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A typical first step in many migration projects is to research, select and procure a migration tool.

Content Migration as a Service (CMaaS) changes this concept. CMaaS also delivers the outcome not just the means to achieve it.

Sometimes CMaaS is a better approach for your scenario.

We have put together some examples of how we find CMaaS has helped our clients which we hope will help you to make the correct choice for you scenario.

Delivery Accelerator

CMaaS typically accelerates migration delivery.

The team must understand the desired outcome so that the CMaaS partner can deliver. This moves decision making to the fore.

You will be working with a delivery partner who has delivered many migrations. Having an experienced partner brings speed, clarity and confidence to decision making. Migration projects can often be about difficult decisions that balance both advantages and disadvantages of a given approach so this can be a significant contribution.

Team Focus

Content migration is typically one part of a larger project.

Invariably the purpose of that overarching project will be to bring a significant improvement or efficiency to the organisation.

Arguably the project team wants to be focused on the creation and delivery of that future and the “one-time” content migration element can be a distraction.

CMaaS permits the team resources to focus whilst a partner delivers the “one-time” content migration element.

Align Perspectives

Different teams and personnel within your organisation will have different perspectives on any content migration project.

An experienced CMaaS partner will understand this landscape and work with your team to align this with the detail of the content migration.

To exemplify this we should consider that content migration is frequently not only concerned with moving content from A to B but also with ensuring that the content migration honours;

  • Use and Consumption, e.g.
    • Continued use and consumption post migration
    • Arrangements for use and consumption during migration
  • Governance, e.g.
    • Permissions
    • Security
    • Retention
    • Disposition
    • Compliance
  • Infrastructure, e.g.
    • Bandwidth
    • Storage

Responsibility for each of these areas is likely split between personnel. A good CMaaS partner will understand both this landscape and also drivers such as regulatory and legislative compliance.

Team Resources

A content migration project can place significant demand upon team resources.

CMaaS reduces this demand.

It is also the case that most content migration projects are a “one-time” deal. Without a migration partner it is likely your organisation will incur the additional learning curve costs of internal or contractor resources only for these skills to be redundant as soon as the project is delivered.

Small Content Migrations

The benefits of CMaaS becomes very acute for small migrations.

For a small migration the cost of the CMaaS engagement may well be similar to or less than the cost of the tooling. When this is set against the background of team resource costs and other factors a strong case is made, commercially, for CMaaS.

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Every business we have ever worked with has content stored in multiple places.

Content consolidation is the act of distilling the number of such repositories down to the minimum and in each case the best for the content concerned.

Consolidation invariably entails migrating content out of and retiring legacy repositories.

We can migrate these repositories for you – http://www.ensentia.co.uk/whatwedo/migration/.

When we label a repository as legacy we should be careful to understand that this means legacy to your organisation. Put a different way a legacy repository may be supported by the manufacturer but your organisation has determined it no longer wants to maintain the system.

Consolidation is achieved by successful execution of one or more migration projects.

Successful consolidation would at least achieve these benefits.

1. Reduce Cost

Once all content has been migrated out of a legacy repository cost can be reduced:

  • Software manufacturer support and licences costs are eliminated.
  • Infrastructure (hardware, power) costs are eliminated.
  • Training costs for users are reduced.
  • Ownership costs such as internal IT costs are reduced.

2. Reduce Risk

With content migrated to a preferred platform risk is significant reduced:

  • Legacy platform risks such as failure, stability, security and data loss are circumvented.
  • Skills (expertise) risks are mitigated.

3. Increase Productivity

Content consolidation normally reflects a productively increase:

  • Single search – Ability to find all content in a single search.
  • Single knowledge set – The requirement to only learn and master a single electronic content management system.
  • Single administration point – Only a single system for which to set permissions and execute other administrative and governance activities.
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We specialise in content migration with a specific focus on migration to SharePoint.

Put simply we help our customers to deliver their Migration Projects by building robust Content Migration Processes leveraging our Content Migration Tooling.

See also http://www.ensentia.co.uk/whatwedo/migration/

Migration Project

Content typically refers to document content (Word; PDF; Excel etc), or HTML presented content (Web Pages). Content could also mean structure (Folders), lists (conversations, tasks, calendars). All content has some form of meta data associated with it.

A need for content migration will normally arise from an overarching project.

Typically such a project would be :

  • A migration project to a new EDRMS, WCM or Collaboration system such as SharePoint.
  • A consolidation project whereby you consolidate to a single EDRMS, WCM or Collaboration system such as SharePoint.

Such a project will have it’s own understood drivers and benefits case.

We believe it is important to recognise that this overarching project is different from the content migration itself as the overall project will address not just content but also people and processes.

The exception to this is an archive project in which the main driver is correctly retaining the content as opposed to actively or extensively working with it. In such a project the element of people and process is reduced and the content migration process comes to the fore.

Content Migration Process

To satisfy the requirements of a migration process a content migration process normally needs to be built or at very least configured.

The process could be simple or complex. In order to facilitate the later we use PowerShell.

The process will undoubtedly migrate content but may also:

  • Configure the destination
  • Deploy structure such as sites, libraries or folders.
  • Deploy meta data such as lookup lists
  • Set Permissions
  • Transform the content
  • Transform the meta data

The process will additionally include:

  • Reporting
  • Reconciliation
  • Tracking
  • Validation

In short the content migration process is tailored to the needs of the project and further ensures all content is correctly transferred and validated.

Content Migration Tooling

Content migration tooling avoids reinvention of the wheel.

Good migration tooling encapsulates all common functionality that your migration process will need so that it can be built more easily and cost effectively.

Professional content migration tooling normally leverages PowerShell scripting for accuracy and repeatability.

We continually develop our own migration tooling so that we can work with you to deliver a very effective Content Migration Process in minimal time and at minimal cost. We have connectors for most source repositories.

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Sensitive Information Types in Office 365 allow you identify sensitive content that is held in Exchange and SharePoint Online and restrict its use.

You can leverage existing rules (e.g. Credit card numbers) or define your own.

The rules are applied as part of the search crawl.  The content of a document or email is analysed and if, for example, a credit card number is found a property is set on the document.

Depending on the licence that you have for Office 365 you can then run searches to identify the offending content or apply policies that restrict its use.

Sensitive information types are not guaranteed to find every offending document but they are a great broad brush approach to information security and compliance.

If you are working with scanned images that have been OCR’d and converted to PDF+Text then there is a good chance that these will be identified.

Further reading;

https://blogs.office.com/en-us/2014/08/27/search-sensitive-content-sharepoint-onedrive-documents/

https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/Keyword-queries-and-search-conditions-for-Content-Search-c4639c2e-7223-4302-8e0d-b6e10f1c3be3

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Office-365/Announcing-support-for-custom-sensitive-information-types-in-the/td-p/62764

https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/Create-a-custom-sensitive-information-type-82c382a5-b6db-44fd-995d-b333b3c7fc30

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn781122(v=exchg.150).aspx

https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Ignite/2016/BRK3021-TS

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