From Lotus Notes to a SharePoint-based digital workplace platform

We developed a strategy and process to streamline the audit, clean up and migration of content from a complex and fragmented Lotus Notes-based intranet to new SharePoint intranet.

Requirement

As part of a major digital transformation programme, Allied Irish Banks (AIB) would be implementing a new SharePoint-based digital workplace solution to support cross-functional collaboration and knowledge sharing. This would require a significant volume of content to be migrated from a legacy intranet which had been in place for over a decade.

Our client – the intranet owner -approached us for help auditing and cleaning up the Lotus Notes inventory before migrating content over to the new SharePoint 2013 environment.

Our goal for this project was to explore and map out in detail how the subsequent stages of inventory, audit and clean-up would be managed – in order to deliver the best outcomes for AIB in terms of both quality and cost-effectiveness.

The primary objective was to create an efficient process, with effort focused on relevant areas and optimising/leveraging in-house resources.

Approach

Consulted with key stakeholders to assess:

  • Objectives and desired outcomes for the audit and clean-up
  • Resources in place at AIB to support aspects of the process
  • Classification of content within current intranet
  • Principles and process for audit and clean-up stages
  • Rules for assessing relevance of content

Developed a strategy and plan for inventory, audit and clean up including:

  • Process for managing inventory, audit and clean up stages
  • Resource and responsibilities plan
  • Timing plan
Implementation / Process
  • Collated existing inventory data and identified key information that would help us classify Lotus Notes sites as relevant/irrelevant for migration.
  • Suggested a method for gathering new inventory data via Webtrends database scans focusing on the identification of active databases.
  • Optimised the configuration of Webtrends to maximise efficiency of scans.
  • Selected an appropriate Lotus Notes database (intranet) to ‘pilot’ inventory, audit and clean-up process.
  • Developed a multi-stage process, designed to reduce the amount of content that had to be migrated over to the new SP2013 environment by providing more granular insights on active content that had to be retained.

Our suggested approach factored in technical limitations and resource considerations, added flexibility to the approach and allowed for a varying resource implications based on the level of thoroughness that would be followed for the inventory, audit and cleanup of the intranet.

Results

We provided a process and implementation plan that helped AIB strike the right balance between time and resources invested versus the benefits of additional granularity in pre-migration inventory auditing and clean-up activity.

Using our recommended approach the project team in AIB was able to categorise existing content into three main areas according to business criticality:

  1. ‘Must have’ content prioritised for migration to the new intranet platform
  2. ‘Could have’ content listed out as potentially excluded from migration unless reported as critical in user feedback forms collected prior to the new intranet launch
  3. ‘Outdated’ content excluded from migration, which could be archived and stored in cheaper storage for future reference.

Our strategy and methodology helped AIB minimise requirements for initial content migration and start afresh in the new intranet. This addressed the common problem of large amounts of outdated and potentially useless content being migrated; this would have hindered SharePoint performance and negatively impacted user experience by increasing navigation complexity and generating irrelevant search results.