For large national and international clients, we often find companies with multiple instances of Salesforce CRM. In Salesforce “speak” each instance is referred to as an “org” which is short for “organization”. These independent orgs arise most often as a result of mergers and acquisitions where one company using Salesforce purchases another using Salesforce. In other cases, large organizations will deploy separate orgs overtime for various country, divisions, departments or business functions. This article addresses briefly some of the considerations for clients with multiple instances on whether to combine orgs or leave them as independent. If you are considering creating an incremental instance of Salesforce, this article is also for you.
Pros of Maintaining Separate Orgs
- Less time is spent seeking “agreement” from one country or department to another to make changes
- More rapid initial deployment
- No risk of impacting another group when you make changes
- Can be on different editions (e.g., One group could be on Enterprise Edition and another on Unlimited Edition)
Cons of Maintaining Separate Orgs
- Potential for duplicate license costs for users needing to access both orgs
- No ability to run consolidated reports
- No ability to assign tasks across groups
- Duplicate data and inability to keep data consistent across orgs
- Greater costs to set up similar processes/fields in both systems
- Redundant effort for system integration
- Increases cost for 3rd party add-in apps that much be purchased for each instance
- More difficult to manage
Another consideration is that with the Enterprise and Unlimited Editions, you have great flexibility in creating custom page layouts and field requirements for different countries or divisions. In addition, over time, the cost to consolidate multiple orgs grows significantly, so if you are considering merging orgs in the future, or are just getting ready to deploy a new org, consider consolidating sooner rather than later. Having seen thousands of Salesforce projects and hundreds of multi-org relationships, we seldom find a good reasons for maintaining separate orgs.
If you are interested in an Org Consolidation, contact us to discuss. We will typically do an org inventory of each org to confirm the best strategy for the combination (e.g., move one or more into an existing target org, or create a brand new org and move all into this new target) as well as identify issues and questions that will need resolution. Some of the questions that we will ask (or that our org inventory will determine) include the following:
- Why are the orgs being combined? What are you hoping to gain from doing this?
- How many orgs are you consolidating?
- What are the editions of each org? (Professional, Enterprise, Unlimited, etc.)
- What UIs are in place (Classic or Lightning Experience)?
- How many licenses are in each org?
- Is the sum of the licenses the correct number (including by license type)?
- Will there be any changes (additions/subtractions) to the number and types of licenses?
- What third-party apps are installed in each org and which will continue to be used? (include expiration/renewal dates)
- Will there be adequate data and file storage? (we will do a storage evaluation as part of the org inventory)
- Does client have a pre-determined “surviving org”?
- Will all data be consolidated or only certain objects and records?
- What duplicate issues will arise (are there similar or same records in both orgs)?
- Are there integrations or workflow automations in place with either org? (we will need to understand to avoid unintended results)
- Is client satisfied with current levels of user adoption or are we using this project to improve results?
- Will all users (all orgs) need training, or only users from org being moved?
- Will stage histories or changes histories need to be preserved?
- Considerations for private views, reports and dashboards
- Will system audit fields (created date, created by, last modified, last modify by) need to be preserved?
- How will we treat inactive users in the project as far as assignment and system audit fields?
- Are the sharing models the same or do we need to update sharing rules for the combined entities?
- How will special features like multi-currency, territory management or multi-language be deployed if at all?
- What is the desired timetable for the project?
- What people resources does client desire to have involved in project?