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White paper - Lotus to Google - migration project overview


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Considering a IBM/Lotus Notes migration to Google Apps? Read this white paper for planning the project for enablement of Google Apps and decommissiong Notes.

Considering a IBM/Lotus Notes migration to Google Apps? Read this white paper for planning the project for enablement of Google Apps and decommissiong Notes.

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  • 1. Notes to Google Apps migration: Project overview White paper: Lotus Notes to Google Apps migration Project overview Main topics: ● Project approach & planning ● Mail and application migration ● Coexistence For: IT / Business persons who are considering a Lotus Notes migration to Google Apps Author: Richard van Delft Date: Our reference: 15 December 2012 WP2012121510 G-workplace © whitepaper page 1 of 11
  • 2. Notes to Google Apps migration: Project overview Content Content Disclaimer Introduction Lotus Lock-in Why Google Apps? Project Approach Before your start: known your Notes G-workplace vision on migration Project team PoC / Pilot environment Migration planning Mail migration Mail, calendar and contacts migration with GAMLN Mail, calendar and contacts migration with 3rd party solutions Best Practices for mail migration Application migration Application migration with Notes2Apps Migrator Automated migration with CIMtrek Redesign with OrangeScape Coexistence period Next steps Questions / Feedback / Contact information About the author For the latest version of this white paper visit our website: Disclaimer The information in this document is provided for informational purposes only. The information contained in this document is subject to change without notice. No part of this document, in whole or in part, may be reproduced, stored, transmitted, or used without the prior written permission of G-workplace BV. Copyright© 2012-2016 G-workplace BV, Notes2Apps is a registered trademarks of G-workplace BV. All other brands and product names are trademarks of their registered owners. G-workplace © whitepaper page 2 of 11
  • 3. Notes to Google Apps migration: Project overview Introduction This white paper shows Business managers, IT managers and IT architects that Google Apps is a perfect follow up for the IBM/Lotus Notes platform (note: Lotus brand is dropped in 2013). This white paper is written for everyone who is working on (or planning for) a Lotus Notes to Google Apps migration. The white paper gives insight in the planning, project approach, mail migration, application migration and coexistence. This white paper includes links to extra information and additional resources on the internet. Lotus Lock-in Lotus Notes has been used around the world in enterprises as one of the widely used application landscapes for years. Moving away from Lotus Notes looks impossible for some organisations as Notes applications support many different business processes. Replacing this platform looks impossible. This is know as the ‘Lotus lock-in’ myth. Another G-workplace white paper “Mapping IBM Notes features to Google Apps” shows that even the most complex Lotus Notes environments can be migrated towards Google Apps, which demystifies the Lotus lock-in myth from a technical point of view. This white paper focus on a successful roadmap to escape from Notes, get happy users and get a fast Return On Investment (ROI) Why Google Apps? If you have Notes, you have a communication and collaboration platform, why move at all? Let’s state 3 populair reasons to move to Google Apps: Innovative, Costs and Easiness of use. ● Innovative; Lotus Notes was the most innovative mail & collaboration platform in the nineties. Many enterprises have used Lotus Notes as their strategic (world-wide) communication and collaboration platform. However with the start of internet and more specific cloud technology, IBM Notes has lost their innovative attractiveness. Google Apps is nowadays the most innovative platform. Google Apps offers a new approach to ICT and the technical back-end is different than any other organisation is offering. This enables organisations to rethink their communication & collaboration services for their enterprise users. ● Costs; All features are available for 40 euro or 50 US dollar per user per year. This is amazing when you compare this to the IBM licence fees (Notes, Sametime, LEI, Traveler, anti-spam, OS ...) and the complementary hardware and IT maintenance costs. This price difference between traditional IT solutions and Google is so large that every organisation should re-consider why they are paying more for common IT features. ● Easiness of use; Google Apps is easy to use by end-users and IT. The IT department doesn’t have to worry about technical implementation issues. Google is doing that for you. The 100% web vision of Google brings all the communication and collaboration power to the fingertips of any employee. Google Apps offers many powerful security options, like secure mobile device management and 2-factor authentication. As Google Apps is easy to use it will prevent employees to use free consumer alternatives (like dropbox, twitter, facebook, etc.) which are not controlled by the organisation. Google Apps enables employees to work any time (24x7 SLA), anywhere (online and offline) and any device (mobile and desktop) with the tools many already know from their personal life. G-workplace © whitepaper page 3 of 11
  • 4. Notes to Google Apps migration: Project overview Project Approach Before your start: known your Notes Before you start a project, you have to know the ins and outs of your current Lotus Notes environment. I have seen organisation who introduced a new mail & collaboration platform and hoped that Lotus Notes would vanish. Well that is not happening. If you want to replace a mail and collaboration platform you have to know what you need to replace. This simple question is not that easy to answer for organisations. The Lotus Notes usage varies enormously by organisation. Organisation may have used Lotus Notes just for basic mail and document sharing options. Other organisation may ● use advanced email features like archiving, roaming features and mail rules, ● have many custom Notes applications running their primary business processes, ● have integration towards ERP systems and ● run different kind of Lotus add-ons like Sametime, Quickr and Traveler. Whatever your situation is, you have to know it in detail to plan your migration project and plan accordingly the decommissioning of Lotus Notes environment. G-workplace has developed the Notes2Apps Scan for this specific purpose. The Notes2Apps Scan examines every Notes database in the Lotus Notes / Domino Domain on database information, database design, content, Access Control List (ACL) and user activity of every database. The Notes2Apps Scan results in a detailed report of the domain. It shows information of: ● all the Notes features used in the domain, ● the mail usage in the domain and ● the applications in the domain. It provides insight in the: ● migration effort, migration budget and ROI, ● migration planning and ● decommissioning planning for the Lotus Notes environment. The Notes2Apps Scan is special designed to answer the hard-to-crack migration questions that Notes admin, Notes developers, IT managers and business managers have. G-workplace © whitepaper page 4 of 11
  • 5. Notes to Google Apps migration: Project overview G-workplace vision on migration We believe that a migration should be simple, be focused towards the new landscape and has to include a decommission strategy for the old landscape. This vision is based on four principles: 1. minimize the mail and calendar coexistence as maintenance for two platform is costly and coexistence easily lead to complex & costly support calls. It also prevent decommissioning of the legacy platform. 2. 80% of the data is easily migrated to Google, start with the easy part and do an adequate planning for the more complex part. 3. make intensive use of migration tooling to achieve maximize migration productivity what result in early benefits from the new collaboration platform and enables decommissioning options. 4. maximize user adoption by supporting users to buy-in to the new world of collaboration and sharing. Project team The best practice for a Google deployment team is … to have two teams. One team for the Technical Deployment track and one team for the Change Management track. Change Management is the most important track for a successful Google Apps deployment. Technical you won’t have any big issue as Google Apps will work (as it does for million of other users). The project success is in the Management of Change, typically you have a Business representative, a Communication Manager and a Training Coordinator. For the technical track you will need an Infrastructure Specialist (Mail flow), a ID management specialist (LDAP/AD), a Test Manager (Quality Assurance) and a Development Manager (for applications and mail connectivity). This may all sounds more complex than it is in real life. Usually those roles are easily assigned to existing people or departments in the current organisation. The project core team should include the roles for a Project Manager, Technical specialist, Tester and Change Manager. PoC / Pilot environment Many organisations start with a Proof of Concept (PoC) or a pilot to evaluate Google Apps. As you want to get yourself acquainted with the Google Apps features before Going Live (or Going Google as you will learn). In this stage it is important you have a Google certified partner who has intense experience with Google Apps deployment and can support the PoC situation. Doing a PoC usually exist of the following activities: 1. define the goal of your PoC / Pilot setup, what are your measuring for success or failure. 2. get your Google Apps domain via 3. activate your Google Apps domain, configure your Google Apps services. 4. create the PoC / pilot users in your Google Apps domain. 5. apply the configuration you wish to pilot, like the GAL (Global Address List), mobile G-workplace © whitepaper page 5 of 11
  • 6. Notes to Google Apps migration: Project overview strategy, migration tooling (GAMLN, Notes2Apps), etcetera. 6. create the generic instruction materials1 for Google Apps, which can be used later during Go Live. 7. create a specific Pilot instructions guide, as the pilot situation probably has some limitations (due to pilot setup). You also need to point out the items that pilot users need to evaluate during the pilot. 8. forward mail of your pilot users from Notes to Gmail. 9. gather feedback from your pilot users. You may want to use a Google form for this! 1) Note: Google provides many (free) communication materials, take a look for this at G-workplace © whitepaper page 6 of 11
  • 7. Notes to Google Apps migration: Project overview Migration planning The deployment and migration planning has different stages, after each stage you may be able to decommission a part of your Lotus Notes environment. G-workplace uses the following stages in a migration planning: ● scope: determine the deployment and migration scope (based on Notes2Apps Scan) ● communication: Google Apps deployment and mail & calendar migration (with GAMLN) ● collaboration: migrate (or archive) collaboration applications (with Notes2Apps Migrator) ● business apps: migrate / redesign complex Notes applications ● special cases: keep a stage in your plan to handle complex cases, like applications that are almost EOL and migration does not apply. The mail migration is the first plateau and the application migration are the subsequent plateau’s. Note that planning of mail migration is independent of the mail flow. You can use split delivery or dual delivery mail flow method to decide per mail address which mail goes to Google mail and which mail goes to Notes mail. G-workplace © whitepaper page 7 of 11
  • 8. Notes to Google Apps migration: Project overview Mail migration Mail, calendar and contacts migration with GAMLN Google is offering a free migration tool for Lotus Notes organisations, called Google Apps Migration for Lotus Notes (GAMLN). This tool is a Lotus Notes application which performs the upload from your Lotus Notes mail, calendar and contacts data into Google mail. You can download the tool via Google or contact a business partner (like G-workplace) to utilize this solution for you. The GAMLN solution is robust and is for a Lotus Notes specialist easy to use. However don't forget that it is a migration. Google is based on open standards, not all Notes mail functions are compatible with that. Some items to watch for are: ● attachment size in Gmail is limited to 25 MB, no exceptions ● the allowed attachment list of Gmail may prohibited Notes mail attachment migration ● migrating (repeating) calendar events isn’t perfect, this may result in complex helpdesk calls ● calendar attachments don't migrate into Google calendar, however there are options to cope with this. Mail, calendar and contacts migration with 3rd party solutions In case you are not happy with the free migration tooling (GAMLN) of Google, you may look at commercial alternatives in the marketplace. Examples are PCvita, SYStools and SALVAIR. Or you may contact a Google Apps business partner, who provides the migration service for you. I.e. G-workplace provides this service to migrate a Lotus Notes mailbox to Google mail, calendar and contact information, for a fixed fee per mail file. Best Practices for mail migration I am often asked for Best Practice or learned lessons. Based on project experience I have created the following Best Practice list for the management of mail migration projects: 1. projects have a high profile for every user; projects require near-flawless execution to minimize business disruption. 2. take care of specials like mailing lists, mail applications, mobile users, multi-functionals, etc. 3. use a mail migration project to update the mail security and internet use policy. 4. co-existence is a challenge due to format translation and calendar interoperability issues; consider a Big-bang approach. 5. evaluate a no migration or user self-service migration approach. 6. provide a mix of training & communication options for end-users. 7. a migration team should at least include a project manager, technical lead, testing manager and a change manager. Application migration Your Notes environment probably consist of more than mail and calendar. IBM / Lotus Notes has been often used as a Rapid Application Development (RAD) within organisations. Notes applications are often used for collaboration in projects, departments and across the organisation. Google Apps is all about collaboration and sharing information and is typical a good replacement for your collaboration application in Notes. You even can add your custom G-workplace © whitepaper page 8 of 11
  • 9. Notes to Google Apps migration: Project overview functions to Google Apps by utilizing Apps Script. Google Apps Script is a JavaScript cloud scripting language that provides the ability to automate tasks across Google products and third party services. However Apps Script may not meet your demands for more complex business applications within Lotus Notes. You can replace those applications: ● to a Commercial of-the Shelf (COTS) solution in the Google Apps marketplace ● with CIMtrek for an automated migration ● by using a redesign approach in OrangeScape and using their Lotus convertor ● development on Google Apps Engine ● to other enterprise wide platforms The Notes2Apps Scan (see previous paragraph) provides an advise for migration. Notes2Apps Scan results in a report with information for your migration planning and migration effort. The application analysis split the applications in those categories: 1. Basic migration; migrates to default Google Sites / Google Drive features 2. Apps Script migration; migrates to Google Apps, additional Apps Script development needed 3. Workflow / Business migration; look for one of the above mentioned alternatives for complex migrations Application migration with Notes2Apps Migrator Notes2Apps Migrator focus on the content migration of your Notes databases to Google Apps. The valuable content in Notes applications are converted to Google Sites, to Google Drive or to a combination of those two. ● Conversion to Google Sites is done by migrating the Notes document to HTML and creating a Sites page for it. Attachments in Notes are added to the page in Sites. ● Conversion to Google Drive is done by migrating the Notes document to PDF files or to Google Text Docs. Attachments in Notes are also placed in Google Drive. Notes2Apps offers configuration options to meet the need for the most complex migrations. G-workplace delivers Notes2Apps Migrator as a tooling or as a service (fixed price migration per database, independent of database size or complexity). Automated migration with CIMtrek CIMtrek automatically converts all Lotus Notes application logic (forms, views, agents, etc) to Java. The converted applications runs on a Java platform like Google App Engine or TomCat. The Lotus Notes proprietary data format is migrated to a relational database like MySQL. The resulting application mimics the same Lotus Notes user interface that users already know. This eliminates re-training costs but also prevent to make use of the advantages of the new platform. Another item to think about is the application maintenance, developers need to maintain Java libraries which are more complex than maintaining Notes applications. Redesign with OrangeScape OrangeScape delivers a visual web based development platform. OrangeScape delivers a visual PaaS (Platform as a Service) environment for the data model, business rules, forms / user interface, workflow and integration. Applications can be deployed in the cloud to Google Apps Engine, Microsoft Azure or Amazon and locally deployed on TomCat, JBOSS or Glassfish. OrangeScape delivers a Lotus Notes conversion utility to import the current Lotus Notes data G-workplace © whitepaper page 9 of 11
  • 10. Notes to Google Apps migration: Project overview model into the OrangeScape development studio. OrangeScape development studio is a replacement for the Domino Designer. Notes developers can easily tap into the OrangeScape visual designer to re-designing complex Notes (workflow) applications. Coexistence period A Big Bang deployment strategy prevents a coexistence period. I am an advocate of doing Big Bang migrations as coexistence make projects more complex, costly and longer. Doing a Big Bang migration is very good possible with Google Apps. There is no technical limit at Google to handle a large number of users at once. As an example, the largest Go Live for me was a 13.000 users Go Google moment, with a minimum of helpdesk calls and no business interruption. If a Big Bang migration to Google Apps isn’t applicable for you, then you have to think about coexistence. In this paragraph the most common items to cover during a coexistence period: ● global address list - persons Users on both platforms don't know who is on Google and who is on Notes. Users just want to type the name of the colleague for creating a mail or to book an appointment. So a Global Address List (GAL) with both your Notes and Google users is needed. On Notes you alter the Person document within your Domino address book to specify a forward address to your Google domain (G-workplace provides a free Notes2Apps toolkit to support this). In Google Apps you create your Google users and utilize the shared contact list for the Notes user names. This configuration provides you with a complete directory of all your contacts on both platforms. ● global address list - groups The Global Address List also contains mail distribution lists. You have to decide how you want to migrate those (if any). I often see directories which are polluted with groups which are outdated and not in use. Also naming conventions didn’t stand the time, and multiple standards are used over time. G-workplace provides a free utility and best practices for cleaning out those unused groups. ● calendar integration for free/busy lookup When you book an appointment you may want to lookup the free/busy information from the colleagues you invite to your appointment. This function can be supported in both the Notes calendar and in the Google calendar. Google provides a free tool for the interchangeability, called the Google Calendar Connector for Lotus Notes (GCCLN). The GCCLN tool is a Lotus Notes application that can be installed on the IBM Domino server by a Lotus Notes administrator. ● mail flow Your company mail flow may be a complex diagram, in basic it is real simple. Internet mail delivery is based on MX-records (Mail eXchange). When you point your companies MX-Records to Google you need to make sure you have split delivery or dual delivery switched on. Split delivery makes sure that Notes mail is routed to your Domino mail servers and Google mail is routed to the Gmail inbox. Dual delivery makes sure that mail is delivered to both the Gmail inbox and to the Domino mail server at the same time. ● online presence and chat The IBM Sametime and Google Talk can exchange presence and chat services by using the Lotus Sametime Gateway server. Exchanging video or audio isn’t possible, however users will be able to see who is online and who isn’t. The configuration is a bit complex, but can be done. G-workplace also advise to take a look at NextPlane for coexistence. ● Microsoft Office Most enterprise organisations are running MS-Office. A Google deployment usually don’t start G-workplace © whitepaper page 10 of 11
  • 11. Notes to Google Apps migration: Project overview with a replacement of MS-Office with Google Apps. This brings a coexistence situation. This is no problem, users who don’t have a need to collaborate on documents and are used to MS-Office will continue to work with MS-Office. Employees with an innovative mind may start using Google Apps for joined tasks lists to streamline the team/project tasks. Coexistence in this area is actually a great idea in general as employees see the greater benefit of the Google Apps deployment. Next to easy to use communication tools (mail, calendar and voice/audio chat) they also get collaboration services like Google Drive and Google Sites to work together and to share information. In due time you can think about migrating MS-Office to Google Drive, I already have seen situations where users demanded to stop MS-Office usage and switched totally to Google Docs to benefit from collaboration, sharing and auto save options. Next steps The goal of this whitepaper is to inform you on Lotus Notes to Google Apps migrations. This white paper intends to give a (technical) roadmap of the Lotus Notes replacement with Google Apps. The next steps is now to start doing. Start a pilot with a Google Apps business partner to help you out. You can find a Google Apps business partners in the Google Apps marketplace, or you can contact us via mail ( or via our website, Questions / Feedback / Contact information In case of any remarks or comments on this white paper contact the author, Richard van Delft on About the author Richard van Delft has been working in different roles at several large Lotus Notes environments from of 1995 and supported Lotus Notes migrations from of 2003. In 2010 Richard van Delft supported for the first time a large (55k+) Lotus Notes migration towards Google Apps. This white paper is based on all those experiences and gives practical, technical insight in the move from Lotus Notes to Google Apps. For questions or comments on this white paper, you can contact Richard at G-workplace © whitepaper page 11 of 11