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Connections Cloud and T-Systems Vamosa

Team Vamosa has always been at the forefront of content management migration to the old IBM Connections system (which is now owned by HCL). We were observers and partners at the birth of Connections, and moved a lot of organisational data content there when it was ‘the place to be’. We were involved in data migrations to Connections from various other systems including Jive, SharePoint, Quickr, Documentum and many more.

Dozens of projects later, when IBM launched their Connections Cloud offering (Social Cloud) we delivered workspace migration services to IBM’s biggest customers to get them into this platform.

Imagine my surprise when we started hearing rumours that all was not harmonious in the Cloud. When IBM sold the software portfolio to HCL, “business as usual” was the goal. However, it transpires this was not the reality for HCL Connections Social Cloud. Customers have been told that the service was going to close on 16th July 2020.  Furthermore, support for the software is to cease on that date too. See HCL’s announcements:

So this leaves customers in a bit of a quandary. We hear a lot about this issue from the customers that we previously did data migrations for into Connections Social Cloud as well as Connections On-premise customers. They are all looking for Plan B and Plan C (based around the presumption that HCL’s Plan A – Connections MultiTenant (MT) – and 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 they see this as an opportunity to revisit their whole strategy for social collaboration.

But as ever, one size never fits all. Our customers who are concerned about their content migration to HCL Connections fit into four broad categories:

  • The believers – they have faith that HCL Connections will deliver a solution that matches the benefits they have right now, with a fully formed data migration and zero impact, allowing business as usual
  • The disillusioned – 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. They are resigned to have to swallow the gap in functionality
  • The pragmatists – they are building a new solution based around either a content migration 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 this change of direction,  they will allow HCL to move them to Connections Multi-Tenant, but plan to leave as early as possible afterwards

Naturally, at Vamosa, we also see this as a business opportunity. We have always offered content 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 HCL Connections (On Premise, Cloud) and move that in context to your chosen target
  • The ability to build and test the move, and then complete the move with zero impact on your day to day business
  • The ability to use our delivery methodology to make sure that all valid data is transferred – and the assurance that 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 is that as time ticks by, and my team become increasingly busy with this type of work, what will happen to those customers who haven’t thought about their options? July the 16th 2020 should be a red-letter day for any Connections Social Cloud customer.

Read about IBM Connections to Sharepoint

For more information on  getting started on migrating from HCL Connections