By Dick Wooden on January 27, 2016 at 7:00 AM
Outgrown Act and need an effective data migration to a more complete CRM?
So you have come to a conclusion that your trusted and true ACT contact management system has done all it can do to help your business to continue to grow. You have taken this easy to modify system very far with customizations and performed work arounds to make it work the way your business operates. But the limitations are now forcing an upgrade to a fully capable CRM system that is a very adaptable system, such as Infor CRM (formally Saleslogix).
A major concern is how to safely and conveniently migrate your core ACT and customized ACT tables of contacts, companies, opportunities, activities, history, notes, emails, attachments and products to Infor CRM. You realized that there will be the need for additional matching and data manipulations beyond a standard mapping from ACT tables to Infor CRM tables. Also during this process some data garbage needs to be removed and data transformation must occur. Additionally you'll want to adjust the ACT source data to better uses in Infor CRM, taking advantage of what the new system offers.
Inaport comes to the rescue
Inaport from InaPlex is the leading data migration and integration engine for mid-market CRM systems. Inaport provides comprehensive data migration, data integration and data transformation for Microsoft CRM, Infor CRM (formerly Saleslogix), Sage CRM, GoldMine, and ACT.
Inaport is characterized by ease of use, exceptional matching capability, and a no-code approach. Despite its breadth and power, however, Inaport is affordably priced and has low ownership costs, ensuring excellent value without compromise.
In this article I'll help to explain our perspectives and why Inaport comes to the rescue.
One of the primary objectives is to have a helpful tool that will take data from ACT that has been accumulating for many years and also translate customizations made into a fully capable CRM like Infor CRM. This works best if you have a pilot system available that will use a copy of the ACT data and create the needed records in Infor CRM. Typically there is data transformation and data matching that will need to magically occur, for example:
- Converting the ACT Company and Contact ID/Status values to represent various types of companies and contacts along with a status such as "Active, Inactive, Duplicate"
- Using the advanced capabilities of Infor CRM such as converting Company ID/Status into various account types, and related sub-types found in Infor CRM.
- Some opportunity currency appearing fields will need to be converted for a 'text' appearance to an actual number as currency in Infor CRM.
- ACT does not have the concept of Account/company assets (products and services sold from closed-won opportunities) so your company many have added contact or company fields to hold past product sales that needs to be migrated to Infor CRM Account Product table.
- ACT probably has some blank records that need to be skipped.
- Many times there are many to one data relationship records that are placed in a single ACT table like contacts, companies or opportunities. So this data should really be split out into related tables to hold multiple records, similar to the concept of Infor CRM Account Products or Product master history transactions.
- Maybe you have used the flexible ACT Group capability to hold other information such as detailed product information that needs to build an Infor CRM product catalog.
- ACT may have contacts that are not associated to a company so the migration process needs to smartly create the new Infor CRM account record and link contacts to the new company account.
Inaport migration profile map to create and update Act Contacts without a Company link:
Data Transformation & Data Matching comes into play
Strong data transformation tools are critical for ensuring that transferred data is unique, accurate and consistent. If data quality is not assured during integration your company can be working with "rubbish", leading to poor client management and bad decisions.
Inaport lets you transform and manipulate data in many different ways:
- There is a vast library of present functions for auto-reformatting
- On the fly-lookup of external databases and maps to get the correct data values
- Re-mapping of record ownership on the fly
- Data type conversions, including full Unicode and localization support
- Preview pane of "results" prior to importing data
- Expression editor with extensive built-in guidance
- Expressions can be saved and reused.
- Implement your own functionality with external code if needed.
Excellent data matching capability is Inaport's greatest strength, and is critical for avoiding duplicates and correctly identifying target records for update. This approach is very effective because Inaport provides a range of independent techniques that can be combined as required to meet diverse data problems.
- Matching can be applied to any fields or combination of fields, and data transformations applied on the fly to identify matches that would otherwise be missed.
- Matches can be refined with user-defined 'fuzzy matching" criteria, for instance, to handle misspelled names.
- SQL select statements can be used to extend matching to any entities in the system.
Migration quick start packages:
A migration pack contains a set of profiles for a particular migration path. Packs make it much faster and safer to perform CRM data migration. Available Inaport migration packs include:
- From ACT! version 8 - latest to:
- Microsoft CRM
- Infor CRM (Saleslogix)
- Sage CRM
- From GoldMine by FrontRange to:
- Microsoft CRM
- Infor CRM (Saleslogix)
- Sage CRM
Watch a demonstration using Inaport to import customer information from an Excel spreadsheet into Microsoft CRM (similar to Saleslogix) here. View other tutorials using Inaport or visist the Support forum for other helpful tips.
Inaport Product Editions
Standard Edition is designed to provide a cost effective solution for ad hoc or regular requirements such as a list import.
Professional Edition has all the functionality of the Standard Edition, plus a range of more advanced features. It provides substantial extra power for large databases, handling dirty data, regular scheduling of jobs, and two way integration with external data sources.
Enterprise Edition provides all the functionality of the Professional Edition, but also allows integration between any data repositories in the enterprise.
You Are Not Alone:
Success with CRM Consulting is a certified InaPlex partner and we are here to make your CRM implementation is successfull. Contact us for ideas in making your Act to Saleslogix (Infor CRM) migration a positive experience.
Look for future articles on the practical use of Inaport to solve your data migration and integration needs....
Call Dick if you have questions at 269-445-3001.
Comparing ACT and Saleslogix (Infor CRM)
Why we recommend ACT or Saleslogix (Infor CRM)