The Coexistence of Salesforce and Siebel

From On Premise to the Cloud: Data Migration Tips for Better Customer Experiences

Oftentimes, we encounter clients who had already invested heavily in on-premise CRM, like Siebel, but want to evolve their systems with Salesforce. However, the misconception is that “rip and replace” needs to occur to spur ongoing innovation and stay competitive; in reality, co-existence between Siebel and Salesforce is achievable, can help manage expenditures in the short-term, and can enable more engaged customer experiences.

Investing in Salesforce

For enterprise organizations using on-premise CRM, it’s harder to evolve their business with archaic technology; they cannot afford to remain static in their constantly shifting business categories. As more companies invest in Salesforce, a significant number of them look to migrate their business from running off of Siebel and incorporating a combination of Salesforce and Force.com customizations to better achieve their business outcomes. As they consider this move, a number of questions, concerns, and logistical hurdles confront them. At Bluewolf, we’ve traveled this path many times and recommend clients consider these approaches when it comes to handling data migration and integration from Siebel to Salesforce.

A Deep Dive into Your Data

The heart of any modern solution, especially CRM, relies on data. Data is the personification of a customer in the enterprise. Over the years, most companies have built up considerable data stores in their Siebel solutions, which is tremendously valuable, even if the solution housing it no longer is. As you plan your data migration from Siebel to Salesforce, consider data cleansing; there is little value in moving dirty or repetitive data from one system to another.

Just as you find superfluous household items when you move, even a cursory examination of your data will reveal duplicate, partial, and obsolete records in your systems. Additionally, when it comes time to integrate this data, even a few incomplete or duplicate records can adversely affect your cross system processes. The more companies expose quality issues from the on-set of migration, the more valuable it will become to the business. Our recent State of Salesforce Report showed that when data quality is strong, salespeople are almost twice as likely to believe they will achieve their 2016 goals.

Creating Order For Your Data

Closely related to this effort is the need to find a home for orphaned records. Salesforce’s model formerly required each record to have a single active user, and while this is no longer a hard and fast rule, it is still best practice to associate records with an active user in order to benefit from the full capabilities of the platform. Thus, records owned by inactive users (i.e. former employees), must be reassigned before migration. This won’t take a separate review; when cleaning your data, just make sure each record has an active owner.

Once the data is squeaky clean, the migration effort can begin in earnest. This is no trivial undertaking, as the data models of Siebel and Salesforce are very different. Example:

  • In Salesforce a company is represented and stored using the native Account object, analogous to a single database table.
  • In Siebel this same record is natively stored in 3 or more database tables.
  • Now repeat these types of differences for all records and fields.

If you don’t create order and structure before you begin, your migration will be chaotic at best. Your project teams will need to collaborate to map the fields, from source to target, to keep the data clean and useful at the end of the migration.

Integrating the Data

Just because your team is transitioning from one system to another doesn’t mean your customers will wait. Rather than attempting a “Big Bang” strategy where the entire company switches systems at once, with a Siebel to Salesforce coexistence, successful data migrations can employ a phased approach. This is where the data mapping, discussed above, pays additional dividends. You’ve already spent the time determining how to translate a record from Siebel to Salesforce (and vice versa). Coupled with powerful middleware, which will enable a variety of timing and scenario-specific options, you can effectively split your team across applications and enable an easy transition at your own pace that includes a robust training and adoption plan, while reducing risk.

Ensuring You’re Getting the Most Out of Your Platform

There are a number of other factors to consider during a transition from Siebel to Salesforce, such as application migration, enterprise integration implications, and, once you’ve fully migrated the team to Salesforce: how do you ensure you’re getting the most out of your new platform? We’ve helped hundreds of customers smoothly transition from Siebel to Salesforce. 

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Bluewolf, an IBM Company, is a global consulting agency and proven Salesforce strategic partner that builds digital solutions designed to create results. Now.