Thursday, December 6, 2012

Data Import Options

When discussing data imports to CRM there are 2 distinct scenarios:

Data Migration

Data Migration generally refers to a large scale conversion effort and is typically performed as part of a CRM Go Live effort where data is migrated from the legacy system and is usually quite an involved effort. This exercise is technical in nature, typically performed by IT professionals and requires a great attention to detail. Correspondingly the migration logic is also usually quite involved. Meaning that there can be quite a bit of data transformation as part of the migration exercise. And if migrating from another system, you typically want to be able to connect to the data in the legacy database rather than extracting the data to an intermediate CSV file. So as a general rule of thumb when doing this type of data migration you typically want to be using a tool like Scribe to make it happen.

Importing Data

Importing Data generally refers to a more specific one-time or ongoing requirement to import data into a live CRM environment. For example, the need to import new leads into the CRM database. Typically this is a more straight-forward "one-to-one" exercise (i.e. no data transformation required) and if this is the case, the out of the box "Data Import Wizard" can be used for this function.

One thing to note is that while the "Data Import Wizard" has advanced by leaps and bounds, it still has one chief limitation - it only can import new records. If you're looking to use the wizard to update existing records, I'm afraid you're fresh out of luck. And if that is a requirement you'll once again need to look for a 3rd party tool such as Scribe.

For an excellent general overview of the features and functions of the Data Import Wizard please refer to this post. At the end of the post it lists a number of 3rd party tools that can be used to fill the gap in functionality of the Data Import Wizard should you encounter it. Although none of these products have what I would term a "no-brainer" price. Below is a rough comparison in pricing of the various tools on the market (as of this writing):

  1. Scribe
    • $3000: 15 user license
    • $5500: 100 user license
    • $1900: 60 day migration license
  2. Inaport
    • $1799: standard (should be sufficient for import function)
    • $3499: professional
    • $1195: 30 day migration  "professional" version which is apples to apples comparison for the Scribe migrate license)
  3. Import Manager (best option if end user interface is required)
    • ~$2500
  4. Import Tool (attractive pricing) 
    1. ~$1300: Full Version
    2. ~$325: 60 day migration license

The following tools don't seem to be realistic candidates based on their price point:
  1. Starfish 
    • $4800/year: Basic Integration
    • $1495: 60 day migration license
  2. eOne SmartConnect 
    • $4500 (not sure if this is a one time or per year fee)
  3. QuickBix 
    • $7000: 100 user license ($70/user)
  4. Jitterbit
    • $800/month: Standard Edition
    • $2000/month: Professional Edition
    • $4000/month: Enterprise Edition

The following tools do not seem to fulfill the requirement:

  1. CRM Migrate
    • Tool specifically built for migrating SalesForce to CRM
  2. CRM Sync
    • Very little information and no pricing for this tool

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