Monday, November 24, 2008

Real Life Client Migration Case Study - In Progress #1

Again, thanks to some discussions I have recently with various Yellowbleeders decided to post about a client of ours.
No name or anything and even if they read this they will never know it's them, sadly many are similar.

After some projects, and general IT work with the company, our sales guy follows up with them on some ideas from past discussions only to be hit with the now infamous line "We're moving to Exchange....can you help us?"

Sales guy says sure, but you guys are losers.(he didn't say that but we all think it)
In this economy money is going to come from some funny places and at least in this case it will be a long process and some upgrades on the Lotus side will get done.

So we hear this from the lead IT manager, not the CTO mind you or the VP of IT who he is running interference for or from our admin contacts.

We agree to have a conference call to discuss pitfalls, issues, thoughts time frame, etc. We did the call and came off that call wondering what really goes through people's minds.

They are doing this because they want to use Sharepoint and were told it would not interact with Notes. Well, sure not as well as Exchange but that isn't really the point as was pointed out to them that they both can have a nice coexistence.

See the graphic on top, that was the manager. They have a dispersed infrastructure which they want to bring to a central data center and consolidate 8-10 servers down to 4.

Sure, we let them continue and point out problems along the way. BES? Yes? Ok so you need a BES server too in the mix(they want to test the Exchange Push Email, our MS certified Partner asked them to heavily rethink that idea in favor of BES due to among other ideas security and performance/server costs. Maybe a Microsoft Connector for Lotus Notes Server too.
Client: We need a SQL server too? For what?!
Me: Didn't Microsoft tell you anything before promising it all? You can't expect your whole architecture to work without all the pieces of the puzzle?

And by the way, the licenses and CAL's which are promised to you for free in Year 1, guess when the bill comes in for them? Yes that's right year 2.

And they hadn't thought about what to do with their applications on Domino? Consolidate it now? Don't you think if you wanted to do that you could have previously? Why the rush now?

Everyone has broadband. I love this line, so US centric.
I reminded them that more than half of their IT data center's were outside the US, some in paces with barely a 64k line in place. Suggested they test some point to point applications like even their email files and see how they enjoy it now because when they load in Exchange it will only be worse. Again my Microsoft BP stated that to the client as well. He does my job so well sometimes it's amazing he plays for the dark side team.

This is an ongoing project/discussion and more will come out but for now, this is a good place to start. Questions or want more info, leave me comments and I can fill in some blanks.