10 Mistakes to Avoid When Moving from Other CRM Solutions to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE

Do you want to ensure your move to Dynamics 365 CE is successful? Learn about 10 transition mistakes to avoid.

Jason Wietharn

Practice Director, Customer Engagement

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Table of Content

    There are many good reasons to move from another CRM solution to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (we outline eight of them in this article). Whatever your reasons are to begin data integration, it makes sense to research the process before you begin to ensure you’ve thought of everything. It’s been said that intelligent people learn from other people’s mistakes. Since we know you’re smart, we thought you might appreciate hearing about 10 mistakes other companies have made during the migration to help you avoid repeating them.

    1. Insufficient planning

    We intuitively understand the importance of careful planning on a project’s overall success. Nevertheless, we still see companies that approach the data integration from another solution to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE without a proper plan in place. Your Microsoft partner can help you prepare an implementation plan, including at least the following:

    • Who will be involved and what will be their role?
    • How will you handle data cleansing and data integration?
    • What’s the timeline?
    • Can we coordinate the go-live date with your current solution’s contract expiration date?
    • Milestones?
    • Goals for the transition?
    • What metrics do you want to capture and report on?
    • How will you handle training and testing?

    2. Not profiling and cleansing your data

    Think of it like a house move — you clean out your closets, drawer, and garage first to toss or donate items you no longer use.

    Cleansing and profiling your CRM data before a data integration is essential to the project’s long-term success. Unfamiliar with the term data profiling? It refers to reviewing source data, understanding its structure, content, and interrelationships. There’s no sense bringing outdated, duplicate, or poor-quality data along for the ride. We often hear about companies in a hurry to make the switch, that decide to migrate all their data in its current state with the plan to cleanse it later. We recommend you take the time before the migration. Ensuring you’re relocating clean, current, relevant data from to Microsoft is one of the most important elements of the switch, yet it’s one companies tend to minimize.

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    3. Failing to capitalize on the change to improve workflows

    Migrating CRM applications creates an ideal opportunity to optimize your sales, marketing, and service workflows. Often, we see companies looking to duplicate in the new application what they were doing in the old. Sometimes that’s the right approach. Other times it’s a missed opportunity for improvement. Use the move to analyze each workflow. Are there manual steps you’re performing outside your current solution? Can you automate those steps in Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE? Can some of your workflows be optimized by using new, powerful features in Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE — or through the native integration with other Microsoft applications?

    One of the biggest benefits companies realize when they migrate from other solutions to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE is seamless integration with other Microsoft solutions, including Teams, Power BI, and SharePoint.

    4. Not accounting for the misfits

    If you’ve added custom fields to your CRM solution, they may not have a direct home in Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE. In our experience, it’s not unusual for companies to have customized data fields and to not be aware that they are custom and not standard. If you fail to account for these misfits, they may get lost in the migration.

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    5. Failing to consider integrations

    CRM solutions may be integrated with third-party applications such as an ERP system. It’s crucial for companies switching to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE to consider all existing integrations and what may need to be accomplished to ensure continuity following the migration. Some of the integrations you have been using won’t work Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE. The good news is that Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE supports hundreds of out-of-the-box integrations and the solution’s open API simplifies other integrations.

    6. Assuming data migration is the same as data integration

    Sticking with our moving analogy, think of this like when you moved in with a roommate or partner. You have stuff, they have stuff, and you must combine it. If you simply pack up and move everything, that’s data migration. But do you really need two air fryers? And what about that big screen TV sitting in storage? Intelligently combining important stuff from two places is data integration.

    Assuming that data migration is the same as data integration is a common mistake we see companies make. Data migration involves moving data from one location to another. On the other hand, data integration is a more complex process involving combining data into one single view.

    While both data migration and data integration start by extracting data from the source and transferring it to a destination, data integration includes an interim step where the data is consolidated into one single data set before being transferred to the desired destination.

    The other data may come from third-party applications, spreadsheets, or stand-alone databases. If a company plans for a data migration — and not data integration — they may underestimate the complexity, time, and cost of the transition.

    7. Failing to find a hero

    Behind every successful project is (at least one) hero. The transition from another CRM solution to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE is no exception. A project champion is the internal team member at the helm of the migration project. This person makes sure everyone is on board and on track to complete the project successfully and on time. The project champion will help collect stakeholder input and be the point-person working with your Microsoft implementation partner. Projects that lack a hero are in danger of quickly going off track, adding to the migration’s cost, timeline, and ultimate success.

    8. Not engaging an experienced migration partner

    Velosio is an experienced migration partner, so this point might seem slightly self-serving. However, we’ve re-implemented enough Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE implementations that didn’t involve a partner to understand that the most successful deployments involve an experienced migration partner. Software implementations can be disruptive. You don’t want to do it twice.

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    9. Ignoring training opportunities to maximize ROI

    There are numerous ways to learn to use Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE. Whether you’re a self-service, online learner or prefer a one-on-one approach, you’ll benefit from training. You might be surprised at the number of times we hear, “I didn’t know the software could do that.” Trained, confident CRM users are more productive — and more likely to use the tools you’ve invested in.

    10. Not considering reporting goals

    Everyone has their favorite reports—the ones they rely on for the information they need to get the job done. Companies migrating to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE may not realize that different data structures can make it challenging to reproduce a report from one solution to the next. Therefore, it’s vital to outline your reporting goals and discuss with your Microsoft partner how those goals can be met in Dynamics. This step should be done early on — back in the planning phase — to ensure any custom reporting requirements can be accommodated. This also ensures that users are not simply creating their own reports outside the solution, and Excel sandbox if you will.

    Make no mistake

    To err may be human, but to err less is pretty sweet. Learning from these common mistakes will help ensure your transition from other CRM solutions to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE is successful. As a Gold Microsoft partner, Velosio works with companies like yours, helping implement customer experience solutions that differentiate your organization, create value and add to the bottom line. Reach out to learn more.


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    Jason Wietharn

    Practice Director, Customer Engagement

    Follow Me: