Migrating your Legacy ECM System to SharePoint – Part III

In Part I and Part II of this blog series, we have discussed why and when to consider an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) legacy system migration to SharePoint. We’ve also provided challenges, benefits and considerations when researching your migration options. To ensure a successful SharePoint migration you now need to identify planning questions and migration strategies. KnowledgeLake has been doing this for years. We have a proven process and experience to help your organization with proper planning and analysis. However, no two migrations are alike and you need to consider the following questions with whatever path you take.

Planning Questions

  • What is the volume of documents to be migrated? You may have 30 million documents in your legacy system, but after analysis you realize that a lot of them do not need to be migrated. Identifying retention policies can make a big difference on migration costs.
  • What types of documents are stored in your current system? Most of the time it will be images; however, maybe you have Office documents or PDFs.
  • Where are they stored? (e.g. file systems, BLOB storage)
  • How are documents currently added to your system? This may seem irrelevant; however, it can help identify file types and additional requirements needed for the new system. Maybe you need more than scanning and need to support fax or multi-function devices.
  • Does the current system use foldering?
  • How do you search for documents?
  • How is security handled?
  • Are there multiple versions of a document? When you migrate do you plan to carry over all versions?
  • Are annotations used? How are they applied to the documents? Are they embedded or stored separately?
  • Do you use Compound Documents? For example, you have a Word document and inside that document you have a link to an Excel document.
  • Are Overlays used?
  • Do you have any Workflow associated to documents?
  • What retention policies do you have in place, if any?

Your SharePoint architecture is the most important consideration for planning and analysis. You need to consider how the organization of your current legacy system maps to the topology of SharePoint.

Migration Strategies

Some consultants will encourage you to migrate everything or nothing – and to do it all right now. Resist this strategy. There are other options that can work better for your organization.

  • Department by Department – Do one department at a time and choose the simple one first.
  • SharePoint Day Forward with Phased Migration – SharePoint will be used day forward and later decide how to migrate the legacy system documents. Some clients decide to start with the more recent documents first.
  • Interoperate with Legacy System – This is not as common but can be done. Sometimes clients decide to use SharePoint along with the legacy system in a phased approach.

KnowledgeLake was the first vendor to adopt SharePoint exclusively as our Enterprise Content Management platform in 2003. We have been awarded Microsoft Partner of the Year several times and have a fast, accurate and low-cost solution to migrate to SharePoint. We’re the experts! Hopefully, this Migration series has proven helpful during your research. We have plenty of thought-leaders within the SharePoint ecosystem on staff and welcome any questions that you have. KnowledgeLake also provides a suite of products to enhance SharePoint as an Enterprise Content Management system.

Please contact us with any SharePoint questions and follow us on Twitter: @KnowledgeLake or Facebook.

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