How to Migrate from ZohoCRM to Salesforce?

How to Migrate from ZohoCRM to Salesforce?

While I was attending the Dreamforce 2013 conference in San Francisco, I asked around for professional reviews of ZohoCRM. Dreamforce is obviously a Salesforce-only event but I was simply curious to know the opinions of people about other CRMs as well. The most common answer was ‘ZohoCRM is for starters’.

ZohoCRM has been around since 2006, yet it is still considered a CRM for starters whereas its biggest competitor Salesforce is considered an enterprise solution. Apart from the obvious reasons of ZohoCRM’s woeful lacking of features, support, and performance there is another reason behind the sobriquet CRM for starters.

ZohoCRM is significantly inexpensive when compared with other CRMs. That is why it is the preferred CRM solution for a lot of small scale organizations and many startups. It is the Customer Relationship Management system which is easy to pick and simple to kick-start a CRM solution.

Probably the reason why ‘ZohoCRM is for starters’.

However this is also the reason why we get a lot of ZohoCRM to Salesforce Migration requests. You see when these small-scale organizations grow, the customer-base and the resources-pool expand with the growing need of efficiency, user-friendliness and advanced features. The need for investment starts making more sense. And once they realize there is probably another solution which meets their needs and has the capability of providing more than it consumes financially, they switch over to Salesforce for the realization ‘that ZohoCRM is not the best solution anymore’ sinks in. Hence the ZohoCRM to Salesforce migration requests.

Migrating from ZohoCRM to Salesforce is not a very difficult task as long as you understand databases and Salesforce inside out. There are two ways by which you can migrate your Zoho data into Salesforce

  • Using a Dataloader
  • Integrating Zoho With Salesforce using third party tools

We are going to discuss both ways, but first let’s find out how where exactly Salesforce scores over ZohoCRM.

ZohoCRM vs Salesforce: Features Perspective

The ultimate reason behind migrating from Zoho is its lack of features. However we thought it best to highlight some of the main reasons why organizations generally migrate from Zoho.

  • Lack of third party support: Salesforce Appexchange is filled with third party apps to extend Salesforce’s functionalities. ZohoCRM also has some third party apps but not as many and as extensive as Salesforce. Third Party integration support is the second most important reason besides lack of features which forces organizations to migrate to Salesforce.
  • Custom Dashboards: In Salesforce you have very flexible options to create custom dashboards to display data. You can do the same in Zoho as well but it is not that flexible and customizable.
  • Integration with Outlook and other email platforms: Zoho has another product named Zoho Mail. For any integration with mail tasks they force you to opt for the product, which in itself is not very user friendly in spite of being cheap. Integration with other email clients like Outlook and Google Mail is buggy and not hassle-free.
  • Document management: Zoho Document Management System known as Zoho Docs is great, but not as flexible as the document management systems of Salesforce.

Migrating from ZohoCRM to Salesforce

As I said earlier there are two ways by which you can migrate from ZohoCRM to Salesforce. But before that allow me clarify what exactly MIGRATION means. Transferring all data from ZohoCRM to Salesforce platform and integrating and extending all the necessary functionalities in the Salesforce platform in a very swift, fast and secure environment. So basically except the Salesforce Customization part, the main thing we do in any migration request is move the data. Also another thing to note is that we are not integrating Zoho Database with Salesforce, by migration we mean one-time transfer of all data. Note that real-time data transfer and updation is a different ballgame altogether.

Method 1: Using a data Loader

The first and the most often used method for ZohoCRM to Salesforce migration is through a data migration tool. We basically export all Zoho data in CSV files and then transfer it to Salesforce, just like we did it in our Salesforce data integration post. Since in our previous posts we have already discussed the most used data loader- JitterBit, right now for this example we will be using the next most popular one, Apex Data Loader Tool. Here are the step-by-step instructions.

Step 1:
The first step is to export all data from ZohoCRM into CSV files. Click on Settings gear icon in upper right corner in Zoho. Then go to Export-> CSV. You can also export in any other format you like but CSV files are best for ApexDataloader.

Step 2:
Create necessary databases in Salesforce with desired headers. Now an important point to note here is regarding the seemingly useless Zoho ID. Every Zoho database entry has a unique Zoho ID corresponding to it. The same is true for Salesforce. But since all data has not been exported to Salesforce and not all data has corresponding Salesforce ID, it’s easier to manage the data using the unique Zoho ID itself. So don’t pre-maturely discard the Zoho ID as useless!

Step 3:
Open Salesforce and then open ApexDataLoader. If Data loader is not previously installed on your Salesforce, you can download the setup from here.

Or you can navigate to Salesforce->Setup->Data Management->Data Loader-> Download the Data Loader. Then you can manually open the Dataloader by navigating tool-> Apex Dataloader.
Zoho To Salesforce Migration
Step 4:
Enter Salesforce credentials in the Apex tool and then using the Apex tool, open the previously exported CSV files.
Migrating From ZohoCRM to Salesforce
Step 5:
The next step is to map the CSV file headers with your newly created Salesforce database headers. If your database headers are perfect then using the Auto mapping feature will cut your job in half. But even then mapping is a Drag-and-Drop process in Apex and quite easy.
ZohoCRM Salesforce Migration
Step 6:
Click on Finish and you are done. Just 6 easy steps and you have successfully migrated your Zoho Data to Salesforce. Now all that’s left is to integrate all necessary third party apps into your Salesforce. For this we would advise you to use professional help.
Zoho CRM To SFDC Migration

Method 2: Third party integration tools

The second and a more elaborate method for migration is to now integrate ZohoCRM with Salesforce. It involves a lot of custom coding, good amount of configuration and plentiful mapping. It’s suffice to say that without professional guidance it’s nearly impossible to do it perfectly. There are also some third party tools that you can use to automate the transfer process. Here are some of the most used ones.
Zapier Integration tool
Dell Boomi

Or let the experts do their job for you

In the end Zoho to Salesforce migration is all about integrating of third party apps and migration of databases. We all know and understand that databases can make or break an organization. So in-experienced handling of databases, especially CRM databases can have far reaching effects. We strongly advice to use professional consultancies for the task for its not just about upgrading in time fully but also the safe, secure and successful movement of important and at times really large amount of information. We here at Algoworks have been providing Salesforce migration services since 2007 and are one of the most experienced service providers in the market. So if you need any help feel free for free consultation to begin with!

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Pratyush Kumar

Pratyush Kumar

Co-Founder & President at Algoworks, Open-Source | Salesforce | ECM
Pratyush is Co-Founder and President at Algoworks. He is responsible for managing, growing open source technologies team and has spearheaded more than 200 projects in Salesforce CRM alone. He provides consulting and advisory to clients looking for services relating to CRM(Customer Relationship Management) and ECM(Enterprise Content Management). In the past, Pratyush has held consulting roles with various global technology leaders, such as Globallogic & HCL in India. He holds an Engineering graduate degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee.
Pratyush Kumar

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