Project Planning and CRM 2011 Upgrade RRS feed

  • Question

  • We are an 80 user shop with CRM on premise. We recently completed a 6 month discovery to upgrade from CRM 4 to CRM 2013. We have many integration's between our website, CRM and our ERP and it has been a long process with my team defining what our next evolution will look like. We got three different quotes from three different vendors and we were just about ready to make a decision. 

    Late in the game an "IT Business Consultant" who was a "CIO" in the past convinced the owner of our company that he could do this for much less by moving us to a completely different cloud platform. 

    I was asked to sit with him to explain what we had. That meeting was 2 1/2 hours. In that 2 1/2 hour discussion we went over the network in general and I briefly showed him CRM 4. Based on that short conversation he is putting together a proposal to move us away from CRM and into something completely different. To say I am skeptical is an understatement.  

    We never got into any of the specifics of our internal business processes and integration's. He never asked what our ROI has been. He never asked what our deadlines are for our busy season that starts in October. He doesn't know the details about our current customer facing portals and how those work. He really knows nothing about our internal business processes.

    He has done no discovery or research, he never met with the stake holders and he is coming to the table with a solution that will be ripping out a foundation that has paid for itself twice over the last 4 years.  

    I am sure there are several solutions we could look at but lets say he does have a solution that will do the job. It will no doubt need to be an enterprise SaaS or cloud solution with a cost of at least $100.00 per user per month. Then we have development. I factor that at an additional $100.00 per user per month in the first year to migrate and redevelop everything we currently have. I think that development cost is being very conservative as all my internal CRM customization's came over in the test upgrade. Those processes will need to be redesigned in a new system. Then we have training on the new platform. Let's say that is a very conservative $25.00 per user per month over the first year. 

    Then we have upgrade costs year to year on that platform as there will be a lot of custom. That custom will need to be upgraded based on the cloud vendors schedule. So lets say the real number is at $125 to $150.00 a user in years 2, 3 & 4. after all is said and done.  

    Now my average out of the 3 quotes I got to upgrade CRM 4 to 2013, upgrade our portals and add a new website is less that $300k. My users understand the concepts of Dynamics CRM so the learning curve will be a lot smaller. I am looking at that same 4 year projected ROI on this next evolution that we had with CRM 4 for the last 4 years. 

    Doing the math and making an educated guess, in the first year for this guys solution we are at $216k and then roughly $144k for years 2, 3 and 4 for a total of $648k. This is looking at that same 4 year projection. 

    I am just wondering what the CRM community thinks about this approach this consultant is taking? Am I off base to be concerned here? 

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014 2:51 PM

All replies

  • Is he suggesting CRM Online? If so, the per-user cost is cheaper than you say, and the migration should in-theory be the same price as your on-prem migration. In fact, you can work with MS IT to move your database online as a whole, once you have finished the migration.

    Since all of your plugins and integrations will need to be redeveloped completely if you migrate from CRM 4.0 to 2013 anyway, that likely is a wash with whatever consultant suggests.  Also, since there are many new processes in CRM 2013 that weren't available in 4.0, a rethinking of the integrations and plugins would be worthwhile no matter which way you go.

    You've obviously done your homework, especially on the internal side.  See if you can convince the owner of your company to give you the time to do the same due diligence on the consultant's vision.  Put them up side by side, with each level of effort, and maybe even a comprehensive fit-gap analysis for each solution. Once you have that, then you will either be armed with the information you need to demonstrate that the consultant's idea as foolhardy, or you will have convinced yourself that he's on to something you can support.  

    The postings on this site are solely my own and do not represent or constitute Hitachi Solutions' positions, views, strategies or opinions.

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014 3:43 PM
  • Thanks for the input Wayne.

    He is purposing going with a "COTS solution." That is what he told me. Of course, Dynamics CRM is a COTS so I think he just doesn't know what CRM is. So in his vision, we would not only redevelop our all of our custom, we would redevelop all of our internal CRM processes. Things like workflows, custom entities and forms and the business logic that is automated with those elements would need to be redesigned from the ground up in a new solution. Those elements upgraded just fine from CRM 4 to CRM 2011.

    You are right, the integration's and portals do need to be redeveloped but throwing out the foundational elements that did upgrade just fine, is to me a huge waste of money. 

    I don't know, maybe the guy is that good to come up with something without doing any discovery at all? I am not the smartest guy on the block but even I know you don’t throw the baby out with the bath water?

    • Edited by Max-2011 Wednesday, January 29, 2014 2:44 AM
    Tuesday, January 28, 2014 6:30 PM
  • The thing is, everything that upgraded from 4.0 to 2011 WILL NOT migrate to CRM 2013. You literally will have to redevelop every single plugin and custom workflow built on CRM 4.0, as the API that those were built on isn't supported in CRM 2013. (but yes, entity structure and custom forms will largely migrate, though they will all need tweaking due to the dramatically different interface 2013 has)

    I still think it's easier to migrate to CRM 2013 than something else entirely, but he's not-wrong about this being the time to take a serious look at internal processes and CRM workflows, and a lot of it will have to be redeveloped for 2013 anyhow.

    Seriously, take a copy of the 2011 database and run the custom code validation tool on it: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30151

    That will give you an idea of what will need to be completely redone for CRM 2013, so you can make sure you have the right levels of effort for the internal upgrade.  That also will 1:1 tell you how ready you could be for CRM Online if cloud-based is compelling to the business.

    The consultant might be ignorant and blowing smoke, but that's no reason not to come loaded for bear with the best facts at your disposal.  In fact, all the more reason for it.

    The postings on this site are solely my own and do not represent or constitute Hitachi Solutions' positions, views, strategies or opinions.

    Monday, February 3, 2014 3:15 PM