In the past, enterprise applications for finance, sales, marketing, and operations were built to last. In absence of alternatives, these applications grew and lived for long periods of time.
With the advent of SaaS, however, businesses have many best-of-breed applications to choose from. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a business to migrate from one application to another over a short period of time. These transitions may be triggered by evolving needs, usability, lower cost of ownership, or better support.
Without careful planning,
Businesses frequently use an indirect path to move data from the old app to the new. First, the data from the old app is moved to a central repository or database for backup. Next, the data from that repository is transformed and loaded into the new application. By decoupling the old and the new applications, the business can continue using the old application until the new one is ready.
Most businesses execute these transitions in stages, so they’re not dealing with all of the data all at once. For example, they might move their customer and sales data off of the CRM first, before their customer support data.
While this approach can be fairly manageable, there are still quite a few data-related challenges in executing a migration, including:
- Standardization: define what data will be included, how it will be formatted and stored, and other foundational considerations that will define every following step.
- Data validation: run automated checks for acceptable values, date formats, required fields, and transaction times. Additional verification tasks can further reduce unusable data and can eliminate anomalies in your systems, applications, or data.
- Deduplication: adequate analysis and reporting of duplicate data to data stewards. Ensuring exclusion or discarding redundant data.
- Data cleansing: data quality is of paramount importance. Aside from the data validation step, separate rule-based processes to improve the quality of data is essential.
- Bulk l
oading: Migration often involves moving large volumes of data. Using tools and utilities that allow higher throughput with bulk operations is a key factor in successful execution.
If you’re performing your app migration in stages, these challenges become even more complex, as what was loaded into your database last week may no longer be accurate today. Since usage of the old application continues to generate new data, the migration process must ensure that all the latest changes are correctly and accurately propagated to the new application. Without the right checks and balances, an erroneous load could require starting afresh with a full historical load.
Workato offers a fast, agile approach to app migration. Here’s how the world’s leading network enablement company uses Workato to seamlessly move data between their best-of-breed apps!
Who? A leading tech company that provides equipment, testing, services, and other tools to broadband and IP network operators.
What are they doing with Workato? Moving large volumes of customer, support, and sales data from an old CRM application to a new CRM application, as well as making app data readily available for consumption from a central database.
The Challenge: A successful app migration requires moving large volumes of business-critical data, applying complex transformations to map data from the old application to the new one, and ensuring data quality and integrity for a seamless transition to the new application.
The Solution: The company uses Workato to process and write data from their apps to their data warehouse (and vice-versa) in real-time batches. They:
- Use Workato’s powerful connector for cloud-based CRM apps and databases to extract and load data in real-time or in bulk;
- Use built-in formulas, lookup tables, and custom SQL capabilities to validate, cleanse, and standardize data;
- Leverage Workato’s mapping recommendation and group mapping capabilities to correctly map the flow of data from
CRMapp to database and database to CRM; and
- Use error monitoring and exception handling actions in the recipe to catch exceptions based on policies and submit them for review and correction.
- Easier to work with a wide range of data sources, from CRMs to ERPs and everything in between
- Better error handling that isolates incidents without stopping the entire process
- Crucial data is available in a standardized, consumable format across the entire organization
Moving Data Between Best-of-Breed Apps and an Oracle Database with Workato
Like many digitally-native organizations, the world’s leading network enablement company is constantly looking for ways to run a leaner organization. A big part of this is choosing the right best-of-breed SaaS tools. When switching to a new tool, a successful app migration requires moving a lot of data into an Oracle database, validating it, and then pushing it into the new app.
As a solution, the company turned to Workato to move the data. Workato’s intelligent automation and integration platform makes it easier to sync crucial data from the company’s CRM, ticketing app, project management app, and more with a central database. Whenever objects are created, edited, or deleted in those apps, Workato updates the corresponding data rows in the Oracle database. This sync applies to campaigns, assets, incidents, tasks, project workflows, and more.
Because all of these objects are automatically kept up-to-date in Oracle, the company doesn’t need to worry about creating accurate backups of ever-changing data. So when the company switched from its old CRM to a new program, the app migration was much faster and less frustrating.
Using Workato has also made it much easier to deal with potential errors, which can happen fairly often when working with a large dataset. If an error occurs, Workato adds it to a list and sends an email to the appropriate administrator. The rest of the sync continues as normal—no need to fully restart the process or pause it until the error is fixed!
Most importantly, these workflows provide a framework for employees to run reports without touching the end systems. Employees frequently need to access data in best-of-breed apps for reporting purposes, but they might not be familiar with that app’s interface or even have login credentials. Now, data from all of these apps is available via the Oracle database in a standard, consumable format.