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30 Tips From Microsoft For Moving Your Data Into A CRM


Microsoft Dynamics has spent the last 17 years working on integration of CRM, marketing automation, ERP. In those years, they’ve collaborated with thousands of different customers’ integration projects and all the data that comes with it.

The group recently boiled all of that knowledge down to 10 best practices for a smooth customer data integration project in this ebook. I recommend reading the ebook, but here are the tips that stood out most to me during my read.

1. Define the word ‘integration” so everyone in your company understands it

2. Assume that people don’t understand and need more explanation

3. Have a common goal and stick to it

4. Aggregate your data in stages, not all at once

5. Have milestones along the way with metrics to monitor the results

6. Know that your budget may not include 100% of the costs (there are always hidden surprises)

7. Be open about the possibility of outsourcing certain functions

8. Clearly understand each of the systems involved in your integration project

9. Reality often varies from the documentation

10. Anticipate inconsistencies

11. Many integration tasks are one-time events

12. It may be more cost-effective to bring in an experienced installer

13. You can’t get where you’re going unless you’ve carefully mapped your way there

14. Involve stakeholders every step of the way

15. Bad data discourages user adoption

16. “Good” data is good in the context of the system currently using it

17. Cleaning data properly requires multiple passes, processes, and vigilance

18. You’ll be more efficient if your processes can serve you again and again

19. Break the project down into manageable tasks and prioritize

20. Be careful to only make changes that will survive the next vendor upgrade

21. Use APIs wherever and whenever possible (this creates flexibility)

22. Resist achieving performance increases by going “directly to the data”

23. Exercise caution when deciding to replicate data instead of integrating it

24. When you must replicate, include an intermediary quality assurance step so you don’t transfer bad data

25. Manage your user’s response to your system first and foremost (it’s valueless unless they use it)

26. Find champions within the user base to help promote your cause

27. Commitment to specific results is critical, but remember that preserving some agility always helps

28. The real measures of success are the results users get from using your integrated solution

29. The best way to prevent users’ fears is to keep them involved and hands-on as much as possible

30. Your project is only successful when your users are successful

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