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  • Writer's pictureCorey Schwitz

Successfully Merge Salesforce Orgs: 5 Key Considerations

Are you looking to streamline your Salesforce systems by merging multiple orgs? The decision to merge Salesforce orgs can be driven by the need for improved operational efficiency, simplified processes, or as a result of organizational changes such as mergers and acquisitions. This task, however, comes with its unique challenges, from data integration to maintaining process continuity. In this article, we dive into the strategic considerations and step-by-step actions necessary for a successful Salesforce org merger, guiding you through complexities to ensure your organization can reap the full benefits of consolidation.



Key Takeaways

  • Merging Salesforce orgs consolidates data and operations, enhancing efficiency and collaboration, but involves complex integration of users, custom objects, code, and third-party applications.

  • Preparation for a Salesforce org merge includes meticulous planning, assessing business processes, identifying custom objects and metadata, and coordinating with stakeholders to ensure seamless transition and maintain data quality and business continuity.

  • Successful Salesforce org mergers require managing technical debt, navigating metadata deployment challenges, ensuring user adoption through training and change management, integrating third-party applications, and conducting thorough testing and validation.



Understanding Salesforce Org Mergers



An org merge in Salesforce is the process of combining two or more source orgs into one single destination org. This consolidation, also known as merge orgs, streamlines data and operations for improved efficiency. But why would an organization decide to undertake such an endeavor? There are several reasons, including corporate acquisitions, departmental consolidations, and the desire to streamline business processes involving multiple orgs.


Merging Salesforce orgs can lead to enhanced operational efficiency, standardization of processes, improved data integrity, and facilitating a unified team collaboration. It’s like merging two rivers into a single, powerful stream that propels the business forward with greater force and direction. However, managing multiple salesforce orgs and their integration is not without its complexities. It involves the intricate integration of users, automation, custom objects, code, and third-party applications in multiple salesforce orgs. These variables can differ based on company size, industry, and the specific org merger approach used.


Therefore, it’s critical to understand these complexities and navigate them effectively. Whether you’re one of the Salesforce administrators embarking on an org merge project or a business leader considering consolidating multiple Salesforce instances, understanding Salesforce org mergers is the first step towards a successful merger.



Preparing for a Salesforce Org Merge

Preparing for a Salesforce org merge is much like preparing for a long journey. You need to plan meticulously and establish clear goals. Assessing business requirements and setting data quality expectations form the bedrock of this preparation.


It’s like packing your bags and mapping your route before setting off. Overcoming potential challenges in a Salesforce org merge involves optimizing legacy processes and considering the creation of a new org if technical debt is significant. The planning and execution of a Salesforce org merge, therefore, is a strategic venture that requires careful coordination and stakeholder involvement.


Now, let’s delve deeper into the specifics of this preparation.


Assessing Business Processes

When preparing for a journey, you would inspect your vehicle to ensure it’s in good condition. Similarly, reviewing existing business processes helps to achieve a seamless org merge by identifying and remedying conflicts and redundancies in processes, custom objects, and metadata assets. This step addresses the need for standardized processes and efficiencies, particularly for businesses with orgs created for historical reasons or separate business units.


The move-and-improve strategy during a Salesforce org merger enables the organization to enhance efficiency by constructing new processes that integrate the best features of both merging orgs. This approach allows for the identification and smoothing out of obstacles and inefficiencies encountered during the merge process. It’s like replacing worn-out parts of your vehicle with new, efficient ones to ensure a smoother ride.


A crucial part of this process is the creation of a business glossary for maintaining clear understanding and consistency regarding key business metrics after the consolidation.


Identifying Custom Objects and Metadata

Just as you would ensure that all your belongings are securely packed before a journey, identifying custom objects and metadata is critical during the Salesforce org merge process. This step ensures a seamless transfer of data and functionality.


Think of the Compare Profiles interface as your checklist. This tool helps examine any disparities between standard and custom asset types, aiding in the identification of unique elements within each Salesforce org. This scrutiny of custom objects and metadata is essential as it reveals differences that may necessitate reconciliation or adaptation for the unified org.


Coordinating with Stakeholders

Coordinating with all stakeholders involved in your journey ensures that everyone is on the same page. Similarly, involving stakeholders throughout the Salesforce org merge process is essential for effective change management and problem mitigation.


Consider stakeholders as your co-passengers. Coordination between the team conducting the org merge and the existing administrative staff is vital to handle the migration successfully and deal with potential complications. This collaboration ensures a smooth journey, with all potential pitfalls addressed proactively.



Managing Data Migration in Salesforce Org Mergers



Data migration is akin to moving your belongings from one house to another. You want to ensure that everything is transferred accurately and efficiently. This process in Salesforce org merges involves using external IDs to match destination data records with source records, enhancing accuracy and efficiency.


To ensure the highest data quality during a Salesforce org merge, it’s crucial to:


  • Plan for exclusive access to the orgs during migration

  • Preserve audit field data accurately

  • Maintain similar environments in the source and destination orgs

  • Address data standardization challenges


It’s like ensuring that your new house is ready to move into before you start the transfer.


Consolidating Data



Consolidate multiple salesforce orgs during a Salesforce org merge, which is like combining all your belongings into a single, organized system. This process, known as salesforce org consolidation, aims to:


  • Merge multiple Salesforce instances into a single org

  • Improve efficiency

  • Enhance data visibility

  • Reduce total ownership costs.


A typical consolidation plan for Salesforce includes:


  • Defining business outcomes

  • Cataloging overlapping features

  • Mapping out data models

  • Ensuring business continuity

  • Migrating processes and data

  • Conducting system tests


It’s like creating a comprehensive moving plan to ensure nothing is missed or misplaced in the transition.


Data Cleansing

Data cleansing during data migration is like cleaning out your closet before moving. It involves identifying and addressing duplicates, inconsistencies, and outdated records, ensuring that only relevant and accurate data is transferred to the new system.


Just as you would use various tools to clean and pack your belongings, tools such as auditing software, third-party contact data services, and deduplication tools assist in the thorough cleansing of data. This step is crucial to maintain accurate and reliable data after the merger of Salesforce orgs.


Data Standardization

Data standardization in Salesforce org merges is like organizing your belongings by category for easy access in your new home. This process addresses differing structures and formats that arise from merging distinct systems and is crucial for a smooth integration of metadata from various Salesforce orgs into the consolidated org.


Just like standardizing your belongings reduces the time and effort spent in searching for them, data standardization can reduce maintenance costs and mitigate technical debt in the resulting Salesforce org after the merge.



Addressing Technical Debt in Salesforce Org Mergers



Addressing technical debt during Salesforce org merges is like repairing your vehicle before a long journey. It involves proactive and regular data cleaning, such as removing duplicate records, cleaning up unused fields, and fixing outdated workflows. This practice ensures the overall health of your data and prevents the amplification of issues post-merger.


Assessing technical debt is crucial for:


  • Identifying assets for migration

  • Ensuring efficient use of licenses

  • Removing forgotten metadata

  • Retiring unused fields and picklists to clean up the org


It’s like inspecting your vehicle’s parts and replacing any that are worn out or unnecessary.


Dealing with inactive users is also an essential part of addressing technical debt. This process involves deleting all connections to them in the source org, ensuring that only active users are migrated. It’s like ensuring that only people who will live in the new house are involved in the moving process.



Navigating Metadata Deployment Challenges

Metadata deployment during Salesforce org merges can be likened to navigating a complex route during a journey. It involves complex challenges such as circular dependencies, environmental differences, and issues with merging users and profiles, which can lead to merge conflicts, especially when multiple instances of developers work on shared projects.


Just as a skilled driver uses a map to navigate complex routes, a metadata-aware semantic merge algorithm, such as the one used by Gearset, can significantly reduce the occurrence of merge conflicts by understanding the context of changes. This process requires careful attention to details such as remapping picklist values and user profiles, aligning them with the destination org’s setup, and utilizing a clear data dictionary to assist in integration.



Ensuring User Adoption and Training

Just as you would familiarize yourself with a new city after moving, proper user training is pivotal for the successful adoption of the merged Salesforce org. This process involves hands-on training sessions, online tutorials, and user guides to facilitate user transition and adoption in a Salesforce org merge.


Addressing users’ discomfort with the new system through adequate support and demonstration of the system’s benefits is crucial to prevent reduced efficiency and increased support demands. It’s like showing the new city’s benefits and attractions to make the transition easier and more exciting.


User Training

Creating a comprehensive training plan for users during a Salesforce org merge is like providing a guided tour of a new city. This plan includes critical new features and functionalities of the merged Salesforce org for user understanding and adoption.


Effective user training must include instructions on new features and updates to ensure users are proficient in the navigation and use of the merged system. Communicating the merger plan effectively, inclusive of training sessions and resources, is key to setting user expectations and enabling a smooth transition into the merged Salesforce org.


Change Management

Change management during Salesforce org merges involves actions that align organizational changes with strategic objectives. It’s like planning for the changes that come with moving to a new city. A strong change management plan should be established prior to the completion of the merge and should include steps like:


  • Defining the need for change

  • Goal setting through SMART criteria

  • Scope definition

  • Establishing requirements

  • Executing changes

  • Testing

  • User acceptance

  • Deployment combined with training modules.


Maintaining a successful change management initiative includes:


  • Engaging in continuous change management during and after the org merge

  • Reinforcing the adoption of new systems and processes

  • Treating user feedback and concerns as a critical aspect of the process.



Integrating Third-Party Applications and Integrations

Setting up Salesforce Connect and adjusting connected apps using OAuth during a Salesforce org merge is like setting up utilities and services in your new home. This process ensures seamless integration during org merges.


Setting up Salesforce Connect involves defining an external data source, creating external objects, and adding custom fields and relationships, just like setting up utilities involves contacting providers, setting up accounts, and ensuring services are ready for use.


For connected apps using OAuth, adjustments such as deselecting the PKCE extension may be necessary when the external system does not support it.



Testing and Validation



Systematic testing and validation during and after a Salesforce org merger is like performing a final walk-through of your new home before moving in. This process ensures that the integration of environments does not compromise data quality or disrupt business operations.


System functionality testing ensures that all processes, workflows, automations, and integrations within the Salesforce org work as intended without errors or unexpected behaviors. Data validation maintains data integrity, allowing businesses to rely on their Salesforce org for accurate reporting and strategic decision-making. End-users are involved in a final validation step known as user acceptance testing, which often includes training sessions to familiarize them with the changes and enhancements made to the Salesforce org.



Summary

In conclusion, a Salesforce org merge is a strategic endeavor that can bring about enhanced operational efficiency, improved data integrity, and fostered unified team collaboration. From understanding the complexities and benefits of merging Salesforce orgs to proper user training and adoption, each step in the process is crucial. As we have seen, the journey is not without its challenges, but with careful planning, thorough preparation, and effective execution, Salesforce org merges can be successfully accomplished, paving the way for streamlined processes and enhanced collaboration.



Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Salesforce org merge?

A Salesforce org merge is the consolidation of multiple source orgs into a single destination org, aiming to enhance operational efficiency, standardize processes, improve data integrity, and foster unified team collaboration.


Why is assessing business processes important in a Salesforce org merge?

Assessing business processes is important in a Salesforce org merge because it helps identify and resolve conflicts and redundancies, leading to a seamless integration.


What is the role of data standardization in Salesforce org merges?

Data standardization plays a key role in ensuring a smooth integration of metadata from various Salesforce orgs into the consolidated org by addressing differing structures and formats. It helps to streamline the merging process.


How can user adoption be ensured after a Salesforce org merge?

To ensure user adoption after a Salesforce org merge, it's important to provide proper user training, hands-on sessions, online tutorials, user guides, and adequate support. This will facilitate user transition and adoption effectively.


What are some challenges in metadata deployment during Salesforce org merges?

Some challenges in metadata deployment during Salesforce org merges include circular dependencies, environmental differences, and issues with merging users and profiles, which can lead to merge conflicts, especially when multiple developers work on shared projects. These challenges can complicate the process and require careful coordination to resolve.



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