Case Study: Lotus Note Migration

The Client

The client is wholly owned by the Malaysian government and invested with the entire ownership and control of the petroleum resources in Malaysia. Over the years, the client has grown to become a fully-integrated oil and gas corporation and is ranked among the FORTUNE Global 500’s largest corporations in the world. the client has four subsidiaries listed on the Bursa Malaysia and has ventured globally into more than 30 countries worldwide in its aspiration to become a leading oil and gas corporation of choice.

Business Needs

  • The client implemented Lotus Notes in 1995, becoming one of Lotus’ largest enterprise-scale customers. This decision was made by the client’s desire for a visionary and innovative knowledge management approach. At that time, Notes was the only platform, which allowed knowledge sharing on the global scale. It quickly became one of the company’s most crucial IT solutions supporting both communications and knowledge sharing requirements. Over the period, the client developed a number of sophisticated Notes-based applications supporting every activity throughout the company.
  • By 2004, the client realized a lot of confusion had been created in the market place around Lotus Notes. Lotus announced its intention to re-architect the Notes messaging and collaboration platform. The new architecture would require most customers to undertake massive investment of re-architecting and re-design.The client also foresaw a move to the Microsoft collaboration platform(consisting of Microsoft Server 2003, Exchange Server 2003, and SharePoint Portal Server 2003) would guarantee a robust messaging and collaboration platform and increase reliance on converged mobile technology such as personal data assistants and mobile phones.
  • Although the transition would be complicated, The client believed the solution would allow its 20,000 staff, spreading across 6 different regions communicating by more than 10,000 applications to work more effectively and offer significant savings in capital as well as operating and maintaining costs. In addition, the client could leverage its investments in the Windows operating systems, Microsoft Office applications already deployed to its employees.

Challenges

An Exchange migration is one of the most, labor-intensive projects an organization can undertake. The followings are some of the challenges that come with this kind of project:

  • The relevant data were stored in multiple customer repositories that did not allow visibility and require a long time of estimation.
  • This was a time-critical need. Execution speed was therefore crucial, and the project team had to scale up very quickly, without impacting deliverable quality, or costs.
  • The solution had to be forward looking – there was a need to ensure that enough flexibility was built-in to the new system, to accommodate changing business and regulatory requirements.
  • Another was to manage so many application interfaces and simultaneously streamline the migration process.
  • Also, apart from typical data quality issues, the existing system was also dependent on an abundance of applications. This posed added-complexity to the migration exercise.
  • Furthermore, a shift to another collaboration platform is always accompanied with changing management. This needs a well-rounded anticipation and strategy of the whole scenario in order to minimize the impact on end users who has been long working with Notes.

Solutions

  • Once the decision was made to migrate, the client moved swiftly to work with FPT Software – Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Customer Development Solutions and Networking Infrastructure Solutions.
  • FPT Software first conducted a thorough assessment of the existing Notes applications to determine the costs and benefits associated with migrating them to the Microsoft software solutions. FPT Software quickly learned the size and complexity of the Notes-based applications, determined the appropriate architecture for the new environment, and made its recommendations for each of the Notes applications.
  • Based on the result, the project team began by migrating 3 typical applications from Lotus Notes to SPS/.NET and convert mailboxes of 150 users to Exchange as a proof-of-concept for migrating its entire Notes environment.
  • For the client’s employees’ long experience with Notes, the shift to a new collaboration platform required a huge change management effort. The change management service was to ensure that all the client’s users were prepared for the move from Notes to a Microsoft environment. Consequently, we implemented an aggressive education program; much of it was computer-based self-study, supported by frequent and relevant communication. The program also empowered end-users to make their own transition and preserve whatever personal necessary data.
  • To complete the shift of applications from Lotus Notes to the Microsoft collaboration platform, we re mediated, retired applications in which Notes serves as the fundamental architecture. The team also planned to create a new knowledge management platform, which is better tailored to the information and business needs of the client’s personnel.
  • We divided the project into 3 steps:
    • Discovery:Getting the right number of applications to be migrated, first round analysis by Application Analyzer and resource estimation and interviewing business process and IT services owners.
    • Assessment:Drilling down into application business logic, plotting them into migration patterns, and defining the strategy and schedule.
    • Delivery: Applying database analyzer, data correction, permission setting and test manager tools to cater for the repetitive nature of migration work and the large number of applications being migrated.

Benefits

  • Significant cost savings as the unnecessary licensing expenses for thousands of application was no more.
  • Reduce cost and complexity by standardizing on a single directory service.
  • The client’s enterprise-wide IT objective of gaining an adaptable, central 360 degree view of messaging and collaboration system was fulfilled.
  • The productivity and flexibility of employees of the client has been improved after the complement of the system migration project.

Technologies Used

MS Exchange Server 2003, VS.NET2003, SQL Server 2005, Source Code K2.NET 2003, Cashahl ecKnowledge 8.1.6, Application Transporter, MIIS, Quest Migrator, Notes Connector.