Top 5 Things to Consider when Migrating to Dynamics 365

Top 5 Things to Consider when Migrating to Dynamics 365

Commencing a new CRM implementation or migrating from an old one is known to be a potential risk for any organisation. However, with a well-planned implementation and experienced experts and consultants by your side, your organisation can be up-and-running, reaping the benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and never looking back.

Over the years we have finely honed our approach to Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementations to make them as smooth as possible; and we use Agile, Waterfall and hybrid methodologies to ensure the right implementation is available for the  client. While migrating to Dynamics 365 is not always straight-forward – the technology can be tricky and there are numerous decisions you will need to make along the way - these methodologies provide a framework for us to work within and peace of mind to our clients too.

While you engage with us, we will work together select your preferred methodology and the guiding principles to ensure the required discipline is in place for decision-making as the implementation project progresses.  Scope-creep is fully managed, and we provide complete visibility of process and budget.

At the outset, there are a number of areas in which we will seek clarity.  It’s worth thinking about these in advance of our initial discussions, to help you begin to define your priorities when considering migrating to Dynamics 365.

1. Know your goals

Knowing what success looks like to your organisation is imperative.  That’s why we seek to set clear goals at the outset.  We will look for answers to simple questions such as: why do you need Dynamics 365?  What improvements within your organisation are you trying to realise?  Is the priority about efficiency?  Is it to improve targeting for increased profitability?  Is it to give management better access to quality information to support better, faster decision-making? Clear goals and priorities are essential in getting your CRM implementation off to the best start.

2. Review your organisation’s processes

Preparing for a new CRM solution is the ideal time to review your organisation’s processes to refine them and help your people work smarter and serve customers better. 

You may find there are procedures which work in practice, but have never been documented.  You may find there are processes which have been in place for many years which your organisation has now outgrown.  You may even find that you require entirely new processes because of the way your products and services have evolved over the years. 

Get these processes mapped out from the outset to get the best from your implementation.

3. Plan how data will be handled

The value of your CRM solution will be dependent upon good quality data. Before we begin an implementation it’s wise to define exactly what you need from your data and where it is held within your organisation. 

Interrogate the data – and your teams – to understand how data can help your organisation grow.  For example, what customer information might help you retain their business?  What information do your sales and marketing teams need to share to speed up the acquisition process?

It’s important that useful data is centralised, not stored in silos across the organisation.

4. Don’t write off your legacy systems

Information is likely to come from many different sources across your organisation which means integration will need to be front of mind.  It likely that your legacy systems have served you well so you will need to review what you want to keep and what you want to discard or replace.  Define which systems provide information which is business critical: what data do you actually need and use? 

It’s important to identify areas where there is cross-over between your legacy systems and your new Dynamics 365 implementation.  When planning your migration to Dynamics 365, we will need to get under the skin of your legacy systems.

Over time, it’s beneficial to migrate away from your legacy systems entirely to take full advantage of the cloud benefits in the Dynamics 365 stack. However, lots of implementations start with one product within the stack and grow from there. It’s these cases when it’s critical to join up data and processes between your new Dynamics solution and your old legacy systems.

5. Mitigate the risks

Every major IT implementation carries some element of risk.  Our specialist team will identify where failures could occur so that we can take steps to mitigate the risks. This is where our 20 years of experience in CRM implementation truly comes to the fore, as organisations need to switch to Dynamics 365 whilst retaining business-as-usual for clients and staff.  Our rigorous implementation process ensures a smooth delivery to time, cost and quality, mitigating any risks as we proceed.

What to do next

We have helped hundreds of clients to successfully migrate to Microsoft Dynamics 365, and we can do the same for you.  We are happy to talk to you in more detail about any aspect of the implementation process and can design the right approach to suit your organisation’s needs.  Please get in touch to find out more.