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Merging 2 CRM RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi Forum,

    Currently we are merging 2 completely different CRM 2011 system and would like to know if there is any best practice,

    tools availble to achive the same.

    Scanario occured due to the 2 differnt company merged and both are using CRM 2011 for their respective sales process but now wanted to migrate to one system (child) into the another (Master). Both are on premise installation with heavy customization.

    We are done with creating single domain and bringing users from both the companies under same umbrealla and now in a planning phase  about how to combined both system from data point of view.

    We understand that we need to agree on a single sales process and thus few of the data from both the sides will be sacrifised as well as there will be some chop and dice for processes and customization to give unified look.

    We just would like to know if there is any migration/integration tool availbale in the market to achive this purpose to keep all data under one hood.

    Thanks in advance.

    -CT

    Friday, November 21, 2014 12:05 AM

Answers

  • I've done this a few times now. Like the others have said, there is no clean way of doing this. The best you can hope for is to get some tips on how to proceed. Whatever you plan, you will most likely spend the next few months cleaning up the residual effects of the merger. A side note - Once all the merger is done, you will find that technically you were capable of doing the merger - but then management will start to complain that the data is invalid or not accurate, or that their reporting is off by miles. I should mention at this point, its absolutely critical to get management/executives involved. You might find that they don't know how to proceed themselves - in this case, grab all the reports that they deem critical/essential and prioritize your work ensuring that the reports needed for the business are available. By this I mean, during the merger, always check to make sure the data is accurate able to report on what they need.

    With that being said I have found that the easiest possible way to proceed is:

    1. Virtualize both servers if possible using any P2V method. This will allow you to mess about with the virtual instances or revert back to a snapshot if need be.

    2. Create ERD, Process, UML models/diagrams to see where you are. I've found that printing it all of onto A3 and sticking on a wall helps me visually see the data structure behind both systems.

    2. Create two full solutions of both systems, and see if you can import them into a test instance. I've been lucky twice where the client had 20+ custom entities but didn't touch the system entities. This meant the solution imported, and so did the data.

    3. If the above fails; exporting the system entities into Excel and using datamaps, vlookups etc, you can do a lot of the querying and matching. This helps with duplicate detection.

    4. Tools Like SSIS, Scribe, Biztalk help - but still require you work out a lot of things manually.

    These were just some random thoughts that occurred - I'll post back if I have any others.

    • Marked as answer by CRM Thirsty Wednesday, November 26, 2014 12:26 AM
    Tuesday, November 25, 2014 3:26 PM
  • as far as I know, there is no tool or easy method to satisfy your requirements. There will be a bit of work required from BA and developers in this case.

    BA - needs to sit down with stakeholders and decide on the features to be included in the new system.

    then developers can decide to use one of the system as master and build the other system features into the master.

    data migration may also be tricky in your case.

    let us know what path you decide to take. It will sure help the community.

    regards

    Jithesh

    • Marked as answer by CRM Thirsty Wednesday, November 26, 2014 12:26 AM
    Friday, November 21, 2014 7:25 AM
  • I'd agree with Jithesh, there's no tool that's going to do this for you.

    It all depends on how many entities need to be merged. I had a similar request earlier in the year but we only had about 4 entities that needed merging. We completed the work by modifying the master system so that it could cope with its existing data as well as the data from the child system. I then downloaded import templates from the master system, extracted all data from the child system and then copied the columns from one extract to the other.

    Once this was done, we then imported the data into the master system and then ran duplicate detection jobs which were to spot any overlaps. This worked well but would not be so good if you've got 30 entities to move over.

    • Proposed as answer by Jon_Evans Tuesday, November 25, 2014 12:27 PM
    • Marked as answer by CRM Thirsty Wednesday, November 26, 2014 12:26 AM
    Tuesday, November 25, 2014 12:27 PM

All replies

  • as far as I know, there is no tool or easy method to satisfy your requirements. There will be a bit of work required from BA and developers in this case.

    BA - needs to sit down with stakeholders and decide on the features to be included in the new system.

    then developers can decide to use one of the system as master and build the other system features into the master.

    data migration may also be tricky in your case.

    let us know what path you decide to take. It will sure help the community.

    regards

    Jithesh

    • Marked as answer by CRM Thirsty Wednesday, November 26, 2014 12:26 AM
    Friday, November 21, 2014 7:25 AM
  • I'd agree with Jithesh, there's no tool that's going to do this for you.

    It all depends on how many entities need to be merged. I had a similar request earlier in the year but we only had about 4 entities that needed merging. We completed the work by modifying the master system so that it could cope with its existing data as well as the data from the child system. I then downloaded import templates from the master system, extracted all data from the child system and then copied the columns from one extract to the other.

    Once this was done, we then imported the data into the master system and then ran duplicate detection jobs which were to spot any overlaps. This worked well but would not be so good if you've got 30 entities to move over.

    • Proposed as answer by Jon_Evans Tuesday, November 25, 2014 12:27 PM
    • Marked as answer by CRM Thirsty Wednesday, November 26, 2014 12:26 AM
    Tuesday, November 25, 2014 12:27 PM
  • I've done this a few times now. Like the others have said, there is no clean way of doing this. The best you can hope for is to get some tips on how to proceed. Whatever you plan, you will most likely spend the next few months cleaning up the residual effects of the merger. A side note - Once all the merger is done, you will find that technically you were capable of doing the merger - but then management will start to complain that the data is invalid or not accurate, or that their reporting is off by miles. I should mention at this point, its absolutely critical to get management/executives involved. You might find that they don't know how to proceed themselves - in this case, grab all the reports that they deem critical/essential and prioritize your work ensuring that the reports needed for the business are available. By this I mean, during the merger, always check to make sure the data is accurate able to report on what they need.

    With that being said I have found that the easiest possible way to proceed is:

    1. Virtualize both servers if possible using any P2V method. This will allow you to mess about with the virtual instances or revert back to a snapshot if need be.

    2. Create ERD, Process, UML models/diagrams to see where you are. I've found that printing it all of onto A3 and sticking on a wall helps me visually see the data structure behind both systems.

    2. Create two full solutions of both systems, and see if you can import them into a test instance. I've been lucky twice where the client had 20+ custom entities but didn't touch the system entities. This meant the solution imported, and so did the data.

    3. If the above fails; exporting the system entities into Excel and using datamaps, vlookups etc, you can do a lot of the querying and matching. This helps with duplicate detection.

    4. Tools Like SSIS, Scribe, Biztalk help - but still require you work out a lot of things manually.

    These were just some random thoughts that occurred - I'll post back if I have any others.

    • Marked as answer by CRM Thirsty Wednesday, November 26, 2014 12:26 AM
    Tuesday, November 25, 2014 3:26 PM
  • What happens if the solutions you import conflict?
    Tuesday, November 25, 2014 5:55 PM
  • Thank you all for sharing your input and experience.

    @Syed, appreciate your detail response on this subject.

    -CT

    Wednesday, November 26, 2014 12:28 AM