1. Intro
  2. Original
  3. Transitional
  4. Target Future
  5. Tuning
  6. Summary


In this case study, we’ll cover how a single on-premise Microsoft Access database application was supported, modernized and then migrated to become an off-premise, fully integrated business solution exchanging data with multiple web services all on the cloud making the application available from anywhere.

The final solution, a custom CRM and Marketing Automation system, allowed the client to maintain possession of their most valuable asset – their customer data, as well as retain complete control over critical business practices and automate workflows all which enhances the client’s competitive advantage in the marketplace while outsourcing ancillary business processes to best-of-breed SaaS providers.

Transitioning from an on-premise client server software architecture to a fully cloud supported environment, required several phases where on-premise applications were over time integrated with off-premise applications utilizing a hybrid architecture. The hybrid integration architecture allowed the client to seamlessly integrate applications, data, and processes by building an API-enabled and connected enterprise solution, allowing them to operate with exceptional speed and agility during the system integration process.

Help4Access is a Gold Microsoft Cloud partner who specializes in supporting clients with custom database applications built on the Microsoft Access platform. Many of our most mature clients engage with us to provide migration services reducing their dependency on Microsoft Access. After a migration many of these clients require enterprise integration services to connect on-premise with off-premise applications in a hybrid environment.

Perform Buy vs. Build Analysis

Before deciding to retain 100% control over their customer data and business processes, a SaaS vendor evaluation analysis was completed where all major vendors servicing the client’s industry were explored. SaaS vendors reviewed included Salesforce (Pardot), Marketo, HubSpot, SugarCRM, HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamics, Zoho and others.  See Buy vs. Build Decision Tree.

The result of the SaaS vendor research resulted in a build decision because of the following weighted factors: 1) retain absolute lifetime ownership of all customer and analytic data without being subject to rising subscription costs, 2) retain ability to scale back services as needed without being locked into rigid multi-year contract, 3) the fact that the development costs to own their own CRM/Marketing Automation solution cost less than a 1 year subscription of either Pardot or Marketo, and 4) customizations required by other vendors to fit our client’s unique businesses processes into a SaaS package were greater than the costs to build, and 5) continue to maintain ability to switch vendors for best-of-breed vendor without the loss of capital investment spent on integration points.