SugarCRM Data Migration: The Easy Way

Are you trying to figure out the best method for a SugarCRM data migration? Generating, analyzing, or using customer data is no longer reserved for large companies, IBM, or quants with their own analytical formulas.

Almost every business is swimming in it. We’re constantly generating it on our phones, computers, tablets, and now smart personal IoT devices. And data is getting more specific with historical, situational, and behavioral records.

Tools to make use of customer data are pretty much ubiquitous now and your CRM is the best place to process it. It can be a virtual goldmine, storing both your own privately generated customer intel and third-party information.

SugarCRM is one of the more popular options. It’s affordable enough for professionals and robust enough for large enterprises. It can take care of your marketing, sales, customer service, and power on-premises enterprise solutions.

It’s gotten better recently with AI-based predictive capabilities, automatic machine learning customer insights, marketing automation, performance analysis, smart nurturing tips, customer experience portals, agent support tools, and more.

But SugarCRM still can’t do everything. And this CRM gets even better when it’s integrated with other business systems. There are tons of other tools you might want to use with it. Like financial insight, productivity apps, legal resources, etc.

Keeping business tools isolated isn’t ideal. Siloed data results in inefficient work and delivers inaccurate results. This is why digital insight ecosystems are on the rise. This is where you link multiple apps, platforms, and systems together to create exponentially bigger functionality and value.

Freeing up business data to flow across channels and ecosystems is critical for high-performing organizations.

What Can You Build With a SugarCRM Data Migration?

You can build different kinds of ecosystems around your CRM. These are appropriate for top enterprises and niche boutique brands.

·   Wells Fargo developed an ecosystem focused on improving internal work efficiencies.

·   Lifestyle experience brand Bespoke Collection includes email marketing, social listening, and mobile apps.

·   Gaming company Activision incorporates social media listening and service tools into their CRM tool.

·   Grill manufacturer Weber built an IoT grilling system around their CRM.

CRMs already bring a high payoff on their own. And integrating SugarCRM with your other business tools and systems will maximize the value you reap from your customer data.

But this all rests on your ability to successfully migrate data to and from your CRM.

Related: How to Easily Make a Target List of Customers to Contact With Your Own Data

A Few SugarCRM Data Migration Challenges

Here’s the thing. As popular as integrated business app systems are becoming, this isn’t always easy to pull off.

There are a few challenges that consistently trip people up. These tend to be due to unforeseen complexity, incorrect field mapping, lack of true interoperability, data hygiene, and security risks.

A SugarCRM data migration doesn’t always go smoothly. Complications often emerge, sometimes due to technical errors or inexperience.

Most CRM data is considered structured data. This means that information is kept tidily in relational databases with meaningful tags. But this doesn’t mean that it will translate well from one app to another.

And there’s more unstructured data to deal with now, like chat log messages, help desk tickets, and social content.

Bringing another app’s data into your CRM can get messy, since you may need to translate the structured and unstructured data.

That’s because data doesn’t always precisely map from app to app. You need to match every relevant field in your SugarCRM to its related field in the app you want to link it to. This means going field by field through each CRM feature.

Most apps are interoperable because they’ve been built on the same or compatible cloud-based infrastructure. But data formatting issues can come up.

This occurs when you need to migrate data stored in different formats. It generally requires converting the migrated data to the new format first.

Data format changes should be straightforward, but you do risk damaging the quality or losing some of the data itself.

And there are data duplications where multiple record entries are added. Duplicate records are bad for business and risky to clean. Luckily, SugarCRM has a de-duplication tool that you can run after imports or for routine maintenance. But it’s best to avoid compromising your data in the first place.

If you want to do a manual SugarCRM data migration, here are a few things to look out for:

1. Ensure you properly back up all your systems.

2. Prepare the files correctly in a CSV format.

3. Ensure that no files were corrupted if you made a conversion.

4. Scrub the files and assign them the correct SugarCRM fields.

5. Make your import.

6. Verify the data’s integrity.

Related: SugarCRM Marketing Automation Integration

Are Native Tools Best for a SugarCRM Data Migration?

No, native tools aren’t great. These can be a hit or miss. Remember that the developer’s goal isn’t necessarily to build the best migration tool. These are often tacked on as a necessary item and sometimes treated as an afterthought.

Since the migration tool likely isn’t the priority, it may not be regularly updated to use the latest tech capabilities. Native tools are usually safe. But your industry may require something with stronger data protection.

Using native tools can get quite frustrating if you’re migrating data from several apps into SugarCRM. You’ll waste a lot of time learning how to use each one, following the different migration protocols, and figuring out any tool idiosyncrasies.

And not all migration tools will be ready for integrating with the apps you want. If you don’t have another way of doing your SugarCRM data migration, you might not think the integration is unavailable to you.

Even if when a native tool is purpose-built for the app you want, it might not be smooth. These often require you to do quite a bit of manual work, and they often lack control. You usually can’t finetune exactly what data you want to pull in and where you want it to go.

If you aren’t careful, transferring data from one app can compromise your entire CRM. Even when your data isn’t polluted or compromised, most app migrations require extensive manual cleanup work. You can get around these challenges with enough technical skill and patience. But even uncomplicated migrations can be a hassle when working with native migrators.

So, instead of relying on an assortment of native add-ons, consider using a separate integrator app.

What to use for a SugarCRM Data Migration

An automated integration tool is the best choice for your SugarCRM data migration. It comes down to ease of use, proper data management, and data hygiene.

Proper data management and hygiene begin well before the migration. The right tool will have already mapped out your app fields and developed any necessary data formatting conversion workflows.

Even the best migrations can create some form of data pollution or corruption. Post-migration data hygiene processes will assess the data’s quality and correct any errors. These core capabilities take care of the risks and challenges of moving data while ensuring it’s done with minimal downtime and no manual interference.

Here’s what it will look like:

1. Integrate: run a comprehensive partial or fully automated transfer between an on-prem system or SaaS tool

2. Clean: the app should inform you of any data that needs cleaning and process it automatically

3. Analyze: receive a report on your data based on the app’s function

How precise can you get with a native migrator? If you need to extract a select portion of data, a specialized data integrator is the way to go.

Or you may want to work with data from an on-prem corporate system. Complex systems are best handled with special tools. It’s the only way to go, whether you’re doing a one-off migration or integrating apps for a continual back-and-forth data flow.

Is your data still siloed away in disparate business systems? Bringing data in and out of SugarCRM can be completely hassle-free when you use a tool like Vertify. Request a demo now to see how this purpose-built integrator can break down your information siloes.

2020 Headshots 15

Author: Matt Klepac | CEO | Vertify