IBM Lotus Notes – Migrate and Decommission

Many organizations seek exact replacements … more than 50% of existing applications can be classified as fit for decommissioning rather than migrationGartner

So you are thinking about, or have definitely decided on, moving from your IBM Lotus Notes platform. Despite what many will tell you, moving a unique tool such as IBM Lotus Notes, isn’t as simple as picking a new platform and moving everything onto it. Apart from the fact there is no other application, or suite of applications, that can exactly mimic the IBM Lotus Notes product, a platform move of any sort needs to take a planned and considered approach. At a very high level, the following steps need to be taken.

Step 1
Get a handle on exactly what applications you have and what they do. We like to refer to this step as Application Discovery. An Application Discovery will give you important information on the number of applications, their complexity, their usage, their cross-referencing and their function. Armed with this information you are ready to proceed.

Step 2
Make some “broad brush” patterns or rules to break down the list of applications. Some examples could be, applications that haven’t been accessed in over 13 months, applications that are document repositories or applications that contain a small amount of data. Once you have decided on your rules, distill the applications accordingly.

Step 3
Now you can decide which applications need to be considered for migration, for consolidation or for decommissioning. It may seem obvious for some applications, but there will be others that require some real thought. It is not unusual (in fact it is encouraged) to iterate through the applications several times before settling on a final decision.

Step 4
For those applications that are to be decommissioned, consider whether the historical content needs to be retained to meet any statutory or recordkeeping requirements. If it does, you could consider the option of printing and storing the content, moving the content, or leaving in-situ.

Step 5
For those applications that are to be migrated or consolidated, there needs to be further in-depth analysis around functional fit, investigation of synergies with existing applications, and cost/benefit analysis performed. This step is usually a lengthy, ongoing process that involves things like setting up individual processes, engaging third party COTS suppliers and constant re-evaluation of the options being progressed.

The above steps are a very high level representation of the complex processes involved in migrating and decommissioning your IBM Lotus Notes environment. The largest of corporations have struggled to effectively implement programs to address the issue. Fortunately, our consultants have expertly guided organisations through the process to a successful conclusion in the past, and would be happy to assist your organisation as well. Below are some processes we have performed that can be tailored to meet your specific environment:

  • As-is system specification documentation
  • Preparation of application process and approval flows
  • Preparation of data migration plans
  • Advice on appropriate decommission options/strategies available
  • Experience in unravelling complex MS Office integration
  • Experience developing migration plans to Sharepoint, Oracle, SAP, eDRMS and more