Over the last couple weeks I have slowly gotten us up and running on SugarCRM after having spent many years on Marketcircle’s Daylite CRM product for Mac. Generally, I had been very happy with Daylite, but there was quite a lag in development and certain features in Daylite weren’t keeping up or working with the newer Mac technologies such as support for CalDAV calendars.
An even bigger problem was raising its head as well. Using Daylite in online mode worked most of the time, as long as you didn’t switch networks. Our whole team uses Macbooks Pros in their day-to-day operation and sometimes they plug into a wired network, then they go to meetings and are on wireless and then they go home to their own networks. Each day a user will switch networks many times and Daylite wasn’t happy with that: it would crash and not sync back up correctly. We had been using a workaround for a bit by putting the clients in off-line mode, but that started showing some issues as well and didn’t seem to sync as expected, keeping some folks out of the loop as data was sitting locally, but not on the server from time to time.
It was time to move, so we looked at SugarCRM and I found that it was pretty easy to migrate years of Contacts, Accounts and Opportunities into the new platform. If you are using Daylite and looking for a way out, here are some quick tips to help get you going.
1. Make sure everything gets linked back to Organizations in Daylite
SugarCRM and many other CRMs out there rely heavily on Accounts (or Organizations in Daylite speak) to link activity, but Daylite never seemed to stress this behavior. Before exporting the data (more on how later), I had to go into all Contacts and Opportunities and ensure that they were linked to some Default Organization. The Daylite Server tools even help you out a bit by giving you a button to link all Contact’s Activity and Tasks back to the organization.
2. Set Forecasted Close Dates and Totals in Daylite
SugarCRM has a couple required fields out-of-the-box for an Opportunity. You will need to provide an "Expected Close Date" and the "Opportunity Amount", which map to Daylite’s "Forecasted Close Date" and the "Estimate Total". You have a couple options here if you don’t normally use those fields. We had mixed usage so I filled in the dates in Daylite for those that were missing the "Forecasted Close Date". For the "Total", I ended up just setting them all to during the import, but if you do export them, be careful of the comma thousands separators that it will include and not delimit them with quotes. It will throw off the import into SugarCRM.
3. Create your Employee/User accounts in SugarCRM to match Daylite
Take a look at the users in your Daylite CRM and create matching users for all of your Daylite users, even the disabled ones. Make sure you match the usernames of your Daylite users with the SugarCRM users. We will use them later to make sure all of the created by and ownerships are transferred seamlessly.
Once you have created all of your users, export them to CSV so we can map them in Excel to the "creator" and "owner" fields in your other exports. SugarCRM will give you all of the user’s info including their unique identifier.
4. Import your Organizations first
Everything in SugarCRM relies on them being present and when the other data is imported, it will automatically make the links back to the Account for you. While you are at it, you probably will want to search for duplicates before you do the export of the data and fix up all of those links.
With your data all cleaned up for export, you can do it easily by making a CSV export of the Daylite data. This is pretty much the same process for all of your Daylite data. You will go to the Organizations section of Daylite and select the List view for the results screen.
Once you have that view selected, you need to add all of the columns that are expected by SugarCRM. You can get a reference CSV file by going to the import screen in SugarCRM and download the template file. Use it as a guide to add your columns to the Daylite export.
With the column selector open, drag the columns over to the left and I put them in order with the SugarCRM template to make things easier.
Now make sure you select all of your rows and then from the File menu, you can choose
Export... > Export Visible Columns and Selected Rows to File.
5. Import the rest of your data
Now that you have Users/Employees and Accounts imported, you can now import just about all the rest of the data and get the proper links between the objects in SugarCRM. I started with the Contacts and moved on to Opportunities from there just following the same pattern of exporting CVS files from Daylite for each kind of thing and then mapping them to the same types of objects in SugarCRM.
Now that we are getting settled into our new CRM home, I’ll post some of our experiences using it and what add-ons we are using with it as well. If you have specific questions about migrating to SugarCRM, don't hesitate to drop me a line.