Department for Education

Migration from Meridio to SharePoint Online

Client Profile

The UK Department for Education (DfE) is responsible for children's services and education, including early years, schools, higher and further education policy, apprenticeships and wider skills in England.

SharePoint Online

The excellent collaboration between Proventeq, Technology Directorate, KIM and MPCD , have meant we successfully delivered a solution that meets the needs of the DfE and will facilitate easier searching of information by colleagues
- Charlotte Saxon, IT Delivery Manager - Department for Education

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Case Study Overview


The UK Department for Education were utilising ECHO, a customised Meridio EDRMS instance as the primary document and metadata store for their public correspondence system, which has been in place since 2004 and stored over 7 million documents. ECHO was complex and costly to manage, and had left content difficult to navigate, govern and distribute to both internal and external stakeholders.

The DfE also had over 700,000 scanned images which required full text conversion and classification. A lack of searchable digital versions of these items had led to a gap in the completeness of the department’s available digital content portfolio.

The DfE decided to migrate its content to SharePoint Online to:


  • Reduce the total cost of ownership of information management
  • Achieve intelligent search for hardcopy documents and images
  • Enable a seamless experience for the department’s existing Office 365 users.

DfE - Challenges v2

The challenges of migrating from Meridio to SharePoint Online

Complex legacy platform

DfE’s highly customised Meridio system required in-depth analysis and reverse engineering by the Proventeq team due to a lack of internal platform administration expertise.

Inconsistent source metadata

File types & extensions were incorrectly stored, requiring a deep file inspection to determine the correct file types prior to migration to SharePoint Online.

Full text conversion of image scans

Over 700,000 scanned images needed optical character recognition and full text extraction prior to migration to the SharePoint Online.

High content volume

With over 7 million content items stored in the existing ECHO platform, DfE required full fidelity migration of all content to SharePoint Online.

DfE - Five-stage migration solution

Proventeq's five-stage migration solution


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Discovery and analysis

Migration Accelerator’s rich discovery and analysis capabilities were used to ascertain the true volume and distribution of DfE’s content. During this phase, many inconsistencies in the source content and associated metadata were identified and addressed.

Information architecture optimisation

An in-depth analysis of the ECHO Meridio file structure and metadata schema was used to design an optimal target information architecture. The source system’s folder hierarchy exceeded SharePoint’s URL length limits, which was resolved by loading documents in a shortened folder hierarchy.

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Pilot migration

To demonstrate that the migration design fully met DfE’s project objectives, Proventeq carried out a pilot migration stage. This allowed DfE’s internal team to evaluate the migration and SharePoint Online document management capabilities in a production-like environment.

OCR conversion of scanned files

The scanned images which the DfE had were in a number of differing formats, including multi-page PDF files, stand-alone images, handwritten and typed documents. Proventeq extracted text from these images and exposed these as metadata thereby making the content searchable.

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Full fidelity live migration

Once the DfE’s internal project team were satisfied with the migration design and target system architecture, Proventeq's Migration Accelerator was utilised to execute a full-fidelity migration with an item-level audit trail. This ensured that over 7 Million items were successfully migrated.

The Results

Smarter content and search
Smarter content and search

The DfE leveraged Migration Accelerator’s OCR functionality to convert over 700,000 documents that were previously stored as non-searchable images. Plus, it has the power to consolidate content intelligently in a centralised online repository in SharePoint.

Increased productivity
Increased productivity

By migrating to SharePoint Online, the Records Management team at the DfE can execute longer-term plans for including retention labels and making it clearer when certain items need to be destroyed using intelligent automation. This will save on costs and time. 

Reduced risk of content loss
Reduced risk of content loss

The risk of content loss presented by the previous unsupported Enterprise Content Management system that the DfE was using has now been removed, thanks to the inbuilt content administration capabilities made available within SharePoint Online.