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Team Vamosa has always been at the forefront of enabling enterprise move data to the old IBM Connections system (now owned by HCL). We were observers and partners at the birth of Connections, and moved organisational data there when it was ‘the place to be’. We moved customers to Connections from various other systems including Jive, SharePoint, Quickr, Documentum and many many more. Dozens of projects later, when IBM launched their Connections cloud offering- Social Cloud; we delivered services to IBM’s biggest customers to get them into this platform.

Imagine my surprise when we started hearing whispers that all was not harmonious in the cloud. When IBM sold the software portfolio to HCL, business as usual was the aim, but it transpires this is not the reality for Connections Social Cloud – customers have been told that the service is going to close on 16th July 2020, furthermore, support for the software will cease on that date too. See HCL’s announcements:

So this leaves the customers in a bit of a quandary. We hear a lot about this from the customers that we previously migrated into Connections Social Cloud as well as Connections On-premise customers who are all looking for Plan B and Plan C (based around the presumption that HCL’s Plan A – Connections MultiTenant (MT) and a data migration is palatable and will land in time).

But tempus fugit – as time ticks by, the opportunity to complete a well planned, well-rehearsed and business transparent move is reducing. Many of our customers tell us that they see this as being an opportunity to revisit their whole strategy for social collaboration.

But as ever, one size never fits all.. Our customers fit into four broad camps:

  • The believers – they have faith that HCL will deliver a solution that matches the benefits that they have right now, with a fully formed data migration and zero impact on business as usual
  • The dis-illusioned – they feel let down by the whole experience of accepting the Social Cloud strategy proposed by IBM, and now feel that a move to a broadly analogous system is the only option and they will swallow the gap in functionality
  • The pragmatists – are out building a new solution based around either a move back to on-premise Connections or (more likely) some other system such as Office 365 with a supporting application such as Beezy to fill the gaps
  • The angry – we have heard stories of organisations who are so upset about the change of direction, that they will allow HCL to move them to Connections Multi-Tenant, but will plan to leave as early as possible afterwards

Naturally, we also do see this as a business opportunity. At Vamosa we have always offered migrations of this type of data, and we uniquely offer this as a managed service. This service offers:

  • The ability to take data, files, social attributes such as ‘likes’, structure, comments, security attributes, activities, tasks out of ANY iteration or version of Connections (On Premise, Cloud) and move that in context to your chosen target
  • Build and test the move, and then complete the move with zero impact on your day to day business
  • Use our delivery methodology to make sure that all valid data is transferred – and we guarantee it
  • If you choose a new platform (such as Office 365), then we make sure
    • The security works
    • Links are translated
    • The data is structured as it was in the source
  • And if you plan to use a new application (such as Beezy), then we ensure the transferred data is modified to suit the requirements of the new system

My personal worry though is that as time ticks by, and my team becomes busier and busier with this type of work, what happens to those customers who haven’t thought about their options. July the 16th 2020 should be a red-letter day in any Connections Social Cloud customer.

For more information on  getting started on migrating from HCL Connections

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