The pending end-of-life for Luminate CRM has some obvious and non-so-obvious implications for organizations still on LCRM. If you’re facing this end-of-life moment, you already know that you’ll need to replace LCRM with something else. You may not have considered that when LCRM goes away, the integrations between LCRM and other systems like Luminate Online, TeamRaiser, Financial Edge NXT or any other system become unusable as well.
In this blog post, we’ll dig into what will actually happen with those connections, what that means for your technology stack and how this may affect your overall project approach.
What will actually happen on the Luminate CRM end-of-life date
Behind the scenes, LCRM is a managed package that runs on the Salesforce.com Sales Cloud platform. On the end-of-life date, all of the custom data objects, page layouts, workflows, automations and configurations that make up that managed package will go away. Technically, the Salesforce.com instance will still be accessible, although it won’t be worth much without all that LCRM infrastructure and data.
In addition to specific functionality and data, the LCRM end-of-life also effectively destroys any integrations that exist between LCRM and other systems like Luminate Online, TeamRaiser or Financial Edge NXT. The Blackbaud integration between LCRM and Luminate Online is called the "Service Bus" connection and it will stop functioning. But if you have integrated other systems to LCRM, they'll stop working, too, and won’t be easy to “just reconnect’ to your new system.
Let’s dig into what “integration” actually means
On a technical level, an “integration” between two systems is a set of instructions for how to move and/or transform data between systems to keep that data accessible and usable in both systems.
For example, an integration between Luminate Online and LCRM would include rules to record an online donation into LCRM when it was originally made via Luminate Online. These rules would address things like:
- What kind of donation is it?
- Which contact(s) should get credit for the donation?
- Is this a new donor or an existing donor?
- Should this donation be associated with a specific campaign or appeal?
- Should the donation kick off another automated process?
When LCRM goes away, all this “logic” in the integration becomes worthless. Not only is there nothing to connect it to, but when you migrate to a new system, all of these rules will change.
So no matter what new CRM you select, you’ll need to completely recreate any integrations between that CRM and other systems. The issue is that integration is not just a checkbox item in your CRM project. Integration can mean lots of different things and have lots of different implications from a cost, complexity and support perspective.
The easiest, cheapest and most reliable way to integrate systems is with a pre-built and proven connection that may only require basic configuration (clicks not code) to set up. At the opposite end of the spectrum is a completely custom configuration that would require custom coding to create and maintain, and may require an additional piece of software called “middleware” to actually make the connection between the two systems. The diagram below illustrates the difference.
In our experience, custom integrations are rarely worth the up front investment, ongoing maintenance cost and complexity risk that they require.
Impacts On Your Luminate CRM Migration
The first step is to recognize that your migration project will need to address system connections/integrations in addition to a new CRM, regardless of which CRM you choose. Your implementation partner can likely help you understand how easily your new CRM can integrate with other systems. It may also be worth at least considering whether you want to migrate away from systems like Luminate Online or TeamRaiser, given that integrating them to your new system may get costly. This is especially true if you haven’t reviewed competitive alternatives recently. There may be a solution for online fundraising, email marketing, p2p fundraising, etc. that provides similar or better features for your organization and a much easier and less expensive way to connect to your chosen CRM.
KELL Can Help
If you're looking for an experienced team of Salesforce nonprofit experts to help your organization navigate from Luminate CRM to to Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud, contact KELL Partners. We've helped more than 1,500 organizations go farther and faster with the Salesforce platform.