Migrating your Legacy System to SharePoint – Part I

There are many important factors to consider when researching data migration options.  So many in fact, that we have to break this blog post up into a series.  This post addresses the benefits behind a legacy Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system migration to SharePoint.  The next two will go into all the dark and dirty details of what you need to know about Migrating to SharePoint.  Specifically – we will address the challenges, factors on which to base your decision and most importantly – planning questions to ask about the process of migrating documents to SharePoint.

Why Migrate to SharePoint? 

If you’re not sure how SharePoint fits into the ECM marketplace or what factors should drive a migration – keep reading.  There’s been a lot of ECM vendor consolidation over the last few years and really only three or four significant survivors.  For instance – IBM and Oracle have both acquired legacy systems such as Filenet, Stellent and Optika.  Then there is Microsoft SharePoint.  SharePoint has become one of Microsoft’s fastest growing server products.  Officials say it is a $2 billion-per-year business “a milestone few Microsoft products have achieved.”  SharePoint easily integrates with Office applications and most businesses already own and/or use SharePoint in some capacity.  SharePoint is the industry standard for Enterprise Content Management – which we can comfortable say with the release of SharePoint 2010 and 2013.  Here’s why:

  • Ease of Use
  • Consistent Look & Feel
  • Increased User Adoption
  • Industry Compliances
  • Leverage Existing Microsoft IT Investment
  • Low Training Costs
  • Quick ROI

Main Drivers of a Migration

There are many reasons to consider a migration if you currently use a legacy ECM system.  Most of which you have probably battled already.

Reduce Costs

  • Annual Legacy Maintenance Fees – We have many clients who justified their legacy system migration purely on the legacy maintenance fees.  They were able to reduce that fee by such a significant amount that they justified the cost of migration on that factor alone.
  • Internal Support Costs – If you already have SharePoint in house, you do not have to hire or train people with that skillset.
  • Supporting Multiple Platforms & Expensive Hardware – Often we see clients with multiple legacy systems that have been acquired over the years.  These systems may have older, proprietary hardware associated with them.
  • Custom Code Associated with Legacy System – Supporting custom code can be costly.
  • Leverage Current Technology – Why do you have three different systems that can all do the same thing?  Again, most organizations already have SharePoint and are using it in some capacity.
  • Predictability and Support – Where will your current vendor be in three years?  Will you be forced to migrate because your platform is suddenly retired?
  • Upgrade a Migration in Disguise – With a legacy system you may be forced into an upgrade because the platform is being retired; which is more of a migration than an upgrade.  If you are doing a migration anyway – you certainly want to consider all of your options!

We have given you plenty to consider and have more information to share!  Please follow our blog for the next part in this series:  “What you need to know about Migrating to SharePoint.”  You can also find plenty of info on our website.

… To Be Continued …