salesforce data migration

Salesforce Data Migration Best Practices

Salesforce, a leading cloud application provider, boasts of a $2-billion annualized run rate with its steadily growing industry-cloud revenue. If you are on the verge of building your digital future with Salesforce data migration, you must know that you need to prepare for it. Yes, it may be one of the best decisions you ever made, and the whole migration thing may seem like a cakewalk, but not without unless you are ready for a bit of groundwork and planning.

Data migration as part of a Salesforce project is critical as you can’t afford to lose any data. Besides, it is a one-time activity that could cascade into a nightmare if things go wrong. Not to forget the perennial risk of jeopardizing sensitive customer data, which you simply cannot afford at any cost.

The right way to Salesforce data migration is therefore getting it right the very first time. Having said that, data migration is a huge market, and the global market size is expected to touch $10.98 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 18.37% from 2020-2025.

According to the Lemongrass 2021 Legacy-to-Cloud Survey, 40 percent of companies are moving legacy systems to the cloud for the sake of securing their data despite the challenges that cloud migration and adoption may bring along. Twenty-seven percent have cited savings as their primary motivation for migration, while 11 percent wanted to migrate for the sake of maintaining data access.

No matter what your reason is, Salesforce data migration is a big decision, and you must put some serious effort into planning for it. We have a few pointers in place, though, to help you through it. Read on.

The initial prep work

We urge you to go through the steps mentioned below to get acquainted with the process and address the critical areas for successful Salesforce data migration.

  • Divide your work – There will be multiple service areas, and it’s a good idea to dedicate a fair amount of time to each one. So if you decide to allocate about two weeks to each one and you have six areas to consider, you can expect it to be a 3-month long project. While this is just an example, and the actual timelines may hugely vary, having a timeline always helps stay within your budgets and manage expectations from different areas well.
  • Know what’s in store in AppExchange – The AppExchange is replete with tools, add-ins, and apps that can help you with different tasks such as data cleaning, data imports, data validation, etc. There is a solution for literally every need; all you need to do is explore and choose the ones that best match your requirements.
  • Streamline your data model – An organization evolves continuously, and your new data model should reflect its journey leaving no room for unnecessary custom objects, entities, and other things that now serve no purpose. It makes no sense in migrating data that is redundant or of little value.
  • Review the process at different junctures – Now that you have a timeline in place, would it not be better if you keep checking how far you have come and if there is a better way to do things? The very principle of the agile framework is reviews that can lead to adaptations or improvisations for better results. For this reason, too, you must know the many tools available to you to reduce manual work and speed up the process.
  • Just name it – ‘What’s in a name’ you would say, and we say ‘everything’! Although old fields will get migrated, the naming convention may have changed, and the field names could now be stored in lower case instead of upper case, and so on. Make sure you have a clear API naming convention since data analysts will need them all the time, and having a straightforward naming convention makes their work so much easier. You need to do this early on since these names cannot be changed once they are assigned to workflows and process automation.
  • Get a feel of the new system – You need to be familiar with different fields. You need to understand the relationships between domains, formula fields, workflows, etc. Understand the core of the new model and see how other fields relate to one another.
  • Small things matter – The format you choose to upsert date fields, the monitoring of email addresses during migration, merging duplicates are all essential tasks. An email is an important form of communication, and you certainly would not want to mess it up by having two login credentials for one contact. These can create unnecessary clutter and lead to a humongous waste of time.
  • Remember the lessons – Knowing where you go wrong in the migration process is important, and you might as well document it for future course correction. You need to set milestones to measure your success frequently.

A few things to remember

In case of data migration from one Salesforce instance to another, you might as well want to retain a couple of licenses of the old instances just in case you encounter a problem with the new one. The old instance can help investigate issues and ensure that the record ownership is assigned correctly in the new system.

Also, monitor the amount of space you are consuming during migration so that you have enough time at hand to purchase additional space.

It is crucial to keep users and team members in the loop. They should be informed about the cut-off date, and there should be a team of pilot users ready to test over during the weekend when major data migration is underway. Developers would also prefer to know things in advance so that they are prepared to test before you decide to roll out the instance.

There are times when the data loader executes without any errors, but that doesn’t mean it is entirely devoid of hiccups in the long run. You may want to consider getting sanity testing from Salesforce so that you know all types of users will get the same flawless experience after the migration.

Last but not least, don’t forget to disable active workflows and triggers. Imagine how embarrassing it would be if incorrect emails got sent to thousands of customers simply because you forgot to disable the active workflows that sent them?

And a few bumps in the road…

Data is the driving factor for any business, and it must remain untarnished during migration. There can be situations wherein the data quality post-migration is not satisfactory, or there is a mismatch between migrated data and data on legacy applications. These situations can be avoided with proper planning, paying attention to changes in data types, and using correct formats for data storage.

In rare situations, there can be a possibility of data loss too during migration in the case of mandatory or non-mandatory fields. Data for non-mandatory fields can still be recovered and updated, but data recovery for mandatory fields may be impossible unless retrieved from backup database or audit logs.

You need to factor in the downtime window, too, in case of high data volumes. All in all, there can be a few unpleasant bumps that you need to tide over with the right preparation and migration strategies. Standardizing data used in a legacy system, cleaning the data before migration, and rechecking constraints, procedures, and complex queries can help you transition to the new system smoothly in no time.

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Author

  • I take care of multiple responsibilities. As Business Analyst understand customer business, as Project Manager define and execute project goals and manage customer expectation. I handle projects from vertical varying from manufacturing, health care / child support and security. I am a strong advocate of automating repeatable tasks and ensuring cost reduction.

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Vijay Sam

I take care of multiple responsibilities. As Business Analyst understand customer business, as Project Manager define and execute project goals and manage customer expectation. I handle projects from vertical varying from manufacturing, health care / child support and security. I am a strong advocate of automating repeatable tasks and ensuring cost reduction. View all posts by Vijay Sam