Tools and Techniques to Reduce Dynamics 365 CRM Cloud Migration Effort

Hard to Migrate Dynamics 365 CRM Cloud Migration

Over the last several years the SaaS versions of applications like Dynamics 365 have been the focus of product management departments at companies such as Microsoft.

The online versions receive the product updates faster and there is a trend for customers to migrate their workloads to the Cloud/SaaS-based versions of the application.

Migrations to the cloud need to be planned and sometimes become challenging with the following considerations: 

  • Reporting capabilities are not the same with Dynamics 365 in the cloud. When you have a SQL based on premise Dynamics install, where you can have direct access to the database, it’s easier to schedule reports and get snapshots of these reports.
  • Integration with on-premise systems needs to be re-developed. With on-premise systems that are within the same network the trust level makes it easier to integrate the data and systems. With Dynamics 365, online API’s and web services must then be developed and consumed between applications that are accessing business and data level services across different networks.
  • Finally, the size of the database itself can be a hindrance in moving to the cloud. Having a database that has been upgraded over multiple versions of CRM just tends to have a lot of data bloat. This data bloat usually is in the form of documents and attachments that are tracked in CRM through emails.

Dynamics 365 online is a highly flexible, scalable application that brings the power of integration and other services and is certainly worth all the rethinking and redesign.

Tips on Migration of Dynamics 365 CRM 

Use the Work 365 Apps Report Scheduler to get some scheduling and reporting back to your routine. Report Scheduler allows you to schedule a view in Dynamics 365. This view can include links back to your CRM records as well as group and total number fields in the scheduled email report that you receive. Also using a tool like PowerBI makes it easier to visualize and source data from multiple systems.  

Using a commercial integration service or tools like Scribe or Kingsway allows you to build data and system level APIs. These integrations can be scheduled or run real time as well as between on-premise and online systems or even just multiple online systems.  

Finally, data migration can be challenging for multiple reasons – it takes time and effort to migrate and data storage costs more in the cloud or you have to pay for exactly what you use.

Azure Storage costs for Dynamics 365 online are $5GB/month. Storage costs per GB of data have been reduced since the release of Dynamics 365, however, it’s still quota based – you purchase a certain amount of data and you are entitled to use up to that limit. Microsoft sends you warnings and notifications as you approach these thresholds.

We have recently released the Work 365 Attachment Manager application to alleviate some of these data management issues in Dynamics 365.

The Attachment Manager app moves documents and attachments from Dynamics 365 into the Azure cloud and provides a link back into those records.

Using the Attachment Manager to move the bulky space-consuming attachments prior to any cloud migration project can significantly reduce your data footprint, making it easier for you to migrate to the cloud and use less storage while saving money on storage costs overall.