SITUATION & BUSINESS CHALLENGE
A large financial services and communications company needed to migrate content from a legacy file-sharing and cloud-based document management system that was being retired by the vendor. The company’s existing license for the system was ending in five months’ time, and the vendor was planning for the software’s end-of-life to extend only several months beyond that.
The company decided upon Box for its new document management platform and was under pressure to migrate to Box before end-of-license to avoid paying high monthly fees and incur probable service outages.
The legacy system supported about 2,000 external users and 6,000 internal users, roughly 20 percent of which were no longer active but whose content would still need to be migrated. Altogether, the legacy system stored more than four terabytes of the company’s critical business data, including a vast amount of legal documents, accounting data, and more.
The company had a goal to migrate the content and access of all 8,000 users (both external and internal, current and obsolete) from the legacy system to Box well before the old system expired. This represented a little over 40% of the company’s total employees and contractors/vendors. The company would face critical business disruptions if the data were not migrated successfully on time or in full. Facing a looming deadline, the company turned to AIM Consulting for expertise in delivery leadership and particularly technical program management to drive the project.
The project involved 25–30 stakeholders across numerous departments as well as staff from Box and required organizational change management with support and feedback mechanisms for users. The project consisted of two main tracks that coalesced into a single plan:
- Track 1: Box Setup — AIM tailored and optimized a five-phase methodology commonly used by Box for its migrations — 1) initial planning, 2) connecting services, 3) completing the configuration, 4) deployment, and 5) solution optimization. AIM’s expertise in cloud solutions delivery aggressively sped up the migration to the Box environment.
- Track 2: Data migration from the legacy system — This involved a thorough technical discovery process and determination of the mechanics to migrate the data. AIM created detailed training documents for users and the company’s IT helpdesk and led the process to get users to migrate their data individually. As part of the migration, AIM also helped the company assess and clean up its data, which raised the company’s level of awareness regarding data governance policies and practices.
The migration occurred in two aggressive waves: The top 100 users, who were responsible for 80% of the data, were migrated in a tight four-week timeframe. The remaining users were then migrated over a period of six weeks.
As part of the migration, thousands of users needed new permissions to access the Box system, creating an additional challenge. To solve the issue, AIM developed a tool that enabled managers to cut-and-paste permissions for multiple end users simultaneously from the old system to Box, saving managers from having to enter permissions information for every user. For managers overseeing hundreds of new Box users, this was hugely beneficial.
With AIM’s leadership, the multidisciplinary project team completed the migration to Box in just 10 weeks, 11 weeks ahead of the expiration of the legacy system’s license. This buffer significantly reduced the financial burden of maintaining the legacy system and ensured the migration of the data well before it was at risk of being lost.
As an added bonus, 5,000 additional users who were not on the old legacy system were on-boarded, with 250% more data now being stored on Box than was on the legacy system. Because data is now stored centrally rather than on personal hard drives or network shares, it is much more secure, traceable and trackable, and the company’s data security profile has risen significantly as a result. Business processes are also more efficient due to Box’s mobile application, ease of sharing with global teammates, and local file synchronization.
An end-user survey conducted by the company found that 95% of users ranked Box as favorable or neutral compared to other file-sharing applications they’ve used at the company, and a third said they use Box daily. There were also compliments on the quality of deployment and change management materials. Because of the rousing success of the migration and users’ rapid acceptance of Box, the company is now considering deploying Box to the entire enterprise.
AIM is now working with the company on an extension of the project to transform business processes leveraging Box and other collaboration tools as well as enable Box Governance, a solution that will help the company comply with regulatory policies and put automation in place to control the preservation and deletion schedules of critical business files.