Blog: Simplifying the Move from Legacy ECM to SharePoint in 3 Easy Steps

June 6, 2017 DocAuto Blogger

Move from Legacy ECM to SharePoint in 3 Easy Steps - DocAuto

Assuming your organization has invested in an enterprise content management (ECM) solution (as you are, after all, reading this blog…) it’s likely that you have potentially hundreds of thousands, or even millions of documents under management. As you consider a move to SharePoint, it’s obvious that each and every one of these documents need to be moved in a way that places them in the right site, given the right permissions, and made accessible to the right people. With so many individual and disparate pieces of content to be moved, this is no easy feat.

So, how can you make the move as simple as possible?

To get you started, we’ll look at three steps that help to establish your migration game plan. None of them are, by any means, comprehensive, but will help move you down the right path as you begin to think about and plan for a migration to SharePoint.

Step 1 – Understand your use cases – This shouldn’t be a straight “garbage in, garbage out” type migration; this is your opportunity to identify the changing needs of your business and deliver a newly architected ECM environment in SharePoint that meets the organization’s current needs. Some of you may even have multiple legacy ECM platforms and are trying to figure out how to consolidate all that content and re-organize it into something that helps make users productive. You'll need to bring in stakeholders, line of business owners, and department heads to discuss how an ECM (in this case, SharePoint) should be used by each to get the most out of not just the platform as a storage medium, but to make them more productive.

Step 2 – Plan, plan, plan – You’re going to find there’s a ton of devils in these details, requiring a ton of planning ahead. Designing the storage architecture within your new SharePoint environment will be a key element. For example, a single legacy ECM repository may be migrated as multiple SharePoint libraries, sites. site collections, or farms. Another issue is the number of documents. Some of you may have literally millions of documents to be migrated. With SharePoint’s 30M document limit per library, and 2GB document size limitation, you also need to consider how any legacy documents may impact a migration. Lastly, there are lots of specifics you’ll need to address around document type conversions, what to do with legacy field data (e.g. do they become metadata in SharePoint, or simply not migrated?), and the like.

Step 3 – Consider not bringing all of it – As much as this is an opportunity to re-architect and re-organize, it’s also the right time to think about whether or not the business really needs all that legacy data. Some may be needed for legal or compliance purposes, so looking at an archive may be a potential option. Equally, some of that content may simply no longer be relevant to business today, so thinking about a plan to identify and delete unneeded content.  There are various approaches to deal with the “ROT” (redundant, obsolete, or trivial) content that can make your migration quicker and easier, and reduce your costs long-term.

Simplifying the Move

There’s nothing simple about moving millions of documents from one platform to another. However, that doesn’t mean the migration needs to be one filled with errors, corruption, and exceptions. With proper planning, an eye on what the new SharePoint environment should look like, and third-party solutions like DocAuto’s SPorganizer™, your migration will run more smoothly. 


SPorganizer is a trademark of DocAuto, Inc.


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