Migrating from Salesforce to sugarCRM? You might need some relationship counselling

Breaking up is never easy. In business, as in private life, sometimes relationships just don’t go the way we thought they would. Even if everyone involved has the best of intentions. In particular new relationships can start out amazingly well, but occasionally, and usually gradually, they can become difficult to maintain once everyday reality sets in.

Relationships take commitment to nurture and sustain, and not all parties to a relationship may want to offer the same level of commitment. A relationship is more likely to degenerate if there is an imbalance of power.

It’s probably not strictly possible to draw a direct comparison between a relationship of equals, and the typical relationship between a customer and a proprietary software vendor, but it’s fair to say that to get the best out of each of those types of relationships takes some work. But if, for whatever reason, you find yourself in an ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ moment with a software vendor, you need to be well prepared to manage the fall out, particularly if the relationship has been long term.

Each relationship has it’s own foibles. In the corporate world, one of the most important relationships an organisation can have is with it’s own CRM system. More and more organisations are switching from Salesforce to SugarCRM, but we think it’s a good idea to get a bit of counselling beforehand.

Make a clean break

Once you’ve made the decision to move from Salesforce to SugarCRM, you’ll need to come to terms with the process of migration. Like any human relationship, the relationship between a business and software can be tricky to untangle, and requires thoughtfulness. Unlike human relationships though – where there may be negotiation over who gets those rare 12″ singles you bought jointly – the main worry organisations face when migrating software solutions is ‘what will happen with the data?’

Some organisations try to use the Salesforce API to migrate their data into SugarCRM. Experience shows us that it’s better to just come clean and ask for your data straight out, rather than trying to move out bit-by-bit. Theres a limit to what you can move out of a home before your partner realises your intention, similarly, with Salesforce, it’s likely you will hit API transaction limits before you get all your data out.

Whilst you will get your data from Salesforce, it won’t typically be in a state that will allow direct import into SugarCRM, so you’ll need spend time ‘mapping’ the Salesforce data into SugarCRM. There are tools to make this less painful than it could be if you did it manually, but of course, this will take some tender loving care to implement.

Timing is everything

Nobody wants to stay in a painful relationship longer than absolutely neccesary, so the timing of your emancipation is everything. Salesforce, like SugarCRM, bill on an annual basis, you don’t want to pay for an extra year of service you won’t actaully be using.

Make sure you plan your migration well in advance and can move to SugarCRM in plenty of time. As above, don’t neglect time for data migration, but also don’t forget to dedicate time for testing, new relationships take a lot of work to get right up front, but getting the initial stages right can save a lot of heartache further down the line.

What do you want from a new relationship?

Usually, we start a new relationship in order to open up new opportunities for ourselves, so if you are switching away from Salesforce, consider the functionality you want, compared with the functionality you already have, maybe it’s time to add something new to the mix?

Sometimes it’s hard to break old patterns of behaviour, especially those that have developed over years and are ingrained into our psyche, but when you start a new relationship, there is no need to be bound by what has gone before. Trying something different might well improve life substantially, and you don’t have to make lifechanges all at once, they can be done incrementally. Starting a new relationship with SugarCRM might be the impetus you need to evolve your organisation in a new direction.

Your partner doesn’t have to let themselves go

As SugarCRM is Open Source, so too is it open to direct change. Dr. Phil tells us that there “is a difference between being comfortable in a marriage and being lazy in a marriage.” SugarCRM is certainly no slouch. Unless you allow it to, SugarCRM won’t get tired or lazy, like all good partners, it will evolve with you so that years into the relationship you can still discover new things about each other.

Ever tried an open relationship?

A business moving from Salesforce to SugarCRM can take advantage of an ‘open’ relationship. Maybe I’m pushing this analogy a little too far, but it’s possible to integrate SugarCRM with other enterprise software as and when you need to and still get what you want out of the relationship. In personal relationships this may or may not be the kind of behaviour you are interested in, but in a business setting, open relationships between software are definitely an advantage.

It’s no easy thing to break up, but the sooner you realise that your CRM is not irreplaceable, the sooner you can move on and find can find a partner more attentive to your needs.

This post was originally published on icreon.co.uk

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