Churches of Christ in Queensland Saves Months Migrating to Microsoft SharePoint 2010 with Dimension Data and DocAve (SP2010, SP2007)

Critical Needs

  • Swift upgrade from Microsoft SharePoint 2003 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to Microsoft SharePoint 2010
  • Full-fidelity migration of data to ensure seamless transition to SharePoint 2010 after upgrade is complete

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  • Churches of Christ in Queensland
  • Customer Location Queensland, Australia
  • Industry Not-for-profit
  • Platform SharePoint 2010
  • AvePoint Solutions Content Manager Migrator

Success Highlights

  • Completed 50 gigabytes (GB) data migration from Microsoft SharePoint 2003 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to SharePoint 2010 in one month, which would have taken significantly longer using native SharePoint upgrade features
  • Migrated 138 site collections and more than 3,000 sites, thousands of documents, and tens of thousands of list items and pages with full fidelity – including all metadata, security settings, and version histories.
  • Empowered the IT help desk to seamlessly relocate end-users’ content on demand without expertise in SharePoint
Based on my experience and knowledge of Churches of Christ in Qld’s situation, I knew we could not have performed this migration without DocAve.
Technical Consultant, Dimension Data

The Challenge

Churches of Christ in Qld implemented Microsoft SharePoint 2003 as its organisationwide intranet. The organisation also found use for the platform as a document repository for control documents, such as those containing, policies, procedures, forms, applications, and templates.

SharePoint eventually became an integral part of Churches of Christ in Qld’s daily activities, and the organisation ultimately added a separate Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 environment to its deployment.

Churches of Christ in Qld administrators maintained a highly centralised IT environment, and SharePoint would automatically open on the desktops of its 1,300 end-users as soon as their workstations were turned on each day.

As the SharePoint environment continued to grow, the organisation began to encounter challenges with the platform. With approximately 3,000 sites in its environment and data growing each day, both end-users and administrators had difficulty searching SharePoint for specific information on the platform. The organisation was also looking to make strides toward the next stage of its deployment. “We decided that upgrading to the latest version of SharePoint, SharePoint 2010, would help solve our search issues by giving us more rigorous, built-in search capabilities, as well as allowing us to start fresh and implement taxonomy policies across the organisation,” said Greg Gaffney, IT Manager at Churches of Christ in Qld. “Additionally, we were interested in moving toward using SharePoint as our electronic document and records management system (EDRMS), and felt the new features in SharePoint 2010 would be better suited for this next step.”

Administrators investigated the possibility of performing the migration to SharePoint 2010 in-house manually using native upgrade tools. However, there were several major concerns. First of all, SharePoint’s native migration abilities would not allow an upgrade from SharePoint 2003 directly to SharePoint 2010, requiring an upgrade to MOSS 2007 first. Additionally, native abilities could not ensure a full-fidelity migration, and Churches of Christ in Qld did not want to lose important information such as permissions and security settings. Finally, time was an important factor for the project. “I estimated that carrying out a manual migration in-house would have taken more than six months to complete,” said Gaffney.

In order to migrate its important data swiftly and securely, Churches of Christ in Qld reached out to information and communications technology solutions provider Dimension Data to carry out the job. “From our previous work with Dimension Data, we knew they had good project methodology and could bring someone with significant SharePoint experience to the table,” Gaffney said.

The AvePoint Solution

In order to carry out the migration according to Churches of Christ in Qld’s needs, Dimension Data’s experts turned to AvePoint’s DocAve Migrator solution. DocAve Migrator is part of AvePoint’s DocAve Software Platform, which integrates more than 30 independently deployable modules which function within a unified, browser-based interface and fully Distributed architecture, but can also be purchased and deployed independently. “Based on my experience and knowledge of Churches of Christ in Qld’s situation, I knew we could not have performed this migration without DocAve,” said Dimension Data’s technical consultant. “A manual migration from both SharePoint 2003 and MOSS 2007 would have been extremely complex and required many hours of preparation.”

With a single, simple install, DocAve Migrator helps organisations quickly move off legacy platforms to begin leveraging Microsoft SharePoint 2010. After implementing the solution, the technical consultant spent time planning as well as testing incremental migrations with DocAve and scheduling jobs to run outside of business hours to limit disruption. Throughout the process, the technical consultant worked closely with AvePoint’s technical support team, which includes more than 70 Microsoft-certified specialists worldwide. “The response we received from AvePoint’s technical support team was always phenomenal,” said the technical consultant.

After planning and testing was complete, the technical consultant was able to carry out the migration over the course of a weekend. The team migrated approximately 50 GB of data from Churches of Christ’s SharePoint 2003 and MOSS 2007 environments directly to SharePoint 2010. As required, DocAve enabled full-fidelity content migration from the previous versions of SharePoint according to business needs. In total, 138 site collections, more than 3,000 sites, thousands of documents with versions, and thousands of list items were migrated with all security settings and permissions intact. “DocAve also allowed us to automatically reset customisations on certain sites that could have significantly delayed the migration,” said Dimension Data’s technical consultant. “Not having to manually correct sites prior to migration saved hundreds of hours of work.”

In addition to migrating the data to SharePoint 2010, Dimension Data also implemented DocAve Content Manager to be used in the new environment. DocAve enables users to restructure the content and topology of the SharePoint environment easily and accurately from a single, web-based browser while maintaining all content, configuration, security settings, and metadata. “Moving forward, Churches of Christ in Qld’s IT support desk can utilise DocAve to seamlessly relocate end-users’ content on demand without needing to know the inner-workings of SharePoint,” said the technical consultant.

The Bottom Line

After one month, Dimension Data upgraded and consolidated Churches of Christ’s SharePoint 2003 and MOSS 2007 environments to one, centralised SharePoint 2010 farm. In addition to migrating the data exactly as the organisation required, Dimension Data was able to use DocAve to save the estimated six months of time that a manual migration would have required. Now on SharePoint 2010, Churches of Christ is already taking advantage of the platform’s robust reporting functionality and continues to make preliminary plans for utilising SharePoint as an EDRMS.

As Churches of Christ continues to utilise DocAve to move content within its SharePoint 2010 environment, the organisation’s administrators are investigating other ways the platform can benefit their deployment. “After successfully completing our migration and learning that DocAve can do much more, I can see that we will continue to use its other solutions and features in the future,” Gaffney said.

About Churches of Christ in Queensland

Churches of Christ in Queensland (Qld) has been part of the Queensland community for more than 128 years. Today the organisation is made up of approximately 70 affiliated mainstream Christian churches throughout Queensland, more than 140 care services including those in Victoria operated by the Churches of Christ Care division, the Centenary Development Foundation, and other theological and support services.

Churches of Christ Care provides a range of community services in the areas of early childhood, child protection, community and affordable housing, retirement living, community aged care, and residential aged care.

Churches of Christ in Queensland