SharePoint Migrations

A few words about the project

As part of a data migration project for a major defense contractor, NBI successfully migrated over 30 terabytes of data from both legacy and industry-leading platforms, including SharePoint 2007– 2013, Office 365, DocuShare, eRoom, and file shares. The project cleaned up legacy systems that were using old, unsupported hardware and software and saved the client over $80 million in government fees, farm costs, and operating costs. Throughout the project—from technology selection, through planning and development, right up to the execution of the migrations—NBI’s team was integrally involved in each phase.

At the onset of the project, NBI’s team spearheaded a 2-month discovery period to evaluate potential migration tools on cost, user experience, support services, pre- and post-migration features, configuration requirements, and technical features. NBI team members then put their decades of industry experience to use in selecting a high function, cost-effective SharePoint and eRoom migration tool as the best option for the client’s needs.

Next, the team began implementing project planning and development. With an undertaking of this magnitude, streamlining the project’s timeline was critical to the client’s ROI, so NBI organized five simultaneous efforts to increase cost efficiency: requirements gathering, discovery, archiving, development, and testing. To maximize each team member’s strengths, we assigned each platform involved in the migration its own team of business analysts, developers, quality control personnel, and SharePoint experts.

To ensure that we planned for all project requirements, NBI held discussions with stakeholders and end users to gather additional source and target environment requirements before development took place, to adjust for all of the client’s specific needs. The team then undertook a full inventory and analysis of each source platform, using automated scripts created specifically to retrieve metrics like site count, user count, document count, workflows, custom features, and custom pages. We also implemented SQL tables to manage the massive amount of inventory data.

With the client’s requirements and detailed platform analytics well documented, the team categorized sites by complexity to productively schedule the next phase of the project, archiving. In the hands of inexperienced technologists, an archiving effort can take years. To streamline the process, NBI implemented automations designed to reduce the number of migrated sites through a SharePoint workflow that allowed users to add sites to an out-of-scope list that would omit migration.

The migration process can be slowed considerably by customizations such as features, applications, authentication, pages, and InfoPath forms. The team worked with site owners to generate out-of-thebox alternative methods to replicate custom functions without having to migrate time-consuming customizations.

After honing in on the in-scope data and sites, NBI developed all the tools necessary to fill in the gaps left by Content Matrix that existed due to highly customized client source platforms. Using their broad range of technical expertise, NBI’s team members developed toolsets to automate the migration process with features including inventory collection, branding, taxonomy, metadata, workflow data, and list customizations.

To properly test the newly developed migration tools, the NBI team built three separate SharePoint farms: one focused on development, another on quality assurance, and one on production. We conducted over 10,000 test migrations to ensure the migrations were flawless, with each source platform undergoing over 100 test cases through each of the three test farms. Following project development, we implemented user acceptance testing, allowing real users to test the outcome of the migrations and provide feedback. We enlisted users of varying skill levels to complete the task, using test scripts written to ensure they thoroughly evaluated all facets of the migration.

Once testing was completed, NBI conducted the final migration in 12-hour cycles, with each cycle migrating between 50 and 150 sites. Business analysts and quality assurance personnel completed cycles to ensure a proper migration.

All told, NBI successfully migrated over 25,000 sites, 66 million files, and 180,000 users. What’s more, the project was completed on-time and within budget, proving that NBI’s detailed and efficient approach produces quantifiable business results for our clients.