Can I Do a Data Migration Myself in SugarCRM?

If you’re considering doing a data migration in Sugar on your own, first, you’re awesome – high-five. Second, hold on, wait a minute.

Most know that SugarCRM is the most empowering and adaptable customer relationship management solution on the market. As a result, it makes sense that an increasing number of organizations are planning to migrate data into the user-friendly Sugar platform, and trying to wing it on their own. With Sugar, you can integrate seamlessly with your existing business applications. In addition, you can customize all your business processes.

You get robust functionalities whether you are a small or large business–and solutions to fit. While you can tackle the task of data migration on your own, and as mentioned, SugarCRM was founded on being much more user-friendly than other systems. Yet, CRM data migration does involve more than simply transferring records from one system to your Sugar platform.

You need to understand what types of provisions need to be made during data migration, and how long you can give to the task. It’s important to keep your migration timeframe realistic and flexible. Now that you’re ready to get out of a bad CRM relationship, let’s get started.

Plan properly

You can migrate data to Sugar, but first, it requires proper planning to ensure a smooth and secure process. For successful Sugar implementations, data migration is key. Different CRM systems have different methods for categorizing data. As a result, you can’t always just copy and paste data into Sugar.

There will be times when you might have to re-format files before moving on to the migration process. So, it is important to analyze and categorize your data. You, and your team need to know where you want the data to go even before you initiate the migration process.

For example, file attachments might need to be migrated differently. In contrast, you also want to take inventory of what data does not need to be transferred. To illustrate, you might not need to migrate email messages that are a decade old–especially if that customer is no longer current.

You might also have to manipulate CSV files to match the required Sugar format. Sugar does have a sample import file template for every module that offers the import feature. In the import wizard, you simply download the file template from the Upload Import File.

Another thing to consider are rarely-used custom data fields that may not need to be migrated either. Then, it is critical to merge and update duplicate records in your current database–you don’t want to waste time migrating redundant files. As you can see, taking these points into consideration will make for a much smoother data migration process.

Involve and inform all stakeholders

During a data migration, it is critical to inform all involved parties. You have to inform more than just the executives at your company as end users will also be affected by the change.

When you fail to inform your employees that change is on the way, it can lead to inadequate adoption rates and overall buy-in. This is especially true if your new system offers several new features your current users haven’t had experience with before. Remember, successful CRM systems are owned by everyone.

An overview of data migration to Sugar

You can migrate existing data into Sugar either via the import wizard or through the export tool from your previous system. As mentioned earlier, fields and templates will be different for every CRM system. So, rather than make novice mistakes, it’s far better to consult with your Sugar partner.

You’ll have to prepare the files and even scrub them. You will also have to create a separate import file for each Sugar module. In addition, you have to map the data including comparing the CRM architecture, entity names, and any other noted differences.

Although, the import wizard is quite easy to use. Sugar also offers another option for data migration, which is through REST and SOAP API tools. Developers can use these API tools to input data straight into Sugar.

Are you ready for the unexpected?

As mentioned earlier, it can be difficult to have a direct map between one CRM system and another. Even if you are importing thousands of records, you need to be sure they have been completely transferred.

It is critical to maintain data security and integrity. Then, you have to ensure your team has exact access to the same data found in the previous system. The process includes:

  • Field mapping–data must be transferred into the same fields.
  • Deduplication–scrubbing and merging of duplicate data to reduce storage size.
  • Relationship mapping–replicate the same relationships found in the previous system.
  • Data integrity–maintaining consistency and accuracy of the data.

Performing the data migration, yourself may lead to the potential for import errors. It will certainly cause a bit of disruption to your users. You might have to free your old CRM system and place it on “read-only” status. Although, your Sugar partner can help you perform the data migration seamlessly to ensure minimal disruption during regular business hours.

Get your users on board

After your data migration, it is crucial to facilitate successful adoption rates. It starts with our earlier step of involving and alerting all affected parties of the change. While true that old habits die hard, Sugar is user-friendly, even offering these handy keyboard shortcuts.

Yet, it’s still important for management to use the system along with everyone else–this is how to improve adoption. Here are a few other tips for CRM adoption in 2018.

Final thought

Remember, it’s important to be realistic about your timeline. Performing the data migration on your own can be done, but if there are user errors, it may extend the time frame and cost more money the longer business is disrupted.

Also, get everyone involved—start by teaching them some of the top SugarCRM sales tweaks. Working with your Sugar partner to ensure that timelines are met with minimal-to-little business disruption–if at all.