AvalonBay Communities

Migration from IBM FileNet to SharePoint Online

Client Profile

AvalonBay Communities Inc, an equity REIT, develops, redevelops, acquires and manages distinctive apartment homes in some of the best locations in the USA. AvalonBay Communities is the fourth largest owner of apartments in the United States.

Property Development
IBM FileNet
SharePoint Online

Migrating from a legacy ediscovery platform to SharePoint, was not an easy task, but Proventeq made it look easy. This project is saving us about $100,000 in licensing annual cost, 20TB of storage and countless number of hours performing eDiscovery requests using an 8 year old platform. Everything went smooth, on time and every project meeting was meaningful. O+G and Proventeq are a team of professionals that I would recommend any time, for similar projects.
- Sorin Bodea, Director of IT Security Operations, AvalonBay Communities

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Case Study Overview

AvalonBay Communities were looking to migrate a large volume of content – i.e. more than 120 million emails and documents – from IBM FileNet P8 to SharePoint Online.

With the aim to reduce overall infrastructure and licensing costs as well as centralize their document management structure, AvalonBay Communities chose Proventeq’s Migration Accelerator tool to discover, analyze, classify, enhance and migrate their content to SharePoint.

This had to be achieved with minimum downtime and a tight timeframe. A detailed audit report was also provided to ensure all valid emails were converted from the proprietary IBM email format to the new Microsoft format and migrated over.

Proventeq helped AvalonBay Communities to not only meet the challenges that the complex migration project presented, but also fully leverage SharePoint’s content management and user productivity potential.

The Complexities Of Migrating From IBM FileNet To SharePoint Online

A large volume of data – more than 120 million emails and documents – were archived in the IBM FileNet repository. Technical complexity was encountered while converting emails from the IBM proprietary email (.CSN) format to the Microsoft (.MSN) format.

The source IBM FileNet and DB2 platform was unable to handle the large number of concurrent requests and a workaround was needed. Migration work had to be split across multiple Site Collections and Libraries to stay within the limits of SharePoint online.

Archived Lotus emails with attachments needed to be restored within Exchange online and emails without attachments restored to SharePoint online. 

A full audit trail of the emails converted and migrated was delivered to ensure all the valid emails were migrated.

Solving AvalonBay Communities’ Unique Challenges

To meet the specific challenges and project requirements of migrating AvalonBay Communities business content to SharePoint, Proventeq proposed and executed a strategic six-step migration solution utilising the advanced features of our Migration Accelerator product. This included:

Identifying potential issues that could have affected the migration process via the drill-down discovery reports and pre-migration checks provided by Migration Accelerator.

Designing the target information structure to match the organizational structure of AvalonBay Communities, each with their own departments and sub-functions.

Classifying the content accurately and ensuring that related documents were migrated together into Site Collections and Document Libraries in SharePoint. This requirement was addressed by custom content classification and target structure mapping features.

Giving AvalonBay Communities the opportunity to test their existing data in a production-like environment through a pilot migration carried out by Proventeq’s migration team, who mapped content from FileNet to demonstrate how the production migration would work.

Using incremental migration features in Migration Accelerator to stage the production migration for AvalonBay Communities on a departmental basis to minimise business impact.

Providing post-migration adoption support to AvalonBay Communities ensuring that they gained maximum value from the features offered by SharePoint.

The Results

Saved $100K in annual licensing

By decommissioning the IBM FileNet and eDiscovery platforms, AvalonBay Communities has been able to make significant licensing and infrastructure costs savings: $100K reduction in annual costs.

Reduction in storage costs

Moving to SharePoint and Office 365 has helped AvalonBay Communities save on paying expensive costs on 20TB of storage.

Content consolidation for eDiscovery

Moving archived content to SharePoint online and Exchange online meant Proventeq were able to reduce the time spent across the organization searching and interaction with their business content.