Managing Migrations: Solutions as Diverse as Needs

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Transitioning to a Wiki
A desire to ensure the quality of the results that all constituents (from customers to support personnel) find when viewing the company's help documents was the impetus behind logistics and delivery services provider 3PD's content migration initiative.

3PD has large help documents that individuals (internal and external) rely heavily on to accomplish their tasks. Dave Collins, senior vice president of IT for 3PD, explains how one document was a transportation and logistics application that consisted of more than 300 screens and 100 reports, comprising about 800-900 pages of content. Another technically focused help document (for support staff) contained another 300-400 pages. It gave 3PD a grand total of more than 1,100 pages of content. "It was all hyperlinked with screen shots and indexed into a help system," adds Collins.

Collins says that 3PD needed a new system in which to manage all of the content, in part because the old system-maintained by Adobe's RoboHelp-wasn't being updated as frequently as necessary.

Collins and 3PD turned to eTouch Systems' SamePage product, an enterprise wiki, to create a system that was much easier to update. Collins says the process, which took less than 1 month, was easy. "We needed to migrate the content to the new wiki and we couldn't lose the hyperlinks or the pictures. It all needed to survive the transition," says Collins. "They had an import utility they were able to use to create two main projects on our SamePage wiki that were mirror images of what we had done in RoboHelp."

3PD used SamePage's universal import tool to transition its HTML content into the new wiki. The tool can also move images and attached files, which was an important requirement for 3PD's migration task. Customers can now see the most updated information, and employees can easily make those updates. (eTouch began working with 3PD subsidiary Penchant Software a couple of years ago. 3PD acquired Penchant in 2009.)

Security is one main feature of SamePage, as it enables customers to secure content at various stages, from single pages to entire projects. "It is much more accessible and secure," says Devang Mehta, the head of marketing and business development at eTouch Systems. "There are multiple levels of security in SamePage. You can make it as restrictive or open as you want." For instance, portions can be made secure so only members of a company's executive team can access that particular content. "It also applies to search," adds Mehta. "If you search by keyword, you only see what you have access to."

An Email-Based Migration
Financial services firm Janney Montgomery Scott's content challenge involved migrating 87 million email messages from one database to another. Using ZL Technologies, Inc.'s DirectExtract product, Janney migrated its email archive to ZL's Unified Archive, a system that yielded a more flexible infrastructure.

Unified Archive is essentially a platform on which Janney can store and archive all of its email content. Prior to implementing ZL's technology solution, Janney stored archived information on optical platters, said John Ciccarone, CTO for Janney Montgomery Scott. Ciccarone says the old server infrastructure didn't provide the functionality the company needed.

Kiran Singamsetty, a systems engineer at ZL Technologies, says that most clients come to ZL for help because their current solutions don't scale, and access to content becomes more challenging.

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