By Alexandra Ervan

When it comes to migrating your organization from one Salesforce instance to another, there are 5 key points of preparation to keep in mind before moving forward.  If followed correctly, this list of 5 essential migration perspectives will set you and your team up for greater, elongated success through Salesforce.  There’s no denying the utility and ease Salesforce can provide for your business, organization, or institute.  Taking the time to obtain a lay of the land for your data and systems, prior to your migration, will save you time, energy, and money in the long run.  These are the 5 best ways to prepare you for your Salesforce migration! 

1. Clean Your Data 

Remember, this migration should be viewed as a “fresh start” for your data and systems.  Save yourself the headache of circling back to remove duplicate or irrelevant information by conducting a thorough cleaning of your data prior to migration.  Go through the process of reviewing your data, making sure to merge duplicates, deleting old or irrelevant data, standardizing addresses, etc.  Simple steps in ensuring your data is clean pre-migration will pay dividends post-migration.  The foundation of every effective Salesforce instance is built atop data integrity.  You’ve maintained that data as best you can, but there will invariably be redundancies or inconsistencies that pop up over time.  Assure accuracy and consistency in your data and your migration will be set up for greater future success.

2. Assess Your Data 

Going hand in hand with Step #1 is the all-important Step #2 concerning the assessment of your data.  Once you’ve scrubbed and polished your data, take the time necessary to assess what data is truly meaningful and beneficial to your migration.  Simply moving all your data over and sifting through after your migration will waste valuable time and resources better spent moving your organization forward.  Treat your data in a manner conducive to future success and assess what is necessary to the well-being of your post-migration systems.  Take for example some of the “Attributes” that have been created over the years in your Raiser’s Edge instance.  Many of these “Attributes” might now be irrelevant.  Assess your data before the time comes to migrate, eliminate anything deemed inconsequential, and start fresh with a Salesforce instance that can be trusted and relied upon. 

3. Establish End Goals 

Avoid the common struggle of separating your organization from the technology it’s become familiar with and evaluate your end goals prior to migration agnostic of the tool you are moving towards.  What you’re accustomed to should be entirely separate from what you want to accomplish; there’s a reason you’ve made the decision to migrate, right?  When entering an implementation, communication between your team and consultants is so critical to the project’s success.  Big or small, lofty or grounded, your overarching objectives are ultimately the factors motivating your organization to migrate.  Whether the goal is to expand your processes or to refine them, being able to effectively map out where you want your migration to take you ensures the technology will propel your processes.  The alternative is having your technology beholden to the processes built around that technology.  In all senses, technology should be inspirational, propulsive, and uplifting.  Don’t let tired processes limit the potential of a new system. 

4. Determine What a New Implementation Will Accomplish 

Springboarding off #3 is the fourth method of Salesforce migration preparation: figuring out what you want your new solutions to accomplish.  While the previous point asks you to determine what you want the migration to achieve on a macro level, the immediate solutions of your Salesforce migration on a micro level should be clearly defined prior to implementation.  What solutions are most needed?  What perspectives can be gleaned from your previous systems that would benefit the implementation and continued success of the new system?  Implementation partners can be the most collaborative assets to your migration, but they can’t run your business for you.  Coming to the table with a clearly defined idea of where you want a new system to take you is pivotal to the long-term success of the project.  Meet with your team and ask what most needs to be changed, then use that discussion to inform the path forward.  Taking a step back internally to gain perspective is critical to understanding your previous limitations and how to rectify those technological constraints. 

5. Evaluate Your System Landscape 

A series of changes and new practices will likely follow your migration.  Awareness of how the many other systems your organization utilizes will interact with the new implementation will be vital for the wellbeing of your overall system landscape.  Create an expectation ahead of time on what tools will need to connect with the most recent additions and set time aside to determine what can stand alone or be disconnected altogether.  Some aspects of your organization’s technology will stay the same and some will need to be changed to fit seamlessly into the new system landscape.  Interconnectivity of your systems should always be a top priority, so it will be up to the project architects to determine how current systems will compliment, or detract from, new systems.  Analyze what you want your systems to look like in the future to determine the necessary steps to take prior to and during your implementation. 

A Salesforce migration represents an incredible opportunity for your organization to streamline systems, increase efficiency, and reinforce your respective mission This moment is potentially game-changing for your organization’s overall successbut don’t rush into your migration thinking everything will take care of itself.  Mindful preparation for the new world your technology will exist in represents a vital part of the migration process and should be treated with priority.  Follow these 5 steps of preparation and pave a road towards successful migration ahead of time.  In time, Salesforce will create transformational value for yourself, your technology, and your overall organization. 

Alexandra Ervan

Alexandra Ervan