Migrating From ACT to Microsoft CRM

I have seen numerous posts over the last year on the Microsoft CRM newsgroup from people looking for help migrating their ACT databases into Microsoft CRM. In fact, I just posted a response last night to someone who was looking for some help with just this dilemma.

It seems to me that the market that Microsoft is targeting with this product is going to consist of a lot of ACT users who are outgrowing the product and looking for something richer and more “enterprise” class. I’ve been kind of disappointed with the materials that Microsoft has released about migrating from ACT or selling into an ACT environment. So far, of the three deployments I have done, all of them have included migrations from ACT.

By far the easiest way to get from ACT to CRM with your data intact has been Scribe Insight. If you’ve read the newsgroup at all, I’m sure you’re familiar with this product. It isn’t as easy and straightforward to use as the marketing material would have you believe, but it is a big step up from any other method I’ve found. If anyone from the MS CRM development team happens upon this post: Please include some more substantive migration tools in future releases! The problems with having to use a third party product is that 1) you need to pay extra for it (not a happy thing for the clients) and 2) the licensing isn’t consistent with the life-cycle of your CRM. Here’s what I mean: It would be great to have a means of performing repeated migrations/integrations. Scribe charges something like $3500 or $4000 for an integration license. That’s pretty hefty for small companies that are using ACT, which are typically not very accustomed to large technology investments.

Okay, so that’s my rant for the day. If you have any questions about how I have gotten data from ACT into Microsoft CRM, please shoot me an email or post a comment here! I’d be glad to help!


Anonymous said...

Just came across this post. What has been the best inexpensive way to migrate from Act to CRM?

I'd love to hear your opinions on this!

- Doug


Matt Wittemann said...

The most inexpensive way I've found is to purchase a license for an ACT exporter tool (there are several available for about $100). This will let you export your ACT tables to an Access database. Once in Access, you may have to do some re-linking of tables, and may need to add a reference table to link all the different tables up. Then, once that database is intact and working as expected, upsize it to SQL (there's a wizard in Access to do this). Once in SQL, you are half way there. Now you can use the DMF that comes with CRM to move your data in. You will likely lose the notes and history of ACT using this method, but it is cheap and relatively easy.

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