Citrix Sharefile Migration to Microsoft 365
10 Sep 2020
ShareFile operates more like an Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) system (like DropBox and Box) by allowing secure file sharing and transfer, and less like a fully-fledged Enterprise Content Management System (like Documentum and FileNet). Most ShareFile users create ‘Personal Folders’ to manage and sync their private files, and ‘Shared Folders’ which can be shared among multiple internal and external users.
Its ability to share securely and effortlessly was the key to ShareFile’s success and helped it amass millions of users. Today, since most organisations now have some form of Microsoft 365 license or subscription, many are now looking at replacing services like ShareFile with solutions provided by Microsoft. The main drivers for replacing such services include:
- Cost - the popular ShareFile plan costs around $25/user/month, while a Microsoft 365 E3 plan only costs around $20/user/month and provides much more than file sharing. The popular ShareFile plan costs about $25/month/user, while a Microsoft 365 E3 plan only costs $20/month/user and provides much more than file sharing.
- Simple sharing – the sharing enhancements in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint online went a long way to simplifying the sharing experience and changing user’s perception of external sharing.
- Security and compliance – the Security and compliance features provided as part of Microsoft 365 along with advanced information protection gives organisations the confidence to share information with external parties.
Although a move from ShareFile to SharePoint/OneDrive might seem like the obvious choice, the difference in these 2 systems need to be considered when planning and executing a successful move. These considerations include:
- External users – ShareFile content generally tends to be shared with several external users. Microsoft 365 provides various levels of security and external sharing on its tenant, and this would require advanced planning to allow external users to access content in Microsoft 365 using configurations or other Microsoft solutions like Azure AD B2B.
- The Microsoft service – while ShareFile manages private and shared content from the same product, Microsoft 365 offers a variety of products that are designed for different use cases. Private files would be well suited to be stored in OneDrive for Business, but shared content for collaboration would be best moved into Microsoft Teams and SharePoint. A long list of folders in ShareFile can be restructured into a more meaningful structure using Teams, Sites, Libraries or Folders.
- Sharing – folders shared haphazardly in ShareFile can benefit from a security overhaul to redefine new security boundaries in Teams and SharePoint. Where certain folders are secured to certain users, such sharing permissions should be retained using an equivalent security model set up using SharePoint permission levels.
- Enriched content – as a predominantly file sharing solution, ShareFile does not use classification and metadata tags. Since enterprise search is important to Microsoft 365 users, there will be added value in categorising content and enriching it with metadata and taxonomies that will enable users to find and use content efficiently. Since documents in ShareFile can store multiple versions, any move to Microsoft 365 should ensure all versions and key system metadata (like the creators and uploaded date) are moved along with the document.
- Data storage – ShareFile allows organisations to manage their own data storage to meet regulatory compliance requirements and to locate the storage close to users for optimised performance. Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo offers similar capabilities to provision and store data at rest in geo locations that organisations have chosen to meet data residency requirements, and at the same time enable a global roll out of modern productivity experiences to the workforce.
- Site structure – as part of your SharePoint migration strategy, you should consider undertaking an information mapping activity, which should include details about where each piece of content will fit. To do this, you need to look at how your content is structured in SharePoint. To take full advantage of new concepts like Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 Groups, you should ideally create a flat site structure in SharePoint online.
Proventeq can help to provide a successful ShareFile to Microsoft 365 migration for your organisation. To talk to us about our thoughts on migrating from Citrix Sharefile to Microsoft 365 and how we can help your organisation migrate from legacy collaboration platforms, contact us today to discuss the “Art of the Possible’.