Tuesday, April 4, 2017

5 Tips on Moving from Dynamics CRM On Premises to the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Cloud

Source: Microsoft Dynamics CRM (on-premises) to Microsoft Dynamics Online Migration Guide (microsoft.com)
Many customers are moving their Microsoft Dynamics CRM from traditional hosting on premises in their server facilities to the Microsoft Dynamics 365 cloud.  Migration to the cloud can be challenging, especially if you are still using an older version of Dynamics CRM.  You will not have the same control over the cloud environment that you have of your servers, and your data import performance may be throttled down by the cloud environment.  For instance, you cannot schedule restores from a Dynamics 365 backup on the cloud or make backup snapshots in the same way that you control these on your servers. 

Here are InfoStrat's top hints to make the transition easier for your organization.
  1. Upgrade to the latest version of Dynamics 365 on premises. Microsoft doesn't provide a smooth transition which allows you to skip versions, so you will need to upgrade to each of the successive versions or consider your new solution a clean break and migrate only the data.
  2. Switch your licensing to the subscription model and provision your cloud environments. The InfoStrat Dynamics 365 cost calculator can help you choose the plan that is right for you.  Microsoft allows you to run on premises with your cloud subscription, so there is no incentive to wait and no need to buy duplicate licenses/subscriptions for your users. You may be eligible for Team Member subscriptions for many of your users.  Create the production and non-production instances of Dynamics 365 so you can practice the process of promoting your solution from one environment to the next before you go live. Also be sure to check the storage requirements and perhaps archive data if appropriate rather than pay for additional storage of data you are not using. 
  3. Freeze development of your solution until the migration is complete.  Once you are upgraded to the latest version of Dynamics 365, focus on moving to the new environment rather than entertaining more changes to the solution.  Otherwise you may find yourself chasing a moving goal line.  
  4. Consider a data migration tool.  A data migration tool such as Scribe will save many hours of development and testing time for any upgrade or migration effort.  Scribe offers special migration bundles for 60-day or 180-day subscriptions.  By using Scribe, you can dramatically boost the import rate with additional clients as shown in the chart above. 
  5. Move to Office 365.  If you are not already on Microsoft Office 365, this is a good time to switch.  You can combine your user training and support changes. Dynamics 365 is administered from the Office 365 management console.
A typical migration effort involves more than one trial migration followed by testing until all migration issues have been addressed. Moving your data from on premises to the cloud takes longer than most customers expect, and you must avoid disruptions to the use of production systems. 

Contact InfoStrat or your favorite Microsoft services provider for migration services and to get answers to your questions.