8 min read

The Truth about Migrating from Salesforce

The Truth about Migrating from Salesforce
The Truth about Migrating from Salesforce

We’ve been in the CRM business since 2009 and have implemented Salesforce CRM for many customers. However, as our business grew and we continued to support customers using Salesforce, we realized that the technology wasn’t for everyone. As a result, our team of consultants and technologists searched for an alternative solution to offer our customers.

If you happen to be one of the businesses currently using Salesforce CRM, you likely feel frustrated for the following reasons: 

  1. The high cost of Salesforce CRM ownership
  2. The limitations of Salesforce CRM software
  3. The time and effort to migrate Salesforce a more affordable and flexible CRM 

That’s where 
TrellisPoint can help. As CRM experts, we know your pain. Fortunately, we also know how to fix it. A migration from Salesforce to Microsoft Dynamics 365 doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, as more companies have chosen to migrate, we’ve developed an expertise in handling Salesforce to Dynamics migration projects. If you’re considering making the leap, here are a few things you know.

Migrating from Salesforce CRM to Microsoft Dynamics
 won’t take as long as you think. 

Leveraging decades of experience with CRM systems, we’ve developed a turn-key solution to seamlessly migrate your data from Salesforce CRM to the latest innovative Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution. We’ve done all the work ahead of time, pre-mapping all out-of-the-box data fields in both systems, so you don’t have to factor vast amounts of time and resources into planning your migration. In most cases, your migration project can be completed within 4-6 weeks! 

Migration won’t break your budget.

Budgeting your project is always a prime factor in your cost-benefit analysis when deciding to switch CRM platforms. We have great news on this front! Migrating from Salesforce CRM to Microsoft Dynamics may not be as costly as you think. A good range to budget is approximately $14,000-$19,000 for a full migration and can cost much less depending on the depth of the use cases that require support. As a Microsoft Partner, we’re also able to offer you a free 30 day trial which includes transferring up to 10,000 contacts for you to experience Microsoft Dynamics firsthand.

Ongoing licensing is another factor to consider when budgeting for your CRM migration project. The cost difference between the two platforms is significant. From our experience, most Salesforce customers are paying over $150/per month per user for Salesforce licenses. But, we’ve also heard of some paying nearly $300 per month/user for access to additional security roles and unlimited Sandbox space – not to mention the additional costs to license integrations. Our customers using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, pay a fraction of that, paying on average $95 per month/per user for unlimited integrations, a mobile experience, and 10x the storage. 


Pick the right partner and you don’t have to worry about data loss. 

Knowledgeable partners will be able to navigate their way around both systems. Our experienced team can match most of your data quickly and accurately – but also do it via our proven method that ensures you don’t lose crucial information such as record history, sales opportunities or quotes. Of course, there will be data that you choose not to transfer to your new CRM, but it’s a choice, not an oversight. This is an important point because many customers use the migration process as a tune-up for UI and associated processes.  

At TrellisPoint, we approach every migration as a new installation. We work closely with you to identify your current needs, make recommendations for functionality improvements, clean up data, and ultimately design a CRM solution tailored for your business – complete with the right fields, entities and workflows in place to drive the most impact.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales: 
 A Solution to your Salesforce CRM woes. 

It’s clear to see why Microsoft’s CRM offering is a fast-growing threat to Salesforce. Based on performance in the areas of —deployment, customization, integrations, resources and support, and cost, TrellisPoint recommends the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform as the more cost effective, high-performing CRM of choice for businesses. From its deep integrations, with Microsoft solutions ingrained in nearly every facet at the enterprise level, to its lower long-term cost of ownership, it’s simply the best value—sharing the same core capabilities of Salesforce, without the higher price tag behind the brand name. 

If you’re ready to make the switch, contact our team of CRM professionals for an initial consultation. If you’re still unsure, we’ll be happy to review the details of your Salesforce installation and the benefits that come along with migrating to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, as well as the 30-day free trial. 

In Part 1 we discussed the main components of a CRM migration including Data Model customizations, UI customizations, and the Data Migration itself.

The data migration can be the most difficult part of a CRM platform migration, sometimes by a long shot. This article provides a review of available options to bring your data into Dynamics 365 (D365), and some of the common challenges that can make it harder than expected.

Option 1: CRM Migration with the Import Data Wizard

The Import Data Wizard can import data from one or more comma-separated value (.csv), XML Spreadsheet 2003 (.xml), or text files. It allows for creating data maps with some data transformation capabilities. It can also perform lookups into some entities on the fly, duplication checks, and other validations.

The Import Data Wizard has many limitations though:

  • It cannot read data directly from the source platform. Data must be exported into multiple flat files (CSV, XML, text), and then imported one by one into D365.
  • Many entities are not supported, like Activity Parties, Contracts, parts of the Product Catalog, etc.
  • It cannot update previously imported data; a different update method is required.
  • Lookups are done by name, so when there are multiple records with the same name (for example, two Contacts with the same name), the lookups are unsuccessful.
  • Many entities cannot be imported with the correct status. For example, Opportunities and Quotes can only be imported as open records. Updating the record status to closed cannot be done through the Import Data Wizard. Often, many additional steps are necessary to make the imported data match the source data.
  • Mapping all users successfully can be very challenging. Often former system users have been disabled or removed from the source system. Links to these old user records are frequently missing or invalid.
  • Dependencies are also difficult to handle. For example, when populating the Primary Contact for Accounts, the Contact record may not exist yet. Since the Data Import Wizard can’t do updates, linking related records after import requires sophisticated knowledge of mass update features and data integrity principles.

These are just some of the main limitations of doing CRM migration with the Import Wizard. This tool is not meant to be a complete migration solution. It’s better to consider it a means to perform the simplest CRM migrations (such as when all that is needed are Accounts and Contacts plus minimal other linked data). It can also be ideal for performing limited imports once a system is in production. An experienced D365 database administrator might get some decent mileage out of this tool for a small platform migration, but the effort required is hard to justify.

Option 2: CRM Migration with Third-Party Migration Software

There’s a variety of software solutions in the market to help facilitate data migrations into D365. Some are only a minor improvement over the Data Import Wizard, while others help make complex migrations possible through a robust set of features. Perhaps the most widely known tool available is from Scribe Software. They offer both a cloud solution (Scribe Online) and an on-premise solution (Scribe Insight). Here at TrellisPoint, we have used Scribe solutions for many years. We have achieved good outcomes using these tools for our clients, although not without various challenges and limitations. Here are some of Scribe’s pros and cons as experienced by our consulting team:


  • Able to directly read and write data on many types of data sources, including on-premise databases and various cloud platforms
  • Can insert, update and delete most available D365 entities
  • Availability of a partner network and online community to assist if needed
  • Complex mapping and cross-references are possible


  • A steep learning curve that is hard to justify unless the tool is used well past the initial data migration for other tasks
  • Complex migrations can be very labor-intensive and require highly technical skills at the level of database administrator or software developer
  • Licensing price adds to the total cost of the migration
  • Persistent bugs in the software can be frustrating and increase migration time
  • As with the built-in Data Import Wizard, limited by difficult dependency requirements and other platform-specific restrictions in the D365 API. For example, Opportunities and Quotes can only be imported as open records, and closing them cannot be done through the Import Wizard. Many more steps are necessary, and it’s very difficult to make the imported data match the source.

Option 3: Leave CRM Migration to the professionals

You may be able to secure the services of a consultant or consulting firm to perform the platform migration for you. As with other IT projects, it can quickly become a very expensive proposition. While there are very capable CRM migration consultants, there are also many unreliable or overpriced consulting firms out there willing to take the job without the proper experience or expertise. On the other hand, the best D365 data migration professionals will save you time, headaches, budget, and the risk of data loss or even the possibility of a failed data migration.

The consulting team here at TrellisPoint has many years of experience performing simple and complex CRM migrations and data integrations. Over the years we have leveraged our experience to develop advanced internal tools that allow us to overcome the worst of the challenges mentioned above. Our process increases accuracy, speed, and reliability while lowering the total cost of migration. Here are the pros and cons of using TrellisPoint to perform a CRM platform migration:


  • No need to spend time and effort learning complex software that may never be needed again
  • Avoid the frustration of re-discovering convoluted and thorny issues that are already well-known to the professionals
  • The most difficult entities to import will be populated with the highest degree of correctness allowed by the platform, allowing the source data to match the imported data as closely as possible. This greatly eases the common problem of information loss during CRM migration
  • Keep your focus on your daily work and eliminate the distractions of yet another project


  • The cost of CRM migration may be higher than doing it yourself if you have available technical staff with years of experience importing data into D365

The new TrellisPoint CRM Migration offering

In early-to-mid 2018, TrellisPoint will begin releasing new CRM Migration offerings which will include a free limited data migration. This means your own CRM data, moved to an actual 30-day Dynamics 365 trial instance ready for you to review and study within days. No planning, no meetings, and zero cost!

The trials may be limited to only Account and Contact information for example, and will likely include only existing fields in D365. Nevertheless, this will allow any organization to get a preview of how easy and straightforward a data migration can be when done by TrellisPoint experts, with no commitment required.

If you would like to speak to someone about this offering, please feel free to contact us here, or give us a call at (440) 390-1619.

TrellisPoint is a professional services firm specialized in the implementation, management, and maintenance of CRM systems. We have been assisting our clients with CRM migration and integration for decades, and have performed many successful and cost-effective migrations of different CRM databases into Dynamics 365. Our Strategy and Business Analysts can be extremely helpful to your organization in performing business process mapping, data mapping, and user interface design. Our CRM Migration Specialists will also be invaluable when the time comes to finally migrate the priceless data that your organization depends on. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free, no commitment consultation.

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Migrating From SalesForce to Microsoft Dynamics 365 FAQ

  1. What specific features or capabilities does Microsoft Dynamics 365 offer that make it a better alternative to Salesforce CRM for certain businesses?

    Microsoft Dynamics 365 stands out as a robust alternative to Salesforce CRM due to its comprehensive integration capabilities, particularly with other Microsoft products such as Office 365, Teams, and Azure. This seamless integration enhances productivity by allowing users to access CRM functionalities directly within familiar tools like Outlook and Excel, facilitating smoother workflows and communication. Dynamics 365 also offers advanced AI-driven insights and analytics that empower businesses with predictive analytics, trend analysis, and guided actions to optimize customer interactions and decision-making processes. Its modular design enables businesses to start with what they need and expand as they grow, ensuring that Dynamics 365 can adapt to changing business requirements without overwhelming initial implementation.
  2. What post-migration support and training does TrellisPoint offer to ensure businesses can effectively use Dynamics 365 after the transition?

    Following and during the migration to Dynamics 365, TrellisPoint provides comprehensive support and training to ensure businesses can leverage the full potential of their new system. Recognizing the importance of user adoption for the success of the project, TrellisPoint offers tailored workshops designed to equip users with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate and utilize Dynamics 365 efficiently. These sessions are structured to cater to different user roles and proficiency levels, ensuring that everyone, from end-users to administrators, can confidently manage their tasks within the new system. Additionally, TrellisPoint offers ongoing support to address any post-migration challenges, ensuring businesses continue to operate smoothly and can quickly capitalize on Dynamics 365's advanced features to drive growth and improve customer engagement.
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