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Salesforce Classic to Lightning migration - things to consider

Salesforce Classic was the main interface for the Salesforce CRM platform. In 2016, Salesforce rolled out Salesforce Lightning, the new and improved interface with additional features that make it easier and more engaging for users. Salesforce Classic is still available and still used by many businesses, but the writing is on the wall that Salesforce Classic is no longer going to be supported and is nearing the end of life.

Salesforce is continuing to develop the Lightning interface, and for good reason. It offers many benefits, such as better UI, faster build times, and full customisation.

For these, and many other benefits, a lot of companies are looking to migrate from Salesforce Classic to Salesforce Lightning. With that decision comes the need to migrate their data, update configurations, review systems etc.

Having helped many customers with this process, we have learned the pitfalls that come with a migration of this size. In this blog, we share some of the areas we think are important for you to consider when migrating from Salesforce Classic to Lightning, so that potential challenges are mitigated, resolved, or avoided where possible.

Migrating to Salesforce Lightning takes some consideration. As a systems administrator, you need to make sure that it makes sense for your organisation.

Probably the biggest business case for migrating is that, if you continue to use Salesforce Classic, you will continue to pay (via recurring license fees) for the innovations that Salesforce delivers, without however being able to experience them (since you are still using Salesforce Classic).

Planning and safeguards

As with any migration, you need effective planning. It is not a case of switching from one interface to the other. It does take careful planning.

Certain safeguards can be implemented to ensure the whole process is as smooth as possible - mitigating any downtime for users.

What is affected during the migration?

It is important to understand what might be affected during the migration and what won't.

Let's start with what is not affected during the migration:

  • Data
  • Business logic (Workflow Rules, Process Builders, Validation Rules, etc.)
  • Security (Role Hierarchy, OWDs, etc.)

We still advise that you backup this information before the migration as best practice.

Here is what is affected during the migration:

  • User Interface (Lightning Experience has up to 25 tabs, 3-column layouts, Paths, Components, etc.)
  • Business Processes (this is a time to review your requirements and how you solve problems)
  • 3rd Party AppExchange Apps (before migrating, you will need to review your inventory and make sure that these Apps are ready for Lightning)
  • Custom Code (“Technical Debt” will have to be addressed as your code might not perform well in Lightning)
  • User Training (most users will need to be retrained to use Lightning)
  • Analytics (you are no longer limited to three-column dashboards and there is a new Lightning Report Builder)

Migrating to Lightning, when completed right, is a reimplementation of Salesforce.

Potential migration challenges and how to avoid them

Throughout the course of helping many customers migrate to Salesforce Lightning, there are challenges that continue to arise.  We will share these here, so you can prepare for a successful migration.

Challenge #1: Customisation

As a user of the Salesforce CRM platform, you will have appreciated how adaptable and customisable it is.

And while that has served you well in Salesforce Classic, too many customisations can make for a challenging migration.

To minimise this challenge, start by documenting all the customisations that are currently in use in Classic.

Then review Lightning to find the relevant solutions so that when the migration takes place, it's easy to set those up in Lightning.

Time saved: 10+ hours

Challenge #2: Performance health

Before you migrate, you might have had to put up with declining performance issues. As an example, let's say your page load time is longer or your reports are unresponsive. These can hinder user experience, leading to even more problems.

To minimise this challenge be sure to do a Salesforce org health assessment. This will allow you to identify any issues that need fixing. And they will need to be addressed before the migration, otherwise you are going to experience the same problems post-migration.

Time saved: 20+ hours

Challenge #3: Overloading

As you start to dive into the functions available within Salesforce Lightning, the variety and quantity of features that you are able to customize can become overwhelming. This can make it hard to decide which functions you need and which ones you don't.

In some of the migrations we have helped with, companies have gone overboard with customisations, which can lead to user interface fatigue.

The best way to minimise any disruption is to review each customisation available and decide if it's needed. Only choose those which will actually enhance the processes you are using.

It also helps to ensure that users have the correct training too. Salesforce's Trailhead modules will help bring everyone up-to-speed faster.

Time saved: 20+ hours

Other challenges

As Salesforce consulting partners, we have implemented numerous migrations to Lightning, each different from the other. Here are some additional challenges we have come across:

  • Roll-out Strategy – This is very important to develop before you start the migration. A rollout strategy will help define the scope, timeframe, resources and risks, so that the actual migration process holds as few surprises as possible.
  • User adoption – as users are more accustomed to the classic app, using Lightning will require a period of learning and acclimatisation.
  • Attachments – Attachments are not supported in Lightning, so you will have to think of converting attachment to files.

We recommend that companies do a readiness check to ensure their migration from Classic to Lightning takes place without any major issues arising. At Coforge, we have developed multiple accelerators to help our customers migrate their data to Salesforce Lightning faster and with more accuracy.

Other useful links:

Guide: Performing a Successful Technical Debt Assessment in Salesforce

Salesforce Accelerators

How to migrate legacy data to Salesforce CPQ

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