Vamosa Migration methodology

Vamosa Content Migration – Analysis

By 27th March 2019 No Comments
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This blog is a follow up to our migration process overview: Vamosa Content Migration – Process

Technically, a migration project will not begin at phase 2 – analysis. All projects begin with an initiation phase, covering:

  • Customer kick off, i.e. introductions, agree on understanding of statement of work, scope and timeline

Once all required dependencies and software installations are completed the project can move into the analysis phase.

Analysis

Analysis Inputs and Outputs

Why we do analysis?

Often the customer will provide metrics and a view to how good the content quality is prior to migration, quite frequently this is a different view to that of the migration team. We use our vast experience in complex transformation migrations to understand content with a view to what must be applied to migrate from one platform to another.

The analysis approach used by T-Systems is extremely flexible, allowing results to be tailored specifically to the needs of individual customers. The focus of the analysis is to understand the source content in relation to its volume and complexity. This allows the migration team to define a strategy that can help with the migration into the target solution.

By analysing the source data store, the migration team learn valuable information relating to:

  • Source scope/inventory – how much content is in the source and what can be included in the scope for migration?
  • Duplication – is there a large number of duplicate files that can be normalised during the migration, reducing the migration footprint?
  • Metadata quality – is the metadata in the source well populated and is it suitable for migration or to form the basis of migration rules?
  • Information Architecture – how is the content stored logically today, is it suitable to be maintained or should it be restructured during the migration?
  • Content complexity – when the content to be migrated includes HTML/XML content is it suitable for the target or will a transformation be required?
  • Migration Readiness – are there areas of the source that should be addressed prior to migration to make the transition a smoother process?

Once an understanding of the above points is obtained, the migration team can improve the estimation for migration effort and overall strategy best suited to the customers needs.

Types of Analysis and Considerations

No content migration is ever the same, even when the source and target systems are the same the actual content will be different. Analysis can be applied on its own as a stand alone service if a customer wishes to understand the health of their content estate (which can be recurring), but typically it fits into a migration project.

Content migrations generally fall into 3 types, each that can warrant a different degree of analysis:

  • Web Content – Web sites and intranet sites will typically contain the majority of HTML markup and supporting binary images and documents
    • Complex migration complexity, some areas to address include:
      • Poor Markup and Metadata Usage: There will most likely be a source Content Management System (CMS) that is used to control how the content is authored, which will usually improve the quality of the HTML produced but not always. Users may have free reign on how they can author content and can become quite imaginative to work around system constraints. Metadata population can be poor if it is not a forced required field
      • Template Mismatch: Content Architecture is defined within the authoring templates, which will not be migrated or recreated in the new target platform. New authoring templates will be designed, often without consideration for the content they have to house
      • Unsuitable Structure: The information architecture of the site may require restructuring as it has grown beyond its original design
  • Collaboration Content – Social platforms contain a general mixture of HTML and binary content, typically constrained by dedicated content types
    • Moderate migration complexity, some areas to address include:
      • Template Mismatch: Content Architecture is defined within the authoring templates, which may not have a direct map to those supported in the target collaboration platform. When mappings can be identified lower level field mappings could be required to ensure the content can fit the target content type
      • Content Versioning: If versions are required for migration, how many are there and are they all required?
      • Orphaned content: Document owners may no longer be within the organisation, migration may provide the opportunity to assign the content to new owners
  • Document Content – Document management stores and file systems contain a large proportion of binary documents/images
    • Low migration complexity, some areas to address include:
      • Poor Metadata Usage: Binary content will not require transformations to the underlying content itself. There may be requirements to transform and enhance the metadata associated with the content, especially when migrating to/from a document management system
      • Unsuitable Structure: The information architecture may require restructuring as it has grown beyond its original design
      • Content Versioning: If versions are required for migration, how many are there and are they all required?
      • Orphaned content: Document owners may no longer be within the organisation, migration may provide the opportunity to assign the content to new owners

There is always cross over with the migration ‘types’ and differences from project to project where analysis is concerned. For instance the phase can be driven by the customer with a view to the target platform and quite often there will be bespoke requests that might not impact the migration but will add value to business process improvement. Analysis provides the opportunity to understand the content and identify the gaps in the migration mapping, highlight areas for discussion and identify weak or unused metadata assignments which will help define the migration transformation rules.

Risks and Recommendations

Analysis can be as complex as the customer would like, ranging from a simple content inventory to help determine scope to more detailed when the the migration type is considered complex and it can help drive the key design discussions.

The recommendation of the migration team would be to conduct a detailed analysis for complex migrations, such as Web content and collaboration content. Document migrations can be complex, but there is less scope for transformation and as such a content inventory and minor reporting may suffice. Each project will be given proper consideration with regards the complexity of the source and target systems and nature of the content they house in order to provide a suitable recommendation for analysis.

Removing or reducing the analysis phase from the migration project will increase risk:

  • Migration estimates can be inaccurate and content may be unintentionally missed if the full scope is not known and verified by the customer
  • Areas of concern will not be detected and can lead to a poor quality migration design without the proper inputs

Analysis is a precursor for a good design phase. It is a foundation to a successful migration as it allows the migration team and customer stakeholders to understand more about the content prior to agreeing the migration strategy and transformation rules. The T-Systems Vamosa Migration Architect tool will automate the analysis; the rules engine can identify patterns in the content to quickly obtain relevant information for the migration consultants which help drive the design phase.

A follow up blog post will discuss the migration design phase and how it is followed to ensure the migration strategy is agreed.

Read on more from our Analysis resources

Take the next step!

A division of T-Systems, Vamosa Technologies specializes in content migration to cloud, on-premises and hybrid cloud systems. With two decades of customer migrations, Vamosa Technologies has experience with a comprehensive range of leading enterprise content management systems. To learn more about services from Vamosa Technologies, please read our case studies and whitepapers or contact us.

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