2 posts ago I discussed some gotcha’s with email.Â Ben picked up on the fact that I hadn’t discussed workflow emails containing document links…and Graham also picked up on applications being the biggest challenge…so here goes!
My experience has always been that email is migrated first with applications following, and these are all enterprise level migrations with more than 10,000 user involved.Â The momentum is generally great with email and once processes and procedures areÂ in place you get into a relatively simple repeatable pattern.Â I’ve found with applications the momentum is broken by several key activities:
- Is the application still used?Â Simple one and there are plenty of tools to identify unused applications.Â
- Who owns the application?Â Normally even with the best deployment procedures the owner has changed jobs, the organisation has changed and this stage can be diffucult for both the IT and business sections of the organisation.
- What do you as an IT function decide to recommend for a particular application (choices below)?
- What does the business want to do with the application?
Applications are an altogether more complex and difficult beast.Â I’ll divide them into 3 simple categories:
- Those based on a standard out of the box template
- Those based on a standard template which has been tweaked
- Those developed to a bespoke standard to resolve a particular business need
Â I’ll not get into the arguments about why you would migrate but consider that should you need to migrate for one reason or another you have 4 options:
- Re-code for Domino (i.e. browser access with no reliance on Notes client)
- Replace with an off the shelf solution
- Re-code for another application platform
Â For the last 2 options there will also be a data migration exercise to undertake.
So in the world of Stu where all migrations run smoothly (ha!) what would I recommend if you must migrate:
- you are going to have a disrupting influence on your organisation – be up front and clear about it.
- remove the reliance on the Notes client before migrating email.Â Let me expand – I don’t mean force users to use a browser but at least get the application browser ready (through re-coding or implementing technology such as Bowstreet), remove the need for doc-links which any alternate email system won’t understand.
- get business buy in to your recommendations for the applications early.
- try and build momentum on the migration side…..
Â Many blogs, and my own experience, shows that years after the mail migration has completed the application environment will still be living.Â In fact in most large organisations there will be some business critical applications that will be complex enough to make migration so difficult or risky that a browser based Domino solution for that application is likely to be the only solution.