Montana State University Billings Saves 97% of Time Required to Complete Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Migration Tasks with DocAve

Critical Needs

  • Simplified migration of SharePoint content
  • Retention of data’s full fidelity upon migration

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Success Highlights

  • Simplified migration process with Live Migration capability, moving content to SharePoint 2010 with drag-and-drop ease and taking less than 15 minutes for each migration job to complete, 97% faster than the eight hours that would have been required without DocAve
  • Retained data’s full fidelity upon migration, including all metadata and permissions, easing the transition to the new environment for both administrators and end users
Our SharePoint migration benefitted from DocAve Migrator’s speed and simplicity.
Kendra Hughes Computer System Analyst, Montana State University Billings

The Challenge

MSU Billings is part of Montana State University, which has four campuses across the state. MSU Billings also has several sites within the city of Billings, including a main campus, downtown campus, and a College of Technology campus. Additionally, like any university, its students, faculty, and staff reside and work both on and off campus. In order to enable students and workers to share information and collaborate on documents more effectively, MSU Billings utilizes Microsoft SharePoint.

The platform is available for anyone at the university to utilize. The Human Resources department, for instance, uses SharePoint for its hiring process. As resumes are submitted, they are scanned and uploaded to SharePoint so relevant parties can access the documents no matter where they are located. “With four campuses in multiple locations across the state, accessing content through SharePoint is much easier,” said Kendra Hughes, Computer System Analyst at MSU Billings. “It’s simpler than having to search through email and helps make certain you’re accessing the most up-to-date version of a document.”

In order to take advantage of new features and utilize the most current version of the platform, MSU Billings decided to upgrade its SharePoint environment from Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 to Microsoft SharePoint 2010. However, after a quick investigation into the process of migrating all 15 gigabytes (GB) of the organization’s SharePoint data from one version to another, Hughes realized it could be an extremely time-consuming effort using only SharePoint’s native functionality. “The migration process would have taken years to complete, as the only way I could figure out how to do it was to move one file over at a time.” Hughes said. “I knew that a manual migration using SharePoint’s native tools just wasn’t possible for us.” With that in mind, Hughes began to search for a solution to her migration challenge.

The AvePoint Solution

Hughes found the answer to her problems in DocAve Migrator from AvePoint. DocAve Migrator enables efficient, reliable, and highly scalable data transfer to help organizations move to SharePoint 2010. Hughes began to carry out migration jobs according to organizational demands. “When people ask me to copy something to the new environment, they expect it to be done almost immediately,” Hughes said. “Without DocAve, migrating each individual site would take me at least an eight hour day, having to download each file, upload the file to the new server, and also setting up all the permissions, folders, and settings. Using DocAve Migrator, my SharePoint migration tasks never take more than 15 minutes to complete.”

To carry out migration tasks for MSU Billings, Hughes opted to utilize DocAve Migrator’s Live Migration capability. Live Migration offers an "on-the-fly" process for transferring data from previous versions of SharePoint to SharePoint 2010 with drag-and-drop ease. Live SharePoint content can be selectively replicated for an immediate migration to a production SharePoint environment. “DocAve Migrator is very easy to use,” Hughes said. “I simply drag the content I want to migrate over to the new server, drop it in, and DocAve creates the job for me.”

DocAve Migrator allows full-fidelity content migration at the item, site, or site collection level, ensuring that important information associated with content such as metadata and permissions is transferred to the new environment. In addition to saving Hughes time in avoiding the need to reset all permissions manually, end users benefited from this feature as well. “Being able to migrate our data with full fidelity was very important,” Hughes said. “The fact that the content appears the same in SharePoint 2010 as it did in MOSS 2007 and has all of the same properties made the transition much less confusing for our end users.”

The Bottom Line

From ease of use, speed, to the ability to migrate data with full fidelity, DocAve Migrator had all of the features required to simplify MSU Billings’ path to SharePoint 2010. Now, the university is able to fully utilize the platform’s enhanced capabilities, and Hughes is able to continue to focus on other tasks essential to the organization. “Our SharePoint migration benefitted from DocAve Migrator’s speed and simplicity,” Hughes said. “Managing SharePoint is only part of my job, so with the time I save using DocAve Migrator I can complete migration tasks while still focusing on my other responsibilities, such as maintaining our websites and programming.”

About Montana State University Billings

Montana State University (MSU) Billings has been an integral part of the Billings community and a student-centered learning environment since its early days as Eastern Montana College. Founded in 1927, the university continues to nurture a longstanding tradition of educational access, teaching excellence, civic engagement, and community enhancement in an urban setting.

Montana State University Billings