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Russ Harper

ERP

What every CIO wants his CEO to know about ERP

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ERP

IT leaders can play a strategic role in helping companies select and install the right ERP solution that drives innovation and productivity.

Information technology professionals are increasingly taking a well-deserved seat at the table when it comes to strategic decisions. No longer relegated to keeping the computers humming and system installations on time, chief information technology officers today are bringing strategic solutions to bear that leverage the latest in innovation.

In manufacturing companies, CIOs are looking for and developing solutions that improve efficiency and efficacy. Increasingly, those solutions are enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions.

As seen in the recent article, What Every CEO Needs to Know About ERP, companies need these solutions to remain competitive. With the right ERP, companies can differentiate themselves from the competition and gain market share and profits.

With ERP for financial management and operations, the chief information technology officer can continue to help C-suite colleagues innovate in ways that drive growth and success. Here is a closer look at what every CIO wants his CEO to know about ERP.

ERP 101

With the right ERP solution, companies can bring together disparate systems on both the manufacturing operational side and back-office areas. With ERP platforms, companies can bring together data and functionality from operations, manufacturing, warehousing, procurement, human resources, customer relations, sales, marketing, and finance. With integrated data, dashboards, unified reporting, and real-time capabilities, these systems are saving money and time.

ERP

Integrated ERP solutions drive collaboration and innovation throughout a manufacturing company.

The ideal ERP for CIO use will use modules that allow for the appropriate areas of the organization to maximize the system’s capabilities. There are other major advantages to bringing in an ERP solution:

  • Legacy systems. Most manufacturing companies are saddled with legacy systems that have served them well but may be past their prime. These systems often have been customized to maximize functionality but in today’s digital, cloud-based, mobile-necessary company, there is certainly an opportunity for improvement. With a modern ERP, these legacy systems can be retired, likely resulting in needed functionality, improved ease of use, easier integration, and modern reporting and analysis tools.
  • Cost reduction. With an ERP solution, companies will see dramatic cost reductions. These will be direct in the reduction or elimination of legacy and redundant systems and reduced operating expenses. When cloud solutions are deployed, there’s less need for server storage space, cooling systems, version upgrading and retrofitting of customizations, and security patching. There are also indirect cost savings due to reduced personnel costs for data entry or re-entry, patch management and machine maintenance, and training on multiple systems. Utility costs will be reduced, too.
  • Scalability. With a cloud-based ERP solution, companies will no longer be forced to buy excess system functionality or storage that is not needed at the time of purchase. With the cloud, storage and functionality can be expanded as needed, without wasteful expenditures. On the flip side, cloud-based systems also eliminate the risk of having systems without the necessary horsepower to accommodate rapid, unexpected growth.
  • IT expertise. Your IT team will have deep knowledge of existing systems’ strengths, weaknesses, and integrations. With a deep, enterprise-wide perspective on company technology use and needs, your IT team can play a critical role in researching and recommending a good ERP solution. Often working closely with an external consultant and an internal team of key stakeholders, IT leadership can demonstrate value to the organization with a successful ERP selection and implementation process.
  • Enterprise-wide visibility. A major functional advantage of your ERP solution is the ability to see the entire enterprise in one place. An ERP gives senior leadership and other key decision-makers the information they need. ERP solutions can take multiple, massive data sets and analyze and display the data in easy-to-read and easy-to-use reports and dashboards, all in real time. When decisions need to be made quickly to leverage opportunity or shift strategy, an ERP gives the company a more nimble and flexible opportunity to react fast.
  • Data security. With cloud-based ERP solutions, your security worries are lowered significantly. Top cloud providers will encrypt your data and back it up in multiple locations. There will be on-site physical security and digital protection against hacks and cyber attacks. Built-in redundancies will allow for business continuity if a natural disaster affects physical locations without much disruption.
  • Better collaboration. With integrated functions, there will be new opportunities for employees to collaborate more effectively. Whether it’s sales teams working more closely with manufacturing managers and finance departments, or customer service teams providing immediate feedback to marketing messages, the ERP creates synergies that may not have been possible previously.

NexTec Group helps companies choose and implement the ERP systems that maximize efficiency and efficacy. We work closely with IT and other senior leaders to find the right vendors, products, and features to meet critical manufacturing needs. Contact us to learn more about how NexTec can improve your manufacturing operations.

ERP

What every CMO wants his CEO to know about ERP

By | ERP | No Comments
ERP

ERP technology helps companies gain better insights on customers and give sales teams better prospects.

Sales and marketing today, whether B2B or B2C, is about information. Both teams need real-time data that helps them identify prospects, assess messaging, submit orders, and gain access to colleagues before confirming orders and delivery times.

While enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems offer answers to the data issues and other pain points that sales managers and chief marketing officers face, there still may be resistance to making the leap to investing in such systems.

To overcome such resistance, it makes sense to examine the ways that an integrated platform can boost productivity for sales and marketing work.

Comprehensive customer relationship management

Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms have been around for decades, providing companies with a way to capture information, interactions, and preferences. When your CRM is integrated into an ERP platform, the power of a CRM is multiplied by several factors.

With ERP systems, sales and marketing pros can track order progress, communicate that information to customers, track invoices and payments, and follow up as needed with customers, all in real time and in collaboration with colleagues in finance, manufacturing, and transportation.

Inquiry management

With ERP for marketing management, sales inquiries can be handled faster, often in real time. When marketing tools are integrated, sales teams can better manage margin control, quotes can be made faster, and sales pricing changes can be implemented immediately.

Marketing automation

While new tools have developed in recent years to automate marketing functions, an ERP allows for even more robust analytics and personalization. More directed and fine-tuned marketing allows for better use of resources and better-qualified lead generation that puts stronger prospects in the hands of sales professionals. Analytics allow for better understanding of multi-channel, multi-wave campaigns to better identify and refine messaging quickly.

ERP

WIth ERP tools, sales and marketing managers can create customized, real-time reports that allow for better, more profitable decisions.

Better sales team management

With better ERP for sales managers, leaders can keep track of what their teams are doing and what activities are most effective for individuals or groups. ERP functionality can also keep many common salesperson complaints at bay. There can fewer meetings, less paperwork, and more qualified leads.

Sales teams will also be able to manage customer issues and provide better support when they have easy access to progress on orders, payments, and delivery schedules. If an order is lost or delayed, sales teams can be alerted and reach out to affected customers to make sure they are updated regularly.

Faster decision making

ERP platforms enable companies to collect, transmit, and store massive amounts of data generated by products and people. ERP tools can store this information, report on it, and create clear, easy-to-use dashboards that let managers make critical decisions faster, often in real time. Most dashboards are customizable and can be configured to suit different sales and marketing units and managers.

At NexTec, we help companies identify the right ERP solutions that meet their needs. With the right ERP vendor and product, sales and marketing managers can leverage powerful features to make their teams more productive and generate more revenue. Download the NexTec Corporate Brochure to learn more about how NexTec can help your company with ERP solutions.

CRM software

5 ways CRM solutions work for non-profits

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CRM software

Non-profit agencies benefit from comprehensive customer relationship management tools that connect key functions.

Just as is the case in the for-profit world, non-profit organizations (NPOs) have customers. They may be referred to as “constituents,” “clients,” or other words, but they are, in fact, treated in much the same ways as for-profit organizations treat customers.

Relationships are critical for non-profit organizations. Most are highly dependent on private donations to keep fulfilling organizational missions. NPOs need to communicate effectively, track and record relationships and pinpoint the messages that resonate.

Unlike for-profit entities, non-profit groups also often are active in planning and managing events, recruiting and training volunteers, and stewarding those gifts to ensure proper compliance with any terms of the contribution. Managing these relationships, many of which are deeply personal and emotionally based, require powerful tools to track and manage the experiences and outcomes.

For nonprofit organizations, it is important to have the right customer relationship management (CRM) system in place. Unfortunately, all too often, non-profit agencies that are constrained for resources settle for a CRM that fails to deliver or has unnecessary complexity.

A CRM system is an integrated software solution that combines multiple functions in one platform. Many CRM systems for non-profit organizations offer functionality that handles the following:

  • Contribution management and reporting
  • Fundraising campaign management
  • Relationship management, including assigned relationships with staff
  • Grant management
  • Corporate and foundation relationships
  • Alumni or constituent data management
  • Email marketing, including email campaigns, surveys, and preferences
  • Newsletter subscriptions
  • Membership management
  • Volunteer management
  • Social media integration

The functionality needed can vary widely based on the type and size of the organization. The type of CRM software selected can also usually be customized to fit preferences and needs.

Here is a closer look at 5 ways CRM solutions work for non-profits.

1. Comprehensive Financial Management

For most non-profit organizations, it is essential to have accurate and timely processes in place to record, acknowledge, receipt, and report on contributions. Some non-profits simply want to record that a donation has been received. For others, it is essential to track the desired purpose of the donations to a particular fund, cause, or priority. Your CRM should also allow for complex reporting about the types of contributions received either from a donor, to a preferred fund, or during a campaign.

2. Tracking the Relationship

Relationships are essential in the non-profit space. Your not-for-profit CRM needs to track lots of information. In addition to basic contact information, the organization may want to track participation in certain activities and the relationships a constituent has with other constituents or organizations. The CRM may need to record information about that person’s employment, education, service, and other organizational affiliations. News about that person may need to be stored as a link or PDF.

3. Benefits of Membership

Some non-profit organizations offer memberships, either to the general organization or at different levels within it. That means tracking dues payments and time remaining on those memberships. Some membership levels carry with them benefits that allow for certain advantages or perks that also need to be tracked.

4. Communications Preferences

Non-profit groups are bound by many of the same restrictions regarding email spamming that apply to for-profit organizations. A solid CRM will track multiple points of contact, including phone types and email types, newsletter or email preferences, and how frequently a constituent has received and responded to communication. Some CRM software allows for the tracking of a person’s social media presence, such as a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account and name, or a LinkedIn profile.

5. Event Management

Events are a major strategic area for many non-profits. Galas, reunions, fundraisers, walks, and large gatherings are essential for securing financial support, spreading messages about the organization or its cause, engaging volunteers, and building a vibrant community. A sound CRM lets an organization plan and manage events, including invitations, budgets, venue details, menu preferences, and registrant and guest information, attendance, and contributions.

CRM software

The right CRM allows for various areas of a non-profit organization to connect well with constituents.

What a CRM Means for a Non-Profit

A sound CRM has multiple advantages for a non-profit organization. In addition to serving as a one-stop software solution, there are several other benefits:

  • Intelligence and Analysis. By bringing together essential components of relationship management, a CRM helps non-profit executives to have the right information to make the right decisions. Integrating fund-raising, constituent management, and communications in one platform allows for analysis of fund-raising performance, impact of outreach efforts and message analysis. Having the data related to these activities in the same system accelerates how fast data can be accessed and used properly.
  • Customer Service.  A solid CRM lets you serve your relationships, which are essential for success in the non-profit space. In addition to being a way to collect and deliver information, a CRM helps you nurture the relationship. The information you gain about your constituents, when used correctly, can deliver valuable services and communication. It also lets you respond effectively to them when they have a need from your agency. Finally, these tools help you track and manage the relationship, including preferences and passions, and act accordingly.
  • Strategic Reach. With all the data your CRM can collect, you have at your disposal a rich resource. The CRM can track interactions with myriad parts of and people within your organization. Multiple vantage points on an individual or a population helps you expand the breadth and depth of those interactions. It also easily allows for areas such as fundraising, marketing, stewardship, membership, and programming to look at the same data in real time, create sound engagement strategies, and execute on those plans.

At NexTec Group, our consulting teams work with non-profit organizations in a wide range of sectors. We take the time to understand each organization, its mission, its people and its CRM needs. We bring experience and deep knowledge of the vendors, products, and their features to our clients.

With NexTec, you have a partner who will recommend the right CRM solution and guide you through the implementation process. We help clients select the CRM software that fits their needs and budgets, allowing them to more effectively complete their charge. Contact us to learn how we can help your non-profit organization fulfill its mission.

CRM and Business Intelligence: A strategic approach using analytics

By | BI, CRM | No Comments
business intelligence: the steps from collecting customer data to win-win solutions for the business

Business Intelligence: the steps from collecting customer data to win-win solutions for the business

For some decisions trusting your gut intuition is sufficient, but the majority of business decisions need to be backed up by real data. Customer relationship management (CRM) and business intelligence (BI) are two tools that deliver the same benefits: Understanding and analyzing data to make better business decisions, improve customer relationships, forecast and impact business performance and grow revenue.

However, integrating these tools for the best outcome for your organization can be a challenge without the right approach. Gartner said it best with the following assessment:

“If you don’t design your analytics correctly, it will tell you stuff you already know and may not be very helpful to your business.”

Lack of a CRM and BI strategy hurts business

Management needs access to the right data to consistently make timely decisions at the operational level. These decisions will determine whether your organization is on top or will be surpassed by competitors. Business intelligence can transform raw data from a variety of sources to order to improve upon timely and accurate decision making. It’s important that these data sources are integrated into a cohesive strategy that aligns business objectives with IT requirements. Eliminating siloed data is a priority because only when data is consolidated can you identify the relationships and patterns for meaningful insights.

Gartner reports that organizations which have the greatest success with BI travel an evolutionary path, starting with basic data and analytical tools and transitioning to increasingly more sophisticated capabilities until BI becomes an intrinsic part of their business culture.

Steps to integrate CRM and BI for the best results

Know your customers

Understand your customers to determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are most closely aligned with the business’s goals and objectives. Continually reassess your KPIs to watch for changing business conditions, opportunities and competitive threats that will affect your data outcome. The millennial demographic, for example, is particularly active on social media and provides a wealth of structured and unstructured data through their social media postings, but the millennial focus will change over time. A social CRM strategy would capture this relationship to uncover trends and insights today and into the future.

Identify data sources

Create an inventory of data sources that will provide the best intelligence. Data sources can be derived from shadow systems, enterprise resource planning applications, accounting software systems, and content management software. Additional repositories, such as email inquiries and social media are another source of unstructured data that should not be overlooked.

Test and clean data

Your intelligence is only as good as the data used to get you there — or as they say, “garbage in equals garbage out.” An estimated 63% of companies do not have an organized approach for minimizing dirty data. Structured and unstructured data contain a wealth of information but only when you have a plan for how to combine it intelligently. Test your data sources for data quality and select a tool that will help you clean and maintain your data on an ongoing basis. Make the big data smaller by exporting a small number of metrics at a time to the system’s data visualization and charting features.

Measure and refine

Keep track of staff activity on the BI tool as user adoption grows by measuring your volume of users and usage of reports to understand if your intelligence is helpful. Metrics will need to be refined as your big data and adoption rate grows. Periodically add new dashboards, KPI’s and reports that are useful, and cull or change those that aren’t.

To make more intelligent business decisions that will propel your organization to be more competitive and achieve a higher ROI you need a clear plan. NexTec is an IT solutions provider that offers the guidance you need to develop a BI, CRM, and cloud strategy. We work closely with you to provide solutions that meet your unique business requirements and maximize your ROI. Use the form on the right to contact us today and learn more.


You need all parts to run your business effectively - ERP + CRM + BI

The sum of all parts = ERP + CRM + BI

By | BI, CRM, ERP | No Comments

You need all parts to run your business effectively - ERP + CRM + BIYour business is like a machine, and like any machine, no matter how complex or simple, it’s a sum of its parts. If any component fails, the entire machine comes to a screeching halt. The same principle applies to business. If any part of your business is failing to work, it can drag the entire business down. To keep your business running like a well-oiled machine, your systems should integrate seamlessly and work in harmony. Since your business is a product of its combined parts, you need to ensure you’re choosing those parts wisely, or a “best of breed” solution. A seamless business model builds on the right software strategy, so it integrates efficiently and smoothly. Fortunately, it doesn’t take an engineering genius to identify the primary parts of your system, it’s ERP + CRM + BI.

Choosing the right parts for your business machine

Since your business is a product of its combined parts, you need to ensure you’re choosing those parts wisely, or a “best of breed” solution. A seamless business model builds on the right software strategy, so it integrates efficiently and smoothly. Fortunately, it doesn’t take an engineering genius to identify the primary parts of your system, it’s ERP + CRM + BI.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) supports a collaborative workflow

ERP software is a critical component to developing an efficient and well managed firm. Not only can it help you identify tremendous cost-savings, but it also strengthens inventory control, streamlines production planning and automates tedious accounting tasks. All of the data from your operations are then stored in a single system, thus allowing cross function reporting.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) increases sales and ROI

In order to keep your entire business machine operating, it is crucial to identify and win new customers. CRM software is essential to this goal, as it provides the very data you need to gain a comprehensive view of prospects, customer and your company’s interactions with them. It enables efficient tracking of the sales pipeline, so you know exactly where each customer is within the sales cycle. According to Ray Simon, principal at ENPIO, tracking the sales pipeline is critical to driving conversions, as it gives you a clear view of the customers that have yet to complete the sales cycle. You can then take appropriate action with those customers, driving more sales home.

Combining ERP and CRM to improve Business Intelligence (BI)

Too often, business processes exist within silos, where each department is so focused on its own processes and fail to work together toward the common goal. To achieve optimal efficiency, you need to break down those business walls by combining key islands of data and process. CRM and ERP systems can be integrated to eliminate silos and streamline business processes, so each provides essential data elements that help to drive BI systems and guide decision-making.

ERP + CRM + BI = the key to unlocking enhanced productivity.

Much like a machine, your business depends on every part working together seamlessly to contribute to an efficient and productive business. With the right software strategy, you can break down the walls between departments and fuel collaboration in your workforce. ERP, CRM, and BI can work together to provide the ultimate business strategy for managing customers and allocating resources effectively.

At NexTec, we work with your business to find a successful software strategy to support your overall strategy, boost profits and reduce spending. Contact us to learn more.

Part 3: How to migrate SalesForce to Dynamics CRM

By | CRM, Microsoft Dynamics 365 | No Comments

The final part of our story of How to migrate Salesforce to Microsoft Dynamics CRM is about going live.

Countdown to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Go-Live

When we created our custom-built integration process for SalesForce, we understood that we would have multiple migration events. First, to migrate a range of test data records to be able to view and verify the operations in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, second, to move over the complete database, and third to be able to target a small section of the data based on date range in order to cover any records that were created\modified in SalesForce before the official cutover date to Dynamics CRM. This capability is important because you can avoid continually moving a large database several times as well as outages that require everyone to stop using either SalesForce or Dynamics CRM while the system is being updated. This capability was very useful as we neared the end of the project and prevented the customer from experiencing any significant downtime.

10672265_l22 Dynamics CRMTraining

This is an absolutely key item in any CRM project.  At NexTec, we believe it is best to train users with

  • Their data
  • Real business scenarios
  • The final user interface
  • As close to go live as possible

Typically, administrative and line of business users receive separate training, and in some cases, there are further breakdowns by function, such as sales, support or marketing.

Bringing it all together

The final step is to do a final review, followed by cutting over from the old system, a final import, and going live with the new implementation. In this case, we managed to complete all of the critical and necessary installations, configurations, and migrations before the project timeline was up, so the client was very happy not to have to spend more money on a SalesForce import extension. We were able to complete all the project tasks by the time they started using the new system and had very few support issues at the beginning usage of the new system. Our client considered the project a resounding success and later worked with us on a phase two project that added more features to the new system. We were satisfied with our result and felt proud to have accomplished a difficult and multi-layered technical project in a very short time frame.

Part 2: How to migrate SalesForce to Dynamics CRM

By | CRM, Microsoft Dynamics 365 | No Comments
Migrating from Salesforce to Microsoft Dynamics CRM? A good team makes the difference

Migrating from Salesforce to Microsoft Dynamics CRM? A good team makes the difference

As I mentioned in my last post (Part 1 – Planning), we developed a plan to migrate a client from SalesForce to MS Dynamics CRM after a thorough but accelerated discovery plan. Our plan to move forward had four primary parts:

  1. Develop the new solution
  2. Migrate the pre-existing SalesForce data
  3. Train the users
  4. Go live

Now, I’d like to focus on how we developed the solution in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and migrated the data. Each step along the way was a small project in itself with its own tasks, budgets, and timelines, though they were executed concurrently. My company tracked these projects inside Dynamics CRM so that the team or management could see at a glance how the project was progressing and what needed to be done when.

Although development and building out a new solution is usually quite consuming, our team made the decision with the client to minimize development in order to hit our timeline and finish the project before the SalesForce renewal date. Finishing on time would save the client a significant amount of money. In fact, the savings funded a large piece of the migration project.

As our team was wrapping up the design phase, we installed Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 on premise. Depending on the client environment, installation can be straightforward or complex. When we need to work with existing systems, we prefer a new server (virtual or physical) in order to avoid complications. Although this client preferred a local installation, almost 80% of our clients prefer to use a hosted version of Dynamics CRM to minimize installation time, or the cost of licensing SQL, Windows, and other servers. Our team moved forward on the development and migration tracks at the same time.

Development track

The development track proceeded as usual. By using quick prototypes and getting early client approval for the system, we were able to minimize miscommunication and saved them time and resources. Though this was not a development heavy project, it was still critical to executing it on schedule.

Meanwhile, the migration moved forward by mapping SalesForce data to Dynamics CRM. While there were some frameworks available to convert data from one system to another, we wrote components specifically for SalesForce migrations to avoid costs and other technical obstacles we had encountered on other projects. Once the data mappings and transformations were complete, we started to move data into the system. First, we moved a select set of records for testing. This was a small enough amount of data to move quickly, but still covered all test scenarios we needed to cover each type of transaction in the new CRM system. Our ability to move subsets of the data was also key for two other reasons. First, it allowed us to move smaller amounts of data during shorter bursts of time so that users were not inconvenienced and downtimes were avoided. Second, we were able to migrate only the most recently added or changed records in SalesForce immediately before we went live on Dynamics CRM. Without this ability, we would have had to move the entire data set while the users were out of the system, most likely over the weekend, and any delay or hiccup would have jeopardized the timing of the entire project.

With the client’s help in verifying data, testing new functionality, and reports, we were able to migrate all the data they needed in order to avoid their SalesForce renewal and move forward on their new solution. Next week I’ll discuss how we wrapped the project up with training designed to foster user adoption in addition to “as needed” live support on the first few days of the team’s use of the new system.  View our Salesforce migration – Part 3 post

Part 1: How to migrate Salesforce to Dynamics CRM

By | CRM, Microsoft Dynamics 365 | No Comments

istock_000017007805large-1024x680One of the most frequent questions we hear in our CRM practice is “how can I migrate from SalesForce to Microsoft Dynamics CRM?”  Many SalesForce customers we talk with have a variety of concerns that drive them to consider migrating off the platform, including user cost, data storage cost, and technical concerns.

  • User Cost – It’s not uncommon for a company to plan on using one SalesForce product, only to find out later they actually need to use a different SalesForce product and spend more… sometimes much more.  This can be due to undiscovered requirements during the sales process, additional “nice to have” features, or even changes in a client’s business processes.  Costs can also drastically increase in later years of a contract if you negotiated a substantial discount in the beginning.  On top of all this, SalesForce is priced at a premium, and some companies don’t consider it a good value.
  • Storage – Despite the best of intentions, companies sometimes underestimate the amount of data they’ll need to support sales, marketing, and operations.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it usually means you have good adoption. After all, users entering data is what you want in a successful implementation. Nevertheless, unexpectedly exceeding your data limits can add a significant level of unforeseen cost.
  • Technical Concerns – Some companies found one or all of these concerning: 1) SalesForce wasn’t as easy to integrate into existing production systems as expected, 2) it didn’t offer any flexibility in deployment options, 3) who ultimately owned and/or controlled sales data.

When a company determines it would like to look at other options, it starts by searching for competing solutions. We’ve had the opportunity to work with companies who recently went through this process, and I’d like to discuss one project in particular in which we faced a tight timeframe from a client in a hurry to migrate.

istock_000038176862large-1024x834In this blog, I’ll outline Step 1 – Planning.  Like any good deployment, a SalesForce migration starts with a good plan, and the most crucial element in these plans is usually the date your contract expires.  Once we identify the prospective go live date, we prefer to add a few weeks of cushion and then schedule backward from there including time for discovery, building a new solution, migrating and testing.  Since few projects go exactly according to plan, it is best to build in time for unexpected events though some timeframes are tighter than others. On this project, though, the client started their search a bit later than most and only had two months to go before their SalesForce contract expired.  If we couldn’t migrate them in time, the client would have faced a costly renewal or the prospect of running the business with no CRM. Neither of those options was attractive, to say the least.

Since we had a firm deadline, it was time to examine requirements. What was working today and what was not?  What did the client want in their new system that they didn’t have now? How important was it?  Ultimately, this company decided to maintain their current business processes, reports, and data structures to keep the number of variables to a minimum.  This made NexTec’s challenge more surmountable by limiting this part of the project to documenting their existing system and how users engaged with it.  Although we did identify things the client wanted to change in their system, we decided together to move those items to a later phase when deadlines were not so pressing. NexTec then created a detailed project plan outlining actions, responsibilities, and deadlines for the activities on the project. We knew there was very little slack in the schedule for hiccups along the way, but we had already migrated several SalesForce customers to Dynamics and already knew what to expect.

Once we knew what to do and when to do it, we had to execute the plan and keep a sharp watch over it.  I’ll discuss some of those tasks, and a few challenges in my next blog.  View the Salesforce Migration Part 2 post