DLF India are the largest commercial real estate developer in India, specializing in the development of commercial, retail and residential properties through the country. With over 11,000 staff and an annual turnover exceeding $1 Billion, DLF continues to see exceptional growth in a highly competitive expanding market. The company is headed by Kushal Pal Singh, the world's richest property developer.
THE BUSINESS CASE FOR MIGRATION
DLF took the decision to implement SharePoint Online to achieve granular management of their content and information, provide staff and external stakeholders with the flexibility of a centralized Content Services solution, and reduce the overall cost of ownership of their infrastructure.
With over 2.4 million content items held in an aging IBM FileNet P8 instance to be migrated in full-fidelity to SharePoint Online, and a requirement to minimize business downtime during the migration process; DLF chose Proventeq’s Migration Accelerator software to discover, analyze, enhance, classify and migrate their content portfolio. Our team then followed this with 90 days of post-migration support to ensure that the switchover to Microsoft’s platform was efficient and ensure that each of the challenges of the project had been met.
THE CHALLENGES OF MIGRATING FROM FILENET TO SHAREPOINT
- DLF’s existing content portfolio had been accumulated over a long period, meaning that a thorough assessment of source content was required to identify errors, inconsistencies, and the relationships surrounding content.
- DLF’s team expressed concern that content was distributed across multiple Object Stores and folders in FileNet P8, meaning that content was often not correctly filed, related or in context.
- Documents based on lots of classes and metadata stored in FileNet required segregation and migration to consolidated content types and different site collections in SharePoint Online.
- A complete review of source and target information architecture, necessary mapping and transformation rules based on parent metadata needed to be completed prior to migration.
- DLF required security to be applied at a granular level to individual folders as well as restricting view, read and print permissions for respective department users.
- DLF’s team required a full audit trail and metadata-based reports for the entire migration, to ensure all the items in the scope of the migration had been transferred to SharePoint Online successfully.
OUR SIX STEP MIGRATION SOLUTION
To ensure that our team met the challenges of DLF’s migration to SharePoint, and that the organization could move forward with a flexible centralized content services platform to meet the needs of the business, we developed a strategic six step migration and support solution based on both the specific challenges faced by DLF, and our extensive experience in migrating content from IBM FileNet P8 to SharePoint.
DISCOVERY & ANALYSIS
Migration Accelerator’s discovery and pre-migration analysis reports helped to identify potential migration issues, decide on the most suitable migration strategy and helped establish an effective target information structure. This allowed us to identify the following potential issues when migrating from FileNet to SharePoint:
- Compound documents and multi-content documents within FileNet.
- Invalid characters in folder and file names that are not allowed in SharePoint.
- Duplicate item names, long item names and item names having no extensions.
- Differing Mime type across document versions, e.g .docx and .pdf
- Unfiled documents and too many child items in container or folder
- Invalid file types and checked-out files.
INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE OPTIMISATION
As content was spread across object stores due to FileNet’s storage and information structure limitations, our team arranged a workshop to develop a full understand of DLF’s organization structure and different functions to decide the target information architecture structure and security model.
At the highest level, DLF had Corporate, Subsidiaries, Promoters and Projects functions which have their own departments, companies and sub functions to manage the respective business operations. We proposed a target information structure to match DLF’s organizational structure and functions.
To secure the content in this new target information structure, we created SharePoint groups based on different DLF user entities; allowing permissions to be applied at granular level by adding these groups in site collections, libraries and folders along with respective permissionsTo secure the content in this new target information structure, we created SharePoint groups based on different DLF user entities; allowing permissions to be applied at granular level by adding these groups in site collections, libraries and folders along with respective permissions.
As the target structure and security model was complex to configure and deploy in SharePoint, our team developed an automated provisioning tool for faster and accurate deployment.
MIGRATION DESIGN AND CONFIGURATION
Migration Accelerator’s custom content classification and target structure mapping feature addressed the requirement to classify the content accurately and migrate related documents together into site collections and document libraries in SharePoint Online. By following this procedure, we expedited migration to SharePoint Online with the ability to migrate all relevant metadata.
To demonstrate to DLF’s team how the production migration would work and give an opportunity to test existing data in a production-like SharePoint environment, our migration team carried out a pilot migration exercise.
To achieve this, we mapped Content from one of IBM FileNet’s object stores by applying necessary target information structure, classification and metadata rules, and migrated to specific site collections, document libraries and folders in SharePoint Online.
INCREMENTAL LIVE MIGRATION
Following a successful pilot migration, we utilized Migration Accelerator’s incremental migration features to stage the production migration process. This means that the impact to DLF’s business-processes were minimized. Our team set up additional migration rules to consolidate and classify the high volume of source content types using PowerShell extensions. These rules were used to map respective content types and metadata in SharePoint.
Metadata values were then transformed to comply with SharePoint restrictions, based on metadata rules, to handle invalid characters and URLs.
Duplicate item names and mime type mismatches were handled by Migration Accelerator’s in-built rules.
Finally, our team generated custom reports to ensure the entire content portfolios of respective corporate departments, subsidiary companies and PRISM functions were migrated successfully.
POST MIGRATION SUPPORT
To ensure that users can find the newly restructured and migrated content in the SharePoint platform and to help DLF with SharePoint adoption, our team provided post-migration support.
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SMOOTH TRANSITION TO SHAREPOINT
The adoption of both a pilot migration which ensured that the proposed strategy met the needs of the project, and implementation of an incremental production migration process helped DLF avoid any costly or time-consuming technical issues and ensured that departments across the organization would be able to access content and information as needed both during the project and after the migration’s completion. By following this up with an extended period of adoption support, our team eased the transition to SharePoint, helped identify and remedy any user-centric and information management issues with using the new platform and ensured that all DLF’s initial goals and long-term goals when adopting SharePoint were achieved.
FLEXIBLE CONTENT MANAGEMENT
With a large volume of staff spread over corporate departments and subsidiaries, combined with the need to distribute large complex content types to external stakeholders; DLF needed a content services platform which provided flexible distribution, management and collaboration. SharePoint Online answered all of these needs and now forms the extensible central hub for DLF’s information management infrastructure; encouraging productivity and real-time collaboration through Office 365’s range of productivity tools.
IMPROVED USER PRODUCTIVITY
By empowering DLF’s users with a secure centralized search platform which allows restriction of search to specific content types for specific users within their customized SharePoint Online instance, Proventeq have helped reduce the time spent across the organization searching for and working with content. This measure has also helped to negate the impact of having to replicate effort in storing and managing documents and rich media across disconnected on-premise platforms, allowing content to now be distributed to both internal staff and external stakeholders quickly and easily.
REDUCED TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP
Due to an existing investment in Microsoft’s Office 365 platform, DLF have found that by moving the content out of IBM FileNet P8 and decommissioning the IBM system there has been a significant reduction in the total cost of ownership of their ECM infrastructure. These savings have been generated by a 65% reduction in licensing costs and by negating the need for expenditure on modernizing and upgrading FileNet P8 to provide the functionality the organization required.
ROBUST INFORMATION PROTECTION
While overarching control over complex granular permissions had proved problematic in FileNet P8, adoption of Microsoft’s Azure Information Protection allows DLF to meet a key goal of achieving granular control of view, read and print permissions on externally shared content. Migration Accelerator has given DLF the ability to apply AIP security to content; allowing the organization to meet the security challenges of managing high volumes of content across internal and external users.