PWN

PWN exchanges manual migration of file share to SharePoint for Xillio software

PWN is a drinking water company in the province of North Holland, the Netherlands. The company, with more than 600 full-time staff (FTEs), produces drinking water for nearly 800,000 households. In 2014, PWN introduced a new knowledge portal and collaboration environment, based on SharePoint. The goal was to say farewell to the inefficient way it had of working on file shares.

Adoption SharePoint
"After a training and extensive support for users by so-called ‘champions,’ we started to manually transfer all the content of our file shares to e-Plaza, as we call our new digital collaboration environment based on SharePoint," said Laura Blom, project leader at PWN. "But soon it became clear that this method was time consuming and unsuccessful. An intermediate survey found that only 10 percent of our employees effectively worked with e-Plaza. Because the network drives were not shut down, users did not need to fully make the switch." 

That had to change, and a task force was set up to optimize the adoption of e-Plaza.

Change process
Blom, head of the task force, talks about the research the group did: "A transition to SharePoint is not simply an implementation of a tool. It is a process of change for which you need to take your time. The functionality should be in line with the needs of users and it needs to be communicated the right way to avoid resistance from users. We decided to go back to the basics and examine whether it was feasible to manually migrate all documents from our network shares to e-Plaza in a qualitative and efficient way."

Analysis of de file share
To gain insight into the total number of files, PWN asked Xillio to perform a complete analysis of the file shares. After a simple calculation, it became clear that proceeding with the manual transfer of the content would cost much more time than automatic migration with the aid of Xillio’s Content ETL Platform. "The added value of the automatic migration solution Xillio provides lies mainly in the fact that the platform can enhance the quality of the content through the deduplication of files, versioning and metadata enrichment," said Blom.

 

 

Automatic migration
The automatic migration to the new SharePoint system by Xillio was achieved through the establishment of several selection and enrichment rules, among other factors. Based on the selection rules (e.g. extension type or age of a document), a document was or was not migrated. The business units were put to work. They were asked to inventory all the folders, to double check the enrichment with metadata made by the software and make a choice if either deduplication or versioning should be applied to their documents. After this test phase, the final migration phase went into production.

Lessons learned
Regarding content migration one of the lessons learned is that there should be a critical consideration to what type of files should be allowed on SharePoint. "The starting point of a migration to SharePoint must be the use of it and not what is possible," said Blom. One of the major concerns is the communication to the users. "Make sure the user is aware of the urgency of the project and request a thorough and complete control by them."

Farewell to file shares
At the end of 2016, the transition from file shares to the digital collaboration environment is almost complete; only some departments have yet to migrate their documents. After that, all network shares will be completely shut down. "We have never lost a document," said Blom. "And that is very valuable to the end user. Although the processing time is longer than initially was estimated, we finally defined a tight policy and we are going to say goodbye to our file shares with a lot of confidence."

 

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"The added value of the automatic migration solution Xillio provides lies mainly in the fact that the platform can enhance the quality of the content through the deduplication of files, versioning and metadata enrichment."

Laura Blom
- Project leader at PWN