Six questions to ask yourself when determining the right time to upgrade your Microsoft Dynamics CRM system

By - July 7, 2015

This is a question that our clients often ask us when there is new version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is released. However, there is no right or wrong answer because there are so many variables involved and all our clients have different scenarios.

While there isn’t a definitive answer or time frame when to upgrade your current Microsoft Dynamics CRM, there should be some preliminary questions that need to be asked first to help you reach a smart decision if you need to upgrade or not.

Often when there is an upgrade, we usually get asked the following common questions:

  • How much will the new version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM cost me?
  • Is any new hardware and software for the upgrade required?
  • What is the estimate downtime of Microsoft Dynamics CRM during the upgrade?
  • Will we need to retrain our users when we upgrade to the next version?
  • How are integrated third-party applications affected when we upgrade?
  • What about our existing data? Will that get transfers over to the new version?

As you can see, the questions above revolved around cost, time and risk. These factors are important to considered, but they do not pertain to all clients. Again, all clients are unique and some prefer to be on the latest and greatest, while others will have different circumstances which cannot upgrade right away. Hence, you will need to gauge the tolerance of risk versus time and the role Microsoft Dynamics CRM plays in your business when deciding whether to upgrade or not.

Let’s put this into perspective with two scenarios:

Company ABC is using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 and does not want to upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 at the present time. However, Microsoft Dynamics is critical to their business operation.

Company XYZ is using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and want to be on the latest and greatest. They have been keeping up with each new version and upgrade within 6 months time frame of each new version. Even if Microsoft Dynamics CRM is down, they can continue with business operations.

Below are two tables showing tolerance of risk versus time for the two companies:

Company ABC tolerance of risk versus time

Table “Company ABC” below shows that each version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM entails a potential risk, hence the longer you wait, the more risks you will build up when it is time to upgrade from version 3.0 to 2015.

Right time to upgrade your Dynamics CRM 1

Some other key risks for Company ABC when deciding to upgrade to Dynamics CRM 2015

  • Longer downtime due to required upgrade path
  • Dynamics CRM 3.0 > Dynamics CRM 4.0 > Dynamics CRM 2011 > Dynamics CRM 2013 > Dynamics CRM 2015
  • High upfront cost due to infrastructure changes
  • High risks of breaking custom scripts and longer time to upgrade due to jumping three versions
  • Required retraining users to use the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Company XYZ tolerance of risk versus time

Compared to the other table (Company ABC), we see that “Company XYZ” does not have many risks accumulating at one time since they have been steadily upgrading.

Right time to upgrade your Dynamics CRM 2

Some other key risks for Company XYZ when deciding to upgrade to Dynamics CRM 2015

  • Shorter downtime due to required upgrade path
  • Dynamics CRM 2013 > Dynamics CRM 2015
  • Low or moderate upfront cost due to infrastructure changes
  • Low risks of breaking custom scripts due to only jumping one version

Based on the comparison, Company ABC’s level of risk is higher than Company XYZ. While one may argued that Company XYZ had to go through all of those upgrades at one point too, and yes that is true, but it was spread out to minimize risk involved during the upgrades. On the other hand, Company ABC jumping to three versions all at once carries a very high risk and downtime during the upgrade process.

Again, all companies are unique with different circumstances, so deciding when is the right time to upgrade Microsoft Dynamics CRM will always be different for each individual company, but the main point is how much risk and downtime you are willing to tolerate and accept if you upgrade now or wait in the future.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 is the newest CRM version to date. If you are thinking about upgrading your Microsoft Dynamics CRM and have questions, RSM offers a full range of services from upgrades and implementation to development and support. Contact our professionals for more information on our services at 855.437.7202 or crm@rsmus.com.

Hien Tieu – Philadelphia Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner

 

 

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