CASAHL: Cloud Content/Collaboration Migrations Simplified

Harry Wong, PhD, CEO Imagine getting ready to move to a new home. As you prepare your move, you pack your belongings and weed out items you no longer need, both to avoid wasting time and effort relocating unwanted items and to reduce counterproductive clutter in your new home. Unfortunately, many enterprises ignore this strategy when moving from legacy deployments to cloud platforms, wastefully migrating unnecessary content and application resources and making it more difficult for employees to be productive in their new cloud work environments.

As Dr. Harry Wong, CEO, CASAHL explains, “Most enterprises seek to leverage new opportunities to improve content and collaboration productivity and to reduce costs by migrating to public cloud platforms such as Office 365. Migrating to the cloud without first modernizing and optimizing legacy content/collaboration resources, however, can result in reduced employee productivity and significant unnecessary ongoing expenses.”

Created in 1993, CASAHL provides a unique blend of products and services to help enterprises migrate their legacy content and collaborative apps to the cloud. Before any resources are moved, CASAHL first deploys a specialized assessment product. “We have assessment technology that looks at all these legacy environments and comes up with in-depth reports so that people can make fact-based decisions about what’s worth migrating,” Wong explains. Estimating that about 70 percent of content has been unused for at least 18-24 months, moving unnecessary items wastes resources and time. “It's especially crucial to assess which content and apps are still useful, because taking garbage to the cloud is both counterproductive and expensive.”

The assessment product has two components. The first is a crawler tool that assesses resources ranging from shared folders to content/collaboration platforms. “We collect extensive metadata such as folder/file details and profile user activity,” Wong says. “CASAHL’s migration solution, refined over many years of experience with some of the most challenging migration sources, including Notes/Domino, legacy SharePoint Server releases, Exchange public folders, Google Sites, Atlassian Confluence, and file/content management servers and services with varying features (such as Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive), is enterprise-proven, cost-effective, and schedule-predictable.”

The second assessment product component is an analyzer tool which examines the collected data.


Migrating to the cloud without first modernizing and optimizing legacy content/collaboration resources, however, can result in reduced employee productivity and significant unnecessary ongoing expenses


“Assessment makes it straightforward to discover and analyze information about a variety of content/collaboration platforms and helps enterprises identify and remediate potential migration obstacles,” he states.

The analyzed data is presented in several detailed reports. “Our reports show which content and apps should be retired, which have issues requiring remediation before migration, and which can be automatically migrated.”

CASAHL’s second product is ecKnowledge, which executes the migration plans created during assessment. Wong describes ecKnowledge as “an enterprise-scale migration platform that provides a single solution for a wide range of sources and targets and uses templates for common source/target migration patterns to deliver highly automated migration projects.”

With ecKnowledge, CASAHL provides a scalable solution to automate even the largest enterprise content migrations. It also makes it possible to automatically and rapidly modernize and migrate template-based collaborative sites and apps. For non-template-based custom apps, ecKnowledge provides the ability to disaggregate and recompose apps for modern cloud platforms, again significantly reducing costs compared to more manual migration alternatives.

The CASAHL solution addresses the full enterprise migration lifecycle. Assessment – combining discovery and analysis – makes it easy to identify the most valuable content and app resources and to archive or retire no-longer-useful resources. Assessment is key to the ability to eliminate dependencies on legacy platforms and avoid unnecessary ongoing expenses from software licenses, maintenance, and administration.

Rationalization provides a project workspace for migration project stakeholders to collaborate and jointly finalize project priorities and detailed plans.
This step helps to ensure all migration considerations are identified and addressed. It also provides an opportunity for project participants to become familiar with the benefits of a modern cloud-based workspace, reducing apprehension about the cloud shift.

Transition employs ecKnowledge to execute the migration plan. This phase also supports ongoing integration for enterprises that require integration between old and new systems, typically for complex and multi-phase migration projects. Automated verification is another key facet of the transition phase, with ecKnowledge used to verify all migration tasks. Verification is critically important because migration projects can stall or fail if employees can’t find the resources they need to accomplish their work when they move to their new cloud environment.

The CASAHL solution can also be used for ongoing optimization to ensure new deployments stay effective and efficient over time and avoid common problems that can impact employee productivity. Wong explains “By periodically using assessment to confirm new content/collaboration deployments continue to address user needs and are not collecting unhelpful resources, CASAHL can help enterprises avoid the sorts of problem patterns that plagued legacy platform deployments. They can also avoid paying for more cloud services than they need, again saving significant ongoing expenses.”

While CASAHL often migrates enterprise legacy deployments to Office 365, its migration system is modular and flexible, supporting multiple source and target system types. “We fully support Office 365 because of its popularity and our long-term Microsoft partnership” Wong states. “But our strategy has always been focused on streamlining and automating multi-source and multi-target migrations. Even Office 365 can be considered a multi-target environment, because it adds new apps and services such as Teams and the Microsoft Graph, going far beyond the capabilities of on-premises SharePoint Server.”

The connector-based architecture used in ecKnowledge makes it possible for CASAHL to quickly add support for new content/collaboration sources and targets, so enterprises can use one cost-effective and highly automated migration solution for the most widely deployed platforms and services, rather than having to acquire separate migration solutions for each source/target combination.

With more than 2,000 enterprise customers, CASAHL always keeps their customers’ preferences in mind. “Everything that drives us is based on enterprise customer feedback and requirements,” Wong concludes. Microsoft is among CASAHL’s customers; Microsoft’s EPG, FastTrack, and MCS groups have licensed CASAHL’s assessment tool, and CASAHL has led migrations for several Microsoft-acquired companies. CASAHL is also a repeat winner of Microsoft’s Partner of the Year award for migration solutions.

Company
CASAHL

Headquarters
San Ramon, CA

Management
Harry Wong, PhD, CEO

Description
Provides a unique blend of products and services to help enterprises migrate their legacy content/collaboration deployments into modern cloud-based systems

CASAHL