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A User Confronts the Challenges of Migrating from ACT! to Microsoft Dynamics CRM

by Jason Gumpert

The user at the CRM User Group session says she is struggling as she tries to migrate her real estate management company from ACT! contact management software to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

At a recent session on Dynamics CRM implementation sponsored by the CRM User Group, she wondered how she will be able to get all the company’s accounts and sub-accounts—real estate firms, agents, buyers—into her new Dynamics CRM program.

According to Bill Walker of PYA Wise Software Solutions, a Dynamics CRM partner, “This is not a simple implementation. CRM is more complex than most ERPs.”

In addition, he advised the user, the implementation is about much more than migrating data. “You are implementing a business process. Whomever is working with you needs to understand your business processes.”

The challenge is that Microsoft Dynamics CRM “is totally different from a contact manager,” said Walker. “The contact manager is just a component of CRM.”

Another challenge is getting top management to appreciate the distinction. According to the user, “Our top executives view (Dynamics CRM) as a contact manager.”

This is a familiar issue, according to Walker. “Most organizations think CRM is a contact manager.”

He pointed out that “Dynamics CRM is a completely customizable program. So we have to understand the business processes it will affect. We flow-chart the process. We put in test transactions, with a trainer and a site.”

With other ERPs, “you have a standard procedure. With CRM, you have a white board.”


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About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Prior to co-founding, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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