Upgrading CRM: CRM Online vs. On-premises - Finding the Best Fit for Your Organization
Welcome back for part two in our Upgrade CRM blog series! In last week's blog, we delved into how to decide between a CRM upgrade versus a CRM reimplementation. Once you've chosen to move forward with a CRM upgrade or reimplementation, you then have to decide whether you will host your CRM system online or on-premises. In today's blog, we will go over some of the pros of each option to help you decide which option is the best fit for your needs. Let's get started!
Benefits of CRM Online
CRM Online is a SaaS model. If you choose CRM Online, this means that your CRM system will be in Microsoft's Cloud.
You get immediate access to new features for Dynamics CRM as soon as they are released. Microsoft currently releases two major updates a year for CRM Online.
You will get some features that are ONLY available in CRM Online.
No falling behind on versions – Microsoft requires you to update regularly, which prevents you from falling multiple versions behind. This prevents a large and time consuming upgrade project in the future.
Less upfront and ongoing costs because you don't need the IT infrastructure or maintenance.
With online hosting, you pay a monthly fee instead of paying all at once. It requires less cash up front.
CRM Online is secure and reliable and has a super robust disaster recovery scenario that few on-premises customers can afford to create.
Benefits of CRM On-premises
This traditional model is where CRM is hosted by your company or by another hosting partner or vendor.
You have access to the SQL database:
You have the ability to run SQL queries and reports.
If you run into performance issues, you can always throw mare hardware at it since you are responsible for the infrastructure.
You decide precisely when and if you want to upgrade.
You can run old code that does not run in CRM online.
You decide and have control of security and setup.
Hopefully this gives you a starting point when considering whether to host your CRM system online or on-premises. Check out our webinar, “Upgrading CRM: Powerful New Features to Make Your Work Easier.” It's a great place to start if you have questions about upgrading. Please reach out to us with any additional questions or if you want to have conversation about CRM online versus on-premises. Make sure you check out the final installment in our series, where we talk about how to move from a data-driven CRM system to a process-driven system.
Upgrading CRM: How to Move from a Data-driven CRM to a Process-driven CRM
Welcome back for the final installment in our Upgrading CRM blog series! Today we are going to wrap things up with taking a look at how you can move from a data-driven CRM system to a process-driven CRM system. So without further ado, let's dive in!
A common question we often get asked regarding Microsoft Dynamics CRM upgrades is how do you go from CRM 4.0/2011, which are both primarily data driven, to CRM 2013/2015, which are a lot more process-driven.
There are a few options you could choose in order to accomplish the transition. One way is to take a phased approach. This means that during your CRM system upgrade, you continue using the old version of the form and then add in the processes at a later date. With this approach, you don't have to change your entire system all at once, which can expedite the upgrade project especially if you're not sure what processes you want to add into CRM. If you decide to implement the new process flows, you have the ability to make them optional for the end users.
Why is adding processes into your CRM system beneficial?
Implementing processes into your CRM system can help your overall business in many ways. Processes mean that users don't have to remember what the next step or stage is for daily tasks and functions from memory. Statistics show that if people follow a set process for something, there is considerably more compliance and success in that area. Essentially, CRM processes can streamline your business, decrease human errors, and maximize your employees' time, thereby affecting your overall bottom line. It's really a win-win for all involved.
How do I start thinking about implementing processes in CRM?
Once you have your processes defined and documented, be considerate of which ones make sense to add to CRM. You can always take a phased approach to adding processes in. Aim for the quick wins first that will have the biggest and most beneficial impact. End users typically struggle with change. Remember that having a solid change management plan is important. Training, communication and re-enforcement is critical to ensuring successful utilization of the new CRM features such as process flows.
Thank you for joining us for this blog series! If you missed our two previous installments, you can read them here and here. Also make sure you check out our webinar, "Upgrading CRM: Powerful New Features to Make Your Work Easier" to learn about all of the great new features that you can take advantage of just by upgrading your CRM system. Hopefully we have convinced you to consider an upgrade or a reimplementation for current Dynamics CRM system. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about upgrading your CRM system. We have a whole team of experts who can guide through the entire process.
Upgrading CRM: Reimplementation vs. Upgrade - Choosing What’s Right for You
Have you been considering a CRM reimplementation or upgrade, but aren’t sure which option is the best for your organization? If so, this blog is for you! While you may think that an upgrade and a reimplementation are similar, they are actually completely different, and deciding which option is best can be challenging. This series includes the following installments:
So without further ado, let’s dive in. First things first. What is the difference between a reimplementation and an upgrade?
Reimplementation: If you decide to go with a reimplementation that means you’ll be starting with a fresh instance of a new CRM org. PowerObjects can assist you with your re-implementation process. For example, you may need to re-configure the following:
CRM security structure (users, teams business units, security roles)
Entities, forms, fields, entity relationships, etc.
Processes: Workflows, Dialogs and Business Process Flows
Reports, Dashboards and Templates
Integrations and Plug-ins
Lastly, you will need to complete a data migration to move the data from your old CRM system to your new CRM system. With data migrations it is important to consider the cleanliness and quality of your data.
Upgrade: With an upgrade, you take whatever you currently have in your CRM, and then you follow an upgrade path to go from one version to the next version of CRM. For example, if you’re upgrading from CRM version 2011 to 2015 you’ll need to upgrade to CRM 2013 before going to version 2015. When working with PowerObjects, we evaluate your existing customizations and configurations for capability with the latest version of CRM. A critical part of the upgrade process is testing all of your customizations, processes, and reports to ensure that they work correctly in the newer version of CRM. As part of the Microsoft CRM upgrade process, most of your configurations and workflows should upgrade without re-configuration.
Sometimes you may want to add enhancements to your CRM system along with your upgrade. Enhancements are great, however, we suggest a two-phased approach: focus on the upgrade first and then have a separate project afterwards for the enhancements. You want to make sure your system is settled and running smoothly before you add in new functionality. Think of it from a troubleshooting standpoint, working on the upgrade and enhancements unnecessarily complicates the project.
Choosing the Right Option for You
If you are using an older version of CRM, such as 4.0 or 2011, you might want to upgrade to the current 2015 version to take advantage of all the new features and benefits that come with it. However, you may be wondering if you are better off choosing a reimplementation so that you can start off fresh with a new instance and then migrate over your existing data. “How do I know which one to choose?” We get asked this question all the time. These are a few reasons why you may want to opt for a reimplementation:
If you want to reconfigure your system – i.e., clean up a bunch of data, change your format of your configuration.
Your processes have changed since your initial CRM implementation.
You feel like the configuration was done incorrectly, and that whoever did the initial implementation didn’t follow best practices.
If you need to review and re-configure your current CRM security, such as removing or adding business units or rolling out a different set of security roles.
You are significantly behind with your CRM version (i.e., 3.0 or 4.0).
Generally speaking, upgrades are less expensive, because when you opt for a reimplementation, you need to reevaluate all your processes and requirements, build out the system, and then migrate the data over.
Here are a few reasons for upgrading:
No significant changes to your system are needed.
You don’t have a large data quality issue.
Upgrades are typically less time consuming than re-implementations.
To summarize, consider a reimplementation if you want/need to start with a fresh instance in a new CRM org. An upgrade is typically better if you don’t have a need for imperative configuration changes and if you don’t have a major data quality issue. Feeling a little overwhelmed? PowerObjects offers free upgrade evaluations. Reach out to us with any questions or concerns so we can help you get on the right track. Also make sure you check out our webinar, “Upgrading CRM: Powerful New Features to Make Your Work Easier” to learn about all of the great new features that you can take advantage of just by upgrading your CRM system. Stay tuned next week for the next installment in our Upgrading CRM series.