By Chuck Leddy
Maria Shull, Senior Marketing Automation Manager at Sojourn Solutions, has been working in and with Eloqua for over a decade. For the last half dozen years, she’s been partnering with Sojourn’s Eloqua clients to help them work smarter and more efficiently, from initial MAP implementations to campaign management to complex data and automation projects. In recent months, Shull has been helping Eloqua users migrate from the native Salesforce (SFDC) integration via Program Builder, to the new Oracle Eloqua Salesforce Integration App. We spoke with Shull about making that migration process as smooth as possible.
What will happen to Eloqua’s native SFDC integration on February 1, 2021?
Shull: Oracle has announced that they’re no longer going to support that part of the platform as of February 2021. It doesn’t mean that Program Builder isn’t going to work any longer, but if something were to go wrong, they will no longer address the issues through their support portal. The practical impact on users is that they’ll need to migrate from the native integration to the SFDC Integration App.
Many of our clients have complex Program Builder programs which may take longer than anticipated, to replicate on a Program Canvas. So existing clients need to prepare and plan for what they need to do and estimate how long it’s going to take. A migration can be a big undertaking, especially with the pandemic and a not-so-normal work environment. Existing users should be auditing their instance and documenting all their workflows. If users aren’t ready with a timely plan for migration, they risk disrupting their operational continuity.
What are the main benefits of the SFDC integration app?
Shull: It’s very fast, and it has a more friendly user interface than Program Builder. So just navigating the app is easier, faster, and more accessible. It can also connect with multiple CRM Instances. Best of all, Oracle is listening to its users and has been launching enhancements with each new release.
What tips would you offer Eloqua users for getting their migrations right?
Shull: A lot depends upon the scope and complexity of your instance, but here are seven of my top tips (some of these were mentioned in an earlier blog post we did on the migration):
- Get a plan together ASAP. Plan the migration alongside the Eloqua Roadmap, since some existing functionality has not yet been replicated. Document all imports from Salesforce, all external calls, and all program builder programs.
- Gather your internal resources. Make sure that you have a point person to manage the project. It will be a combined effort among your groups. You may have multiple admins involved, and thus should all be participants of this migration process. However if you are low on bandwidth, Sojourn Solutions can help you out.
- Make sure that you’re using 18 character IDs. It is a requirement within the apps framework. If you’re not pulling those in from Salesforce already, it’s the first project you will need to resolve. Converting the ids can be time consuming. A coordinated effort will also be required between Eloqua and Salesforce teams. We would be happy to assist with this as well if need be.
- Once you create your connection between Eloqua and Salesforce within the app, store the details on your corporate network. All settings are not visible to the Eloqua user once the connection has been made.
- To begin your documentation, I found it helpful to export the successful integration calls from the integration status screen. Review the successful imports and failed calls to determine if they are ALL still required. Plan your migration alongside the Eloqua roadmap (Are all the functionalities you currently require available within the app?)
- Configure a testing program on program canvas. This will consist of a feeder/segment for every action you create within the app. (i.e., update contact, update lead, create lead) You can utilize this program to troubleshoot and review the failed actions more easily than running records through the lead management program.
- If you have a sandbox, you can still create all your imports and actions, lead management program, etc in your production instance and push it to your sandbox for testing.
What are the biggest challenges that you’ve seen with migrations?
Shull: Not all of the capabilities available in Program Builder are available to use on Program Canvas and within app such as deduplication and company match rules. It is still helpful to build the programs, because you can add/send back to your program builder for the applicable action. Once the capability becomes available, you can simply swap the step to run on program canvas.
I’d recommend being communicative with Oracle about your specific requirements, because they’re listening. With every new release, there’s progress being made and new functionality being added to bring the app up to speed with the same processes that Program Builder was capable of handling.
What other resources should Eloqua users reach out to for help?
Shull: Definitely read through all the information Oracle puts out, and sign up for their webinars. Visit the oracle community to look at all their releases and what other users are reporting. Start by aligning your internal resources. If you’re short on internal know-how and/or bandwith for a migration project, then consider reaching out to a partner who can help you succeed. Go into the migration process with an open mind. Expect things to go wrong, and be delighted if and when don’t.
To learn more about migrating to Eloqua’s SFDC integration app, and to get help in doing so (even if you haven’t started), reach out to us here.