Building on insights from more than twenty years of being exclusively focused on collaborative application and content optimization techniques and tools, CASAHL has developed a uniquely powerful solution for enterprises seeking to migrate to popular cloud productivity platforms such as Office 365. In our previous post, we provided an overview of the discovery and analysis phases of the CASAHL DART cycle. In this post we focus on the pivotal rationalization and transition phases.
The analysis phase of CASAHL’s DART solution produces a comprehensive inventory of already-deployed collaborative apps and content, along with a preliminary set of recommendations for potential optimization and migration options. In the rationalization phase, DART makes it possible for app and content domain experts and stakeholders to collaborate in order to collectively transform the preliminary recommendations into a precise and prioritized project plan.
Rationalization highlights include:
- Making it possible to capture organizational knowledge that’s often not evident in the deployed apps and content — for example, if a collaborative application is only used once in an annual cycle (e.g., to finalize annual tax filing details), a simple scan of application details might incorrectly categorize the app as inactive, with potentially catastrophic consequences; another common pattern is the opportunity to discover “orphaned” applications and content that may have ongoing business value but for which the people who were originally responsible for the resources have moved on
- Providing visibility into personal preferences — such as senior executives’ favorite apps and content — and political patterns that represent subjective importance ratings that again can’t be readily discerned from an automated inventory
- Establishing a clear consensus on optimization/migration priorities and project task sequencing, and keeping all stakeholders in sync on the overall action plan
- Avoiding a wasteful optimization/migration exercise that results in unnecessary ongoing maintenance of obsolete resources or fails to identify and optimize resources that will be required for future business activities
With the detailed project plan from the rationalization phase in hand, the transition phase comes next. CASAHL’s DART solution makes it possible to take the detailed priorities and plans from the rationalization exercise and automatically generate jobs to be executed by CASAHL’s ecKnowledge platform. In many DART migration projects, a majority of collaborative apps and content can be automatically migrated with no low-level (and potentially expensive and error-prone) coding or custom configuration activity.
As a specialized solution that has been refined through experience with thousands of customer engagements, ecKnowledge also includes capabilities that go far beyond basic template mapping, in order to implement custom transformation logic (ranging from simple taxonomy term mapping to full workflow automation). Many enterprises have accumulated large collections of advanced collaborative apps with non-trivial business logic implemented in previous-generation technologies, for example, and DART makes it possible to preserve the historical investment and business processes without compromising on the new capabilities available in modern collaboration/content platforms and services.
To briefly recap the full CASAHL DART project lifecycle:
Discovery makes it possible for enterprises to create a full inventory of already-deployed collaboration and content resources
Analysis produces a detailed and fact-based review of the current collaboration and content environment
Rationalization enables the business users and technology team to jointly produce a comprehensive and prioritized transition project plan
Transition automates the final step, harvesting the still-valuable resources from the previously deployed systems and taking full advantage of new cloud capabilities
CASAHL created DART as a modular and enterprise-scale solution, making it possible for organizations to start simple — and at a very low cost, relative to competitive alternatives — with CASAHL’s Fixed Fee Migration (FFM) Service offering. FFM makes it possible for enterprises to rapidly and cost-effectively migrate specific high-priority applications, automating migration task creation and execution, and providing detailed report generation (e.g., before-and-after comparisons and exception reporting). CASAHL customers often start with FFM, automating the migration of a set of high-priority but relatively straightforward (e.g., template-based) applications, while simultaneously learning and leveraging the full DART solution for more complex application migration needs. This hybrid (FFM and full DART) approach delivers immediate results while also making it possible for IT to concentrate critical resources on more complex application and content migration requirements.
For enterprises with extensive investments in collaborative applications and content, the full DART solution can also be leveraged to keep related resources optimized over time, and to make it possible for enterprises to continue to fully exploit emerging platforms, whether on-premises or cloud-based. Overall, this unique approach addresses CIO/CTO strategic goals while also delivering a cost-effective and rapid-deployment solution for project managers who are focused on more tactical needs.
Our next few blog posts will provide detailed examples of DART usage scenarios, including IBM Notes/Domino migrations to Office 365 and on-premises legacy SharePoint migrations to Microsoft’s cloud SharePoint service. For more information about CASAHL’s discovery, analysis, rationalization, and transition capabilities, please explore the DART product suite.