Our Case Studies
We first met this company in early 2009 and provided some strategic planning for their soon-to-be-deployed SharePoint 2007 farm. When we next engaged it was late 2013 and the 2007 farm had been in place for a few years and was desperately in need of an upgrade. There were several complicating factors that proved to be roadblocks. They included a domain renaming that had left some orphaned security within SharePoint, custom data connections to Dynamics SL, and most significantly a SharePoint database that was unstable and would not accept 2007 SP2 and so blocked the upgrade path.
The very first thing that we did was accept the humility that we were working for a professional IT services firm and we were simply bringing specialized subject matter expertise. To approach this diligently we engaged in a SharePoint strategic roadmap session that had a goal of discovering what the best road would be for a good SharePoint outcome. We then interviewed a series of stakeholders, cross-referenced their results and attitudes about the firm's strategic goals and where the SharePoint technology could assist to meet these goals. At the end of this roadmap session, we developed a plan for the next several phases of a SharePoint deployment. They were based on six-month periods and included planning for their intranet migration, the creation of an extranet for project management with which their clients could engage, and some process automation solutions that would demonstrate the technology value and potential.
The migration project commenced with the standup of virtual machines for the three tier 2013 farm environment. We could not proceed from 2007 SP1 to 2013 without first stopping at 2007 SP2, then 2010 SP3, then to 2013. To overcome this challenge we provisioned a loaner server that was running Microsoft hyper-V, which contained several virtual machines to replicate a 2007 and 2010 farm. Using this lab environment we were able to do test upgrades from version to version. We also built a development 2013 farm.
This is essentially where the real work began as we had lots of database cleaning to do, old code to remove, data source connections to replicate, and the task of perfecting a scripting technique to keep the current 2007 production farm and the target 2013 farm's data synchronized.
The project was structured with fixed deliverables plus a block of hours for discretionary time allocation. This allowed us to provide what we call our "productivity pack," which is comprised of several of our SharePoint software products "knowledge center" (a multimedia user training area consisting of hundreds of pages and videos for getting started with using SharePoint), "Question Center" to triage enhancement ideas, bug reports, and questions for training, a launch and learn site to encourage people to experiment with SharePoint, our unique navigational enhancements "mega menus," custom branding, our PeopleFinder, and other components from our
Porteo Intranet .
After review of potential homepages and navigation scenarios, the 2013 farm was launched without incident. As is the case when technology is done right, there was very little disruption and users went home on a Thursday and came in on a Friday morning and had gone from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2013 overnight with no loss of work time.
Lunch discussions and SharePoint admin support had been ongoing for months prior to launch, power user training had been conducted, and TIPS sheets were created for adjusting staff to the new user interface.
This was a complex project and there had been multiple web applications merged into one hierarchy with URLs needing to be updated to minimize business outage. With the new environment in place, formally broken workflows and alerts began to work again, and the biggest win was an advanced search setup.
Concurrent with this migration project was the creation of an extranet for client collaboration and project management, and some pilot business process automation projects which are covered in separate case studies.
SharePoint migrations are hard, but they don't have to be if you're using the best Microsoft SharePoint consulting services. That way your project will have the results you were expecting without any surprises. Please read more about our zero business outage SharePoint migrations here and contact us today!