Case study

Lewisham Council: Seamless Dynamics 365 Data Migration with Synchronicity

Learn how Xpedition’s data migration partner, Synchronicity, achieved a seamless on-premise CRM to an online Dynamics 365 Data Migration for Lewisham Council.


Lewisham Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Lewisham in Greater London, one of 32 in the UK capital. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premise proving itself for more than a decade, Lewisham Council knew it had to upgrade both its website and its CRM to meet the modern needs of its citizens and its staff.

Wanting to stay with the Microsoft Dynamics platform, Lewisham Council wanted to access the latest features and functionality available as part of Microsoft Dynamics 365 online. Sandi Leonities, Change & Innovation Manager at Lewisham Council needed an experienced partner that could deliver seamless data migration with minimal fuss. Following a detailed consultation process, Lewisham looked to  Xpedition to help them upgrade their existing platform. Together, Xpedition and expert data migration partners, Synchronicity, successfully managed a large & complex cloud data migration project that ensures Lewisham Council is able to meet the needs of its citizens now and in the future.

The Challenge

High volume data and many transactions

Lewisham citizens use the council’s website for more than 100 different transactions and requests. The most popular is paying council tax. Customers complete a TeamKnowledge form, which saves the details in CRM as a service request. Card payment is taken through a secure portal, then an activity is created in CRM to update payment records and trigger any follow on activity. There’s also calendar integration, for appointment booking where needed.

Other transactions include: booking to register a birth, ordering blue badges, renewing garden waste subscriptions, reporting highway damage, and missed kerbside collections. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premise having proved its worth, Lewisham’s team wanted to move from the on-premise version to the latest Microsoft Dynamics 365 cloud-based version to access new features and capabilities that further improve services in the future.

Citizens set up an online account to access web services: the council typically handles over 1,000 cases a day from logged-in customers. Lewisham Council needed to transfer a great deal of customer data – at least 100GB in total. A reliable and secure migration of this high volume of account and transaction data was, therefore, key to minimising service downtime and disruption to citizens.

“We launched Dynamics CRM on-premise a decade ago and subsequently upgraded to the 2013 version. By 2016 we were looking to improve and upgrade our entire office platform, including CRM and our external website. As part of that, we decided to migrate and upgrade to the latest release of Dynamics. We wanted to use CRM strategically, making good use of new features and enhancements in the cloud version.”

Sandi Leonties, Change and Innovation Manager, Lewisham Council

The Solution

Proven, reliable, efficient process

Xpedition & Synchronicity carried out much of the migration work remotely, keeping costs under control and minimising disruption in the office. The team had an in-depth understanding of Lewisham’s priorities, due to a detailed and effective migration project scoping exercise carried out on-site before the work began. A small team of developers worked off-site to upgrade the integrations and make the code compatible with the new version. They provisioned the new Dynamics Cloud platform with Lewisham’s specific functionality and supplied the data to specialist migration partner Synchronicity to ensure a smooth and effective migration. Historic data was moved in batches over several weekends. The completion of the final batch of data was achieved on the ‘go-live’ weekend.

“We’re investing in the latest and best digital technology to enhance functionality in the future for even better customer engagement and communication.”

Sandi Leonties, Change and Innovation Manager, Lewisham Council

The Service

Low-risk, high volume Dynamics 365 data migration to the Cloud

The Synchronicity Echo Managed Service takes the stress and strains out of a Dynamics On-Premise to Dynamics 365 data migration. Using specialised scripts and a set of custom applications, the Synchronicity team migrates all the data from a source Dynamics CRM database to the latest version of Dynamics 365 with minimal mapping and intervention. This repeatability greatly reduces the risk to a migration project and provides assurance that the latest API changes made by Microsoft won’t affect the process. Xpedition works with Synchronicity’s specialists to manage the process end-to-end until the source database is fully migrated and thorough testing is successfully completed.

“I have high expectations of vendors and partners – Xpedition meets them. Since our first CRM procurement process ten years ago, we’ve developed a lot of trust and a strong collaboration. For this project, we had a consultant here a day a week: he was flexible and helpful accommodating changes and unpredictable factors relating to other IT work happening at the same time.”

Sandi Leonties, Change and Innovation Manager, Lewisham Council

The Results

A platform fit for the future of citizens transactions

During the go-live weekend, all on-premise servers were stopped on a Friday, a web redirect was deployed and the final back-up was downloaded and sent. Synchronicity uploaded the final data to the new platform and updated the status of the records. Xpedition switched on the new code on Saturday night. On Sunday, Lewisham’s team carried out testing and the new platform went live on Monday morning. This smooth and carefully managed migration was organised with user service continuity in mind – there was a planned outage of just one weekend. With the new Dynamics 365 cloud platform in operation, the council’s team has great potential at its fingertips, both in terms of system agility and future development.

 Moving from Dynamics CRM on-premise to Dynamics 365 cloud provides users with a host of new benefits that were not possible before. Mobile access to the system back-end is now possible, allowing more flexible and responsive working by Lewisham’s service and IT professionals. They have the ability to forge ahead to develop accessible and engaging online services for customers, increasing self-service and delivering intuitive portals using the latest secure technology to handle ever-growing data volumes.

“Lewisham is always striving to provide excellent customer service in all our transactions. As we move more and more online, more transactions depend on CRM integration. The main drivers are delivering great customer service, including first-time resolution and ease of use, as well as efficiency – the cost per transaction. Our new cloud-based Dynamics CRM makes the front office platform more reliable, more agile and easier to develop and refine.”

Sandi Leonties, Change and Innovation Manager, Lewisham Council

Outdated CRM costs more than you think. To learn more about our cloud migration services and how you can benefit from a Dynamics 365 data migration, contact us today.

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