SQL to Salesforce Data Migration

Migrating 20-years of legacy data from a SQL database to Salesforce.

When this leading national law firm faced the daunting task of migrating 20-years of legacy data from a SQL database to Salesforce, they knew they needed an experienced partner with a passion for exceptional process management.

  • Data migration for ~2500 users with little to no business disruption
  • 20 years of legacy data to clean, transform, and migrate (that’s 959 GB of email and document data and over 2.5 million files per office)
  • Collaborative and iterative development cycles
  • Custom SQL engine to extract email to load into Salesforce

A deep dedication to detail and iterative process management established the perfect platform for strategic a Salesforce data migration with little to no business disruption.

More than twenty years ago, this national law firm opened for business with just three attorneys and a handful of support staff. Today, the practice is a national leader in mass tort litigation, with over 500 attorneys in offices across the country.

With a constant influx of client inquiries, the law firm needed a data management system that could streamline their intake process and care for their client load. They were looking to not just migrate their existing data from a SQL database to a Salesforce app, but to also ensure that all offices would be implementing the same data workflow after the migration. One additional wrinkle? The new and old data systems would need to run simultaneously during the migration to ensure the firm’s day-to-day continued to run smoothly.

The key to a streamlined and efficient Salesforce data migration is iterative deployment.

BRIO began by first migrating data from one of the smaller law firm offices, gathering learnings, and using those learnings to refine the next office migration (and so on).

A multi-part challenge required a multi-part approach.

This wasn’t just a 1 to 1 Salesforce data migration with straightforward field-to-field mapping. This was a multi-part challenge. A challenge that gave BRIO the opportunity to work collaboratively as an extension of the client’s team to analyze and transform data together before importing it into Salesforce.

The first hurdle was the sheer amount of data in play. BRIO is assisting the migration for eight offices, each with approximately 959 GB of email data and over 2.5 million files. All data needs to be clean, and each office operates separately from others. This means there are custom elements that must be understood and incorporated (or abandoned) in favor of a standardized flow in the new Salesforce system.

Second hurdle? The data isn’t static. Both the former SQL system and the new Salesforce system were actively in use by ~2500 users during the migration. Because we need to work with live production data, this meant working from backups of data, rather than actual data within the system—which meant lots of careful work not to overwrite or duplicate.

Expert migration made possible by technical expertise.

BRIO developed a custom SQL engine, built with SQL and DB Amp, to help with data migration. This allowed us to create config files in SQL that would extract, transform, and load data into Salesforce. We were able to consistently build migrations for each object, removing the need to create custom scripts for each one. We also created a custom app that extracted data from Outlook files to migrate emails into Salesforce.

Four offices migrated to the cloud (and counting).

To date, BRIO has migrated four of the eight law firm offices that are part of this project. The migrated offices are off legacy systems entirely and only using the Salesforce app. This has enhanced their reporting capabilities and data consistency. When the project is complete, all offices will use one consistent data workflow—increasing efficiencies and requiring less training across locations.

Another benefit? Ease of access. Salesforce is a cloud-based application, so sensitive data is still protected—but can be accessed without a VPN. There’s also the potential for increased data stability, as data stored on the cloud remains on the cloud, even if the computers used to access and interact with that data fail.

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