Blog Feed Post

Migrating away from Salesforce.com? Beware!

Forceworks Migrating away from Salesforce.com? Beware!

Salesforce.com is not a fan of customers who attempt to leave. I can’t blame them, nobody likes to lose a customer. When you start to lose a lot of customers, it can make you a little desperate, but this does not seem to apply Salesforce.com, I mean in the last year alone their stock has gone up 20 points. They have obviously done an excellent job of convincing business of the value of Cloud CRM. So why are they so hostile about people wanting to leave? Maybe they are just paranoid. Ever since they launched in 1999, they have absolutely “Owned” the cloud CRM space. To succeed they had to win two battles, first was the concept of CRM which many companies had come to think was a waste of time, and the second was that this was Software as a Service running in the cloud, whatever that was. No small feat. But they did win, and are still winning.

rearviewFor years they looked in their rear view mirror and saw no one. Executives became convinced that they needed the product, and Salesforce.com was the only provider. They could charge whatever they wanted, sell it on whatever terms they wanted, and support it however they wanted. But starting a couple of years ago they thought they saw a speck in the rear view mirror. Since then that speck has gotten bigger, and even though it is way behind in cloud market share today, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is slowly closing the gap.

Even a winner can’t win them all

Our free enterprise system will not allow anyone to “own” anything indefinitely, eventually competition sees your success and wants a piece of it. At the same time you are getting new customers, you are losing a few out the back, it is inevitable. The game changes from a 100% new customer focus, to a split of adding new and retaining old simultaneously.  The concept of retaining customers is relatively new to Salesforce.com. Sure they have had plenty of customers leave the CRM concept altogether, but not often for competing platforms. At times they seem both confused and angry about the natural phenomenon of losing a client to a competitor. As a former Salesforce.com consultant, turned Microsoft partner, it is easy for me to say “Get over it”, but then again, I am not playing for their team anymore.

If you’re not with me, you’re against me

We have performed several migrations of customers from Salesforce.com to Microsoft Dynamics CRM over the last year. It is, frankly, a pain in the ass. Not that it should be, but Salesforce.com seems to be of the opinion, that if they make it difficult enough for you, you will somehow see the light and remain a happy customer. In reality, their antics cause customers to become even more determined to leave. So why do customers want to leave in the first place? I can’t speak to all customers who leave Salesforce.com, only the ones I know left for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The main reason, which Salesforce.com could actually eliminate, is cost. The annual all-in spend for Dynamics CRM is a fraction of that for Salesforce.com. This is a dilemma for Salesforce.com as the bulk of their revenue is derived from a single Cloud CRM product. Microsoft Dynamics CRM on the other hand is one of a ton of products that Microsoft relies on for revenue and generates such a small portion of their overall revenue they could probably give it away for free with no impact on their revenue today. Maybe this is the source of the paranoia. Could you imagine a Microsoft offer to current Salesforce.com customers “Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is Free for you for the first year”… maybe I will run that one up the flagpole.

The Gotchas

Okay, so based on our experience with Salesforce.com to Dynamics CRM Online migrations, I want to share with you some of the things we have learned. The first thing is you better plan ahead. Unlike Microsoft, Salesforce.com likes to sign customers up to annual, or longer, commitments. Occasionally the renewal bill will prompt a customer to look at alternatives, but by then, it is probably too late. I mean, you have to establish a Dynamics CRM account, get it setup, migrate your data and get everybody trained up… this ain’t gonna happen in a week. I recommend at least 60 days and 90 days is best. So let’s say you had this foresight 90 days out. DO NOT ALERT SALESFORCE.COM THAT YOU PLAN TO LEAVE. This will set in motion a two-pronged campaign. First your sales rep will start hounding you daily to reconsider, also it is my belief the account gets flagged for support making the opening of the API for migration either very expensive or not possible. One of the things Salesforce.com charges you for is API access, coming in at $300/user/year, Dynamics CRM’s API is open by default, for free. Salesforce.com will “do you a favor” and open it temporarily, but unfortunately you have to be a little deceitful in your request for this. Something like “my developer needs access for testing a new application”. Seriously!

Getting to Moving Day!

So the first step is setting up Dynamics CRM and making the modifications to conform to your business. This is actually a great opportunity to improve your processes as well. Then let’s load some demo data and get the staff trained up. You must understand that Microsoft Dynamics CRM is not a Microsoft copy of Salesforce.com, the two platforms approach things a little differently. If your goal was to make Dynamics CRM “the same as Salesforce.com was”, you will miss too many opportunities that Dynamics CRM has to offer. So yes, Change Management is a part of the project. Let’s assume we got through this fine, because you will, and we are ready to migrate. As I mentioned before, we have to get Salesforce.com to open the API, and we unfortunately have to be sneaky about it. But once open, we can suck all of your data over to Dynamics CRM fairly easily. Typically we’ll do a trial migration to make sure everything has mapped over correctly. Often, when clients start seeing their own data inside of Dynamics CRM, they realize a few changes are necessary, so we may tweak the map a few times until all is well. Once satisfied we run a final migration pass. If we pushed all of this too close to the renewal date, we run the risk of the infamous Salesforce.com renewal “gun to your data”. “You must commit to renewal by 5PM today or we will blow your data to smithereens”, or words that make you believe that this is the case. Salesforce.com is not afraid to apply significant sales pressure.

So, should you make the switch?

If I have not scared the crap out of you with the process involved, then there are a few things to consider. I already mentioned the significant cost difference. For day-to-day use via the browser, both programs will pretty accomplish the same things for you. Where Microsoft Dynamics CRM has a significant edge, is with customers who are using other Microsoft products. The Outlook integration for example. Who better than Microsoft to build an integration between two Microsoft products? Salesforce.com’s Outlook integration capabilities, via third-party apps is dismal by comparison. In addition Microsoft’s Lync presence and Lync or Skype click to call capability is also brought natively into Dynamics CRM. If you have large databases with lots of attachments, Salesforce.com is hammering you on additional storage costs. Dynamics CRM integrates with SharePoint, which not only makes all of your documents available to non CRM users, but also, should you outgrow the allocated space, each additional GB is only twenty cents a month. I also think with the latest 2013 release, Microsoft Dynamics has passed Salesforce.com on the mobile front. To counter Salesforce.com’s claims of superiority in Social, Microsoft has integrated Yammer and will be adding InsideView (included in subscription) any day now. And we still have Netbreeze and Marketing Pilot, two new acquisitions coming to the platform soon.

So I think I covered enough for one post, feel free to add your comments below.

Read the original blog entry...

Latest Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...