White Paper: Identifying Problem Files during Upgrade


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White Paper: Identifying Problem Files during Upgrade

  1. 1. Knowing what’s in store How identifying vital information about your data files supports compliance, cuts waste and removes implementation risk from IT infrastructure projects Summary Not all files have equal value. Some are critical to the business. Others could be archived. Still others should be deleted. Files used by desktop applications in particular tend to be under-managed and out of control. What’s more, the needs of certain files supporting essential business processes—files that should influence the design and implementation of the larger IT infrastructure—frequently fly under the IT radar. Files created in older software versions, for example, may not function properly unless you convert the files successfully and image the new desktop operating environment appropriately. Or files that may be subject to compliance regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley or HIPAA are unknown, undocumented and unprotected. This white paper discusses a method that helps you identify which files and applications have high business value for your organization. By knowing which files contain critical information or support important business processes, you can properly support and protect them. In the end you reduce waste, protect against compliance breaches and fines, and lower IT deployment and infrastructure costs. Audience • Executives • Deployment managers • Information technology staff • Consultants practicing business desktop deployment, information life cycle management, enterprise content management and related disciplines Information to take away • A means to determine a file’s business value • Examples of IT projects which can benefit significantly from identifying business-critical files and applications • Examples of actionable information about files and applications which help improve project planning and implementation • A methodology to ensure desktop file compatibility exists before deploying infrastructure upgrades To better manage large IT projects, start by identifying business-critical files In a recent engagement with an international power utility, ConverterTechnology discovered over two million files existing in duplicate. Of 15 million files on the enterprise’s servers, only five million had been touched in the 18 months preceding the inventory. Nearly 15 percent of all files were in applications no longer part of the enterprise’s standard operating environment. And 1.9 million legacy Microsoft Office files were at risk of malfunctioning upon being upgraded to Office 2003. Each of these data points helped managers efficiently plan and execute a major server consolidation and desktop application upgrade. For example:Rev. 1.0Aug. 10, 2010
  2. 2. • The identification of duplicate files alerted managers to opportunities to conserve disk storage space and reduce confusion among file users.• The identification of at-risk business-critical files helped make sure they could be converted to function properly when deployed for use with Office 2003.• The identification of previously unknown files that tracked key financial data facilitated compliance with regulatory requirements.The state of the files influences larger IT issuesYour infrastructure plan determines where your files will be stored and which applications can use them. But aswe see above, it’s also true that the nature of your files may influence which IT systems and application softwareversions you can implement. Here’s another real-life example that shows how interconnected every part of the ITchain can be:A major Midwestern retail business wanted to make its knowledge workers more productive by facilitating theircollaboration on projects. The company also needed to meet records-retention requirements mandated by theSarbanes-Oxley Act. Achieving these goals required the company implement enterprise content management, orECM. But, the desired ECM system was based on SharePoint® Services and SharePoint Portal Server, which requireMicrosoft Office 2003, and this company was using Office 97. Upgrading wasn’t routine because not all Office 97files function properly upon being upgraded.As a result, this company had to (1) identify which files were critical to the business in order to be included in ECM,and (2) take steps to preserve their functionality upon being upgraded to Office 2003. Only then could their goalsfor greater collaboration and regulatory compliance be realized.The examples above illustrate what we call the “Four C’s” of file management: Consolidation, Compatibility,Collaboration, and Compliance. Optimizing for each “C” demands clarity about which files to update, share, ignore,move, archive or delete. Without such clarity, IT projects will deliver less than their potential, cost more than theyshould and risk failure altogether. If these examples illustrate some of the problems, what are the solutions?ConverterTechnology’s method reveals information critical to file management and speeds the ITupgrade processConverterTechnology processes and software help IT professionals discover what they’re dealing with in terms offiles, their business value, and their compatibility with desktop software and other infrastructure upgrades. Wecall this process of file discovery, analysis, conversion and migration the ConverterTechnology can help you answerthese questions and more:• What files have business value to retain, protect, update and migrate?• Which files should be archived or deleted?• What does the standard desktop operating environment need to Goals look like in order to accommodate business-critical files?• Which tools for automation should be used to quickly and easily • Inventory and classify files. identify, analyze, and repair problematic files? • Plan efficiently. • Reduce deployment complexity.IT scenarios calling for the OfficeConverter • Shorten schedules.Microsoft Office software upgrades - for example, converting files from • Avoid compliance breaches and fines.the Office 97 suite to function properly with Office 2003 or Office 2007 • Lower IT deployment andECM implementations - identifying, determining relevance, describing infrastructure costs.and migrating files to enterprise content management systems such asWindows SharePoint Services
  3. 3. Platform consolidations - relocating files on servers and storage devicesDisaster recovery planning - classifying files to determine the appropriate data protection strategyAn inventory and analysis of the files on your servers tells you what to keep, what to modernize, what to delete,what to archive, and what needs extra attention to work properly in a new environment. ConverterTechnology’sOfficeConverter process and tools reveal these key data points about your file inventory:• Where files reside by site, server, file share, path and filename• Their concentration by file type and extension• Total storage space devoted to used, unused or duplicate files• Files that are critical to the business• Files that are subject to compatibility errorsOfficeConverter reportsOfficeConverter generates reports you can use to make informed decisions. Reports may be customized to theneeds of a particular project.Summary of applications foundInformation in this report was used to drive a three-part technology refresh: (1) consolidate servers, (2) upgradefrom NT4 and Office 97 to Windows Server 2003 and Office 2003, and (3) migrate from NetWare to WindowsServer 2003. Among other purposes for this information, the enterprise wished to know whether it could reducethe number of supported applications by omitting non-Microsoft applications from its standard operatingenvironment without major disruption to the business.Summary of duplicate filesConverterTechnology’s OfficeConverter reports help you manage redundant files—a vital task for SharePointmigrations, server consolidation, file classification and file compatibility projects. The first step is to discover theextent of the problem.Shown: excerpt of an actual report for a ConverterTechnology client.This project defines “business-critical files” as those modified within 18 months prior to this report.
  4. 4. Business-critical file counts by site and serverConverterTechnology: Specialists in file discovery, analysis, conversion and migrationConverterTechnology analyzes usage of business critical applications and makes legacy files compatible and usefulwith new platforms. Our process involves five stages:Planning: Determine what resources, time lines and milestones will govern the project.Discovery: What files exist where, and how relevant are they to the organization’s work.Compatibility analysis: Determine which files may not open or function correctly upon being upgraded orrelocated.File conversion: Upon determining which files are at risk to malfunction, fix them automatically, beforedeployment.File migration: Once files are identified, classified and updated, move those files into the proper productionenvironment.End-user enterprises have the benefit of faster, more trouble-free technology upgrades.Service provider partners use our methods, process and software to qualify for more engagements, improveservice, utilize staff more fully, reduce costs and increase profits.ConverterTechnology can conduct the process from our secure site or your premises.ConverterTechnology specializes in enterprises with 5,000 desktops or more. Our engagements reach worldwide.
  5. 5. Are you implementing ECM? Enterprise content management demands that you classify your enterprise’s files into categories such as the five below: 1. Production files that need to be functional and accessible always. 2. Less-used files which need to be retained and available due to regulatory or other factors. 3. Files that should be shared. 4. Files that may be archived. 5. Files that ought to be deleted. ConverterTechnology can help managers set criteria, classify files and make decisions that help manage enterprise content and implement related systems in efficient and effective ways. ConverterTechnology file conversion offerings ConverterTechnology also supplies OfficeConverter™ software to automate the discovery and repair of at-risk files for seamless upgrades to Microsoft Office 2003, Office 2007, or Office 2010. OfficeConverter has following feature modules: • DiscoverIT • ReportIT • SubmitITConverterTechnology provides software and services to help enterprises capitalize on the benefits of the Microsoft platformwithout the migration risks of data corruption, reduced employee productivity and critical business application down time.Founded in 1997, ConverterTechnology has helped more than one million users identify, analyze and fix compatibility errorsbefore they occur, accelerating time to deployment. ConverterTechnology is headquartered in Nashua, N.H., with offices in Europeand Australia, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Powerlan Limited. For more information, visit www.convertertechnology.com