Middle Eastern Government Agency Saves Six Months Migrating Content from Three Legacy Systems to Microsoft SharePoint with DocAve
- Selectively migrate content from three different sources to a single platform
- Minimize disruption throughout migration
- Improve SharePoint reporting capabilities beyond native auditing
- Reduced total migration project time from nine months to three months with one solution that supports granular migration for all three of its legacy systems
- Migrated 400 GB of content with full fidelity, ensuring no loss of metadata such as permissions and last modified date
- Gained ability to audit farm health and usage with automatically-generated reports on user activity, workflow usage, security changes, and more
Because DocAve allows us to restructure without losing metadata, we are confident that we are not losing things like permissions.
To meet document management and collaboration needs, a government agency based in the Middle East worked with a combination of SharePoint 2010, EMC Documentum, and file shares. The organization eventually decided to consolidate its collaboration technologies and migrate to a single platform – SharePoint 2013 – to simplify IT operations and provide a single collaboration system. In architecting its destination environment, the agency decided that a multi-farm configuration would work best for its needs: one farm for its intranet, one for a public-facing portal, and a third for projects.
While planning this project, IT dealt with some challenges caused by native SharePoint limitations. Instead of migrating its legacy content as is, IT wanted to selectively migrate data and reorganize along the way. “We wanted to do an intelligent migration, restructuring our new environment to suit our users’ needs,” said the agency’s application head. “But without a third-party tool, we had no way of easily doing this.”
Another issue was figuring out how to enable employees to continue working with legacy content throughout the migration process. With only one administrator coordinating manual migration jobs as a possible solution, the process was expected to take at least nine months. “In addition to selective migration capabilities, we also looked for a solution that would let us to continue running other aspects of IT through scheduling jobs,” the application head said.
Lastly, IT desired a solution for SharePoint reporting. Due to the sensitive nature of the agency’s data, it was important for IT to be able to audit user activity, identify SharePoint misuse, and keep the environment secure. In addition, IT wanted a way to report on SharePoint health. “We were putting lots of work into configuring SharePoint 2013 according to the needs of the users,” the application head said. “Naturally, we wanted to understand how they use SharePoint, how they are benefiting from the technology, and also how healthy our farms are.”
The AvePoint Solution
The organization ultimately chose DocAve Software, AvePoint’s fully integrated solution for SharePoint migration, management, and protection. “DocAve gave us the ability to restructure as we migrated, something we could not do with native SharePoint,” the application head said. “We also gained more flexibility to migrate only the content we needed. This was key in structuring SharePoint the way we wanted to.”
A major benefit of DocAve for IT was that it supports all three of its legacy sources: EMC Documentum, SharePoint 2010, and file systems. Instead of having to learn and implement a new migration tool for each source, IT only had to learn one – a huge time saver for the team. “DocAve is easy to understand and use,” the application head said. “Once you learn how to migrate from one source, you don’t have to learn anything else. We’ve saved time on training, which made us more productive.”
Time that the team would have spent on training could then be devoted to data cleanup and content reorganization. Instead of migrating all legacy content, IT took the time to select relevant content only – leaving behind unwanted files that would simply take up space in its new environment. “We ultimately migrated 400 GB of content to SharePoint 2013,” the application head said. “DocAve makes it easy to choose only the content we want to keep. We eliminated 210 GB of unwanted content by granularly migrating with DocAve.”
DocAve also enables IT to schedule migration jobs in batches outside of work hours, which was very convenient for IT. “With DocAve, I can set up a migration job to run overnight, and then I check the job status in the morning,” the application head said. “We’ve even set up notifications for job statuses. Scheduling allows us to spend time on other duties during the day, and employees didn’t experience any downtime. We expected the project to take nine months, but it only took three, partly because of automatic scheduling.”
Part of IT’s duties include reorganizing SharePoint information architecture. DocAve’s content management capabilities allow IT to easily restructure content “on the fly” and with full fidelity. One of IT’s ongoing projects is shortening the URL length of SharePoint files. Users treated SharePoint 2010 much like a file system, dropping files into sub-folders embedded many layers down from the top folder. “As we prepared SharePoint 2013 to go live, we wanted to remedy this behavior,” the application head said. “We reorganized our information so users wouldn’t have to click 10 times to reach a file embedded in sub-folders. Because DocAve allows us to restructure without losing metadata, we are confident that we are not losing things like permissions.”
DocAve’s reporting capabilities are also central to how IT secures SharePoint and checks usage. The application head runs usage reports to get answers to questions such as: Are people using alerts? Which users are inactive on the intranet? “On the administration side, we find the Best Practice Reports particularly helpful in making sure our farms fall within Microsoft’s best practices,” the application head said. “We set it to run automatically every month and save the reports.”
DocAve reports also enable IT to maintain security. “When a virus affected one user’s computer and SharePoint sites, we automatically generated a report of all files added to SharePoint by that user,” the application head said. “That person was a site owner, so security asked us to check and identify whether any data was compromised.”
The Bottom Line
DocAve’s flexible migration capabilities helped the agency decommission EMC Documentum, SharePoint 2010, and file systems six months faster than anticipated – meaning earlier adoption of SharePoint 2013. It allowed IT to conduct a granular, full-fidelity migration and restructure new farms as desired. The organization also gained more robust SharePoint reporting capabilities. “DocAve helped us overcome SharePoint’s native migration and reporting limitations,” the application head said. “Because of DocAve, one admin was able to do our entire migration without lots of training.”