National Records of Scotland Migrates Directly from Lotus Quickr and Lotus Notes to Microsoft SharePoint in Eight Weeks with AvePoint Client Services

Critical Needs

  • Migration services provider to conduct project from Lotus Quickr and Lotus Notes to SharePoint
  • Replicate structure and organization of legacy IT systems in SharePoint
  • Maintain permissions structure from legacy systems

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Success Highlights

  • Successfully migrated legacy data from two government branches to a centralised SharePoint environment
  • Engaged Migration-as-a-Service offering from a G-Cloud approved vendor to move 65 GB of data from Lotus Quickr and Lotus Notes directly to SharePoint 2013 within eight weeks without burdening IT or interrupting user access to critical content
  • Preserved all content metadata, including permission structure, to make a seamless transition from legacy systems to SharePoint
quote With AvePoint Client Services, our SharePoint migration did not take up any of our internal IT resources, allowing us to focus on larger programs for the benefit of the entire organisation. quote
John Simmons Records Manager, National Records of Scotland

The Challenge

In 2011, the Scottish Government merged two of its departments – the National Archives of Scotland and the General Register Office for Scotland – to create NRS. As the two organisations came together, so did their IT systems. As the recordkeeping authority for all of Scotland, NRS understood the importance of operating proper arrangements for the management of its own corporate records following the merger and decided to adopt the Scottish Government’s shared platform for electronic document and records management (EDRM) as its long-term solution. It also needed to continue providing vital IT services (supporting activities such as statistical analysis and registration) to its 450-person user base during this transition period.

As NRS worked to merge legacy systems into one and prepare for the implementation of the Scottish Government’s platform, it identified that the support window for one of those systems, Lotus Quickr, used by 60 percent of the organisation, was closing. NRS had to move quickly to migrate to a new platform to ensure operations would continue to run. Enter: Microsoft SharePoint. “SharePoint offered us the best interim solution for document storage and collaboration,” said John Simmons, Records Manager at NRS. “Different teams regularly edit and update corporate documents and records. SharePoint is a centralized place to store those files and allow the right people to access them.”

While SharePoint offered the functionality needed to continue business as usual, the organisation’s IT team did not have sufficient expertise to undertake such a migration. “Our focus has been on specific IT services we deliver to the business,” Simmons said. “The team’s skill set was not matched to a SharePoint migration where we could replicate the structure of our legacy environment and maintain our existing permissions structure in the new environment.”

Keeping these requirements – and the looming Lotus Quickr end of support date – in mind, NRS decided to use the UK Government Cloud (G-Cloud) to engage the right migration services provider for its needs.

The AvePoint Solution

Given the tight timescale, NRS utilized the G-Cloud marketplace. “We used G-Cloud as it allowed us not only to identify credible suppliers, but also meet our timescales and the requirements of Scottish Public procurement,” Simmons said. “As a result, we were able to appoint AvePoint Client Services to complete our project on time.”

As a G-Cloud vendor, AvePoint has registered with Crown Commercial Services as a provider of IT services that can support public sector requirements. “We saw that AvePoint had done similar projects and had the expertise and ability to carry out our migration as we needed, something confirmed by third-party advisors as part of the procurement process,” Simmons said. “We also received an external recommendation validating AvePoint’s expertise in SharePoint migration.”

Because of the tight schedule, NRS needed to completely move off of Lotus Quickr and into SharePoint. The AvePoint Client Services (ACS) team expertly migrated all of NRS’s data to its new environment within the required time frame while retaining all metadata. “For us to work seamlessly in SharePoint, we needed to migrate all metadata along with our content,” Simmons said. “AvePoint carried out a full fidelity migration, providing context around content created in our old system – including permission levels. We were certain that, in our new environment, users still had the right access to the right information without having to recreate that structure.”

By choosing the Migration-as-a-Service offering from ACS, NRS’s IT team and end users were able to continue operations without experiencing any downtime. “Lotus Quickr was our primary information system for document collaboration, so it was very valuable to have continued access to it even as we decommissioned it,” Simmons said. “With AvePoint Client Services, our SharePoint migration did not take up any of our internal IT resources, allowing us to focus on larger programs for the benefit of the entire organisation.”

Because of the time-sensitive nature of the migration, NRS did not granularly migrate content from Lotus Quickr. “We couldn’t be very selective in what we brought over from Lotus Quickr, even though we did have the option with AvePoint Client Services,” Simmons said. “If we had more time, it would have been nice to look closely at what needed to be migrated per organisational retention policies, and what could be left out of migration.”

ACS completed the migration in eight weeks and, most importantly, before Lotus Quickr came to end of life. With its new SharePoint environment configured according to requirements and on time, NRS chose to extend its ACS engagement to include a Lotus Notes migration as well. “In this case, we had the time to selectively migrate content from Lotus Notes to SharePoint,” Simmons said. “This was helpful in keeping unwanted content out of our new environment, and we could not have done it without AvePoint’s expertise.”

The Bottom Line

With AvePoint’s team handling every aspect of the SharePoint migration on a daily basis, NRS was able to operate without any disruption to critical content and move off its legacy system before it reached end of support. “AvePoint provided us reports showing the quality of the migration throughout the process,” Simmons said. “While those reports proved the technical success of the project, the biggest indicator was our continued access to corporate information with the correct permission levels.”

About National Records of Scotland

National Records of Scotland (NRS) is a non-ministerial department of the Scottish government whose purpose is to collect, preserve, and produce information about Scotland’s people and history.

National Records of Scotland