. Here are a few important areas to consider:

Assess Your Current System

Before migrating, it’s crucial to thoroughly assess your existing CRM setup. This includes reviewing all customizations, integrations, and data to determine what needs to be moved and what might be deprecated. Understanding the complexities of your current system will help in planning an effective migration strategy that minimizes downtime and ensures no critical data is lost.

Plan for Data Migration

Data migration is a critical aspect of moving to the cloud. It’s important to ensure that all data is backed up and securely transferred to the new system. Consider using migration tools or services that can help automate the process, reduce errors, and ensure data integrity is maintained throughout the transfer.

Test Everything Before Going Live

Before fully switching to the new system, conduct comprehensive testing to ensure everything works as expected. This includes testing all features, data integrity, and performance benchmarks. It’s also wise to train your team on the new system during this phase to smooth the transition and reduce productivity loss.

By thoroughly preparing in these areas, businesses can ensure a successful migration to Dynamics 365, minimizing potential disruptions and maximizing the new system’s benefits.

Get Expert Guidance from a Partner You Can Trust

Migrating to a cloud-based system can be complex, particularly for businesses with extensive customizations or large volumes of data. Partnering with an experienced Dynamics 365 provider like Western Computer can greatly facilitate this process. We offer:

  • Expertise in Dynamics CRM and Dynamics 365 solutions, ensuring a smooth transition.
  • Support before, during, and after the migration to address any challenges that arise and to help maximize the new system’s potential.

Ready to dive deeper into the benefits and processes of migrating from Dynamics CRM to Dynamics 365? Don’t miss out on valuable insights that can transform your business operations and customer relationship management.

Watch our full webinar to gain expert knowledge and practical tips directly from seasoned professionals.

 

By Western Computer | www.westerncomputer.com

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