The RSPB Saves Two Months Migrating to Microsoft® SharePoint® 2010 with DocAve®

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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Success Highlights

  • Completed migration from both Microsoft SharePoint 2003 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to SharePoint 2010 in three months, saving two months that would have been required using native SharePoint features
  • Migrated six gigabytes (GB) of content incrementally at the site-level with full fidelity – including all metadata, security settings, and version histories
  • Finished migration of data on schedule, allocating time to train end users on the new platform immediately after upgrade
Migrating to SharePoint 2010 would have been impossible to even contemplate without DocAve.
Lucy Garrett Information Services Specialist, RSPB

The Challenge

With a staff of 1,300 and volunteer-base of 18,000, RSPB implemented Microsoft SharePoint in order to empower its knowledge workers to collaborate more effectively throughout its UK headquarters, three national offices, and nine regional offices. At present, a combination of 130 employees and volunteers actively utilise the platform to collaborate on projects by accessing team and project sites, sharing documents, linking to resources, and maintaining blogs.

Throughout its use of the platform, RSPB found SharePoint to be an extremely effective means of sharing information and collaborating across the organisation. “Several projects have the entirety of their documentation in SharePoint, with teams utilizing the platform’s functions for both task and custom lists,” said Lucy Garrett, Information Services Specialist at RSPB. “Instead of keeping this data on a shared drive, using SharePoint has the added value of managing access to the information. SharePoint blogs and wikis also help share information while storing knowledge in a useable and accessible format.” Over time, RSPB began using two separate versions of SharePoint: Microsoft SharePoint 2003 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007.

While SharePoint was used most heavily by RSPB’s IT department, the organisation decided to expand the platform for use by its marketing team. Around this time, RSPB also invested in an upgrade to SharePoint 2010 and decided to migrate all existing environments to the new version of the platform so all end users could take advantage of the latest SharePoint features.

However, this initiative was not without challenges. In addition to the complexity of upgrading two separate versions of SharePoint simultaneously, SharePoint native abilities offered no means to migrate data from SharePoint 2003 directly to SharePoint 2010. “With a limited budget and only three SharePoint administrators, performing the migration with only SharePoint’s native abilities would be challenging and require at least five months of our time,” said Jo Bryce, Business Information Manager at RSPB. “Additionally, it was vital that we lose no data upon migration and we required a solution that could ensure our data was migrated with full fidelity.”

With a need to simplify an upgrade of both SharePoint 2003 and MOSS 2007 environments to SharePoint 2010 and migrate all data to the new system with full fidelity, RSPB administrators began a search for a third-party migration solution.

The AvePoint Solution

As a member of The Charities Consortium IT Directors Group (CCitDG), RSPB administrators approached other members and experts for a SharePoint migration tool recommendation. CCitDG members suggested two different options. Upon investigation, RSPB administrators determined AvePoint’s DocAve Migrator was the ideal 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. “In addition to being impressed by DocAve’s ease-of-use, we were very interested in the fact that we could ultimately implement other solutions from the platform to help manage SharePoint governance at our organisation,” Lucy said.

With a single, simple install, DocAve Migrator helps organisations quickly move off legacy platforms to begin leveraging Microsoft SharePoint 2010. The administrators implemented DocAve and began to prepare for the migration. “In advance of migrating our data, we prepared by creating sites on SharePoint 2010 and using Active Directory to set up groups,” Jo said. “When it was time to begin the migration, DocAve allowed us to do so in a way that best fit our business needs, which involved moving sites incrementally to the new environment.” DocAve enables full-fidelity content migration at the item, site, or site collection level from previous versions of SharePoint.

After three months, RSPB’s migration was complete and its deadline for the project met. In total, RSPB administrators utilised DocAve to migrate approximately six gigabytes (GB) of data from both the SharePoint 2003 and MOSS 2007 environments, as well as some content residing on file shares. In addition to meeting RSPB’s requirement of retaining all data through full-fidelity migration capabilities, DocAve also allowed the organisation to save two months that a manual migration using SharePoint’s native abilities would have required. “Migrating to SharePoint 2010 would have been impossible to even contemplate without DocAve,” Lucy said. “It would have been far too time consuming.”

The Bottom Line

Since successfully migrating with DocAve, SharePoint 2010 has been a success for RSPB end users. As planned, the marketing team is making use of the platform, and other departments are asking to use SharePoint as well. “We aligned our SharePoint 2010 end user training with our migration schedule to ensure everyone was able to use the platform without issue as soon as the data was migrated,” Jo said. “DocAve’s ability to migrate our data swiftly and according to our specific business requirements was beneficial in enabling our end users to learn the updated platform according to schedule.”

In the future, administrators will continue to make SharePoint available to more departments and volunteers in order to further enhance collaboration at RSPB. Current plans include training more than 500 new end users on the platform. As SharePoint adoption continues and data increases throughout the deployment, RSPB administrators recognize the importance of implementing and enforcing a SharePoint governance policy throughout the organisation. “We are currently investigating DocAve Administrator and Content Manager in order to help manage SharePoint governance,” said Lucy.

About RSPB

The RSPB is the largest wildlife conservation organisation in Europe and speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten their environment. The RSPB’s work is driven by a passionate belief that we all have a responsibility to protect birds and the environment. Bird populations reflect the health of the planet on which our future depends.