Estimating Jive Migrations to Office 365 with Bruce Harple

Find this Podcast “Estimating Jive Migrations to Office 365 with Bruce Harple” on the ThreeWill Soundcloud, Stitcher, and iTunes.

Danny:Hello, and welcome to the Two Bald Brothers and a Microphone podcast. This is your host, Danny Ryan, and I am here today with Bruce Harple, at least virtually here with Bruce Harple over Microsoft Teams. How’s it going, Bruce?


Bruce:Good, Danny, good. Glad to be here.


Danny:Excellent. You’re going to talk about a subject that we hit quite often around here. It’s like, “Danny, why do you have to come up with an estimate?” “People ask me right away. ‘What’s the estimate? How much is it going to cost us to move off of Jive and onto Microsoft?'” I appreciate you taking some time today. I know this has been something we’ve been discussing for years since we’ve been doing a lot of these migrations, but just look forward to talking to you about this. Thank you for taking the time to do this, Bruce.




Danny:Let’s get this started. I know from talking with customers, customers that are on Jive right now, one of the things that often happens is they just haven’t really thought through, they have no idea what the budget should be. When you don’t know what the budget should be, you start off with maybe zero or something along those lines. It just seems like a lot of people just underestimate the overall effort involved with these migrations.


Bruce:Yeah, they definitely do. Again, you’re kind of migrating from one collaborative platform, Jive, to a totally different collaboration platform, Microsoft 365. I don’t know, I think some customers probably take maybe their [SharePoint 00:01:36] Migration experience and maybe they use that to budget for a Jive migration. As you know, it’s totally different. In SharePoint, you’re moving kind of light content, the containers in SharePoint for example. They are going to be the same types of containers if I’m going from, let’s say SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint 2016. Even if I go from 2013 to the cloud, to Office 365, the overall containers are exactly the same but as we know, if you’re moving across totally different platforms, it’s a lot different. I think sometimes they might be using their SharePoint Migration experience to do their budgets. I would say, Danny, customers’ budgets that they set before talking to us to get maybe better educated on the complexities of migrations, I would say we’re seeing that these budgets are a third to half of what they need to be to get that migration completed.


There’s a pretty big differential in our customers’ expectations of what it takes for these migrations compared to the reality of what it is going to take to not only move the content, which that’s a big piece of it that we focus on, but as you know and as we’ve experienced with customers, the whole user experience is totally different moving from Jive to SharePoint Online or Office 365. It’s a completely different experience. I think the customers, if they haven’t looked closely at that, they aren’t going to understand there’s a significant investment in just the overall kind of change management planning and communication plan development that is needed for these migrations. It’s a pretty dramatic change for the end-user community to be able to [inaudible 00:03:40].


Danny:Yeah. I think you’re exactly right with regards to people are used to doing upgrades of existing products, but then along the lines with this, if we’re migrating binary content or we’re migrating content, that’s one thing. In this, we’re migrating complex data types, which might or might not have an appropriate place to go to inside of Office 365.


Bruce:Yep, exactly. There’s probably in Jive 30 to 40 different data or content types. You’ve got to decide where does that content live in Office 365. In many cases, there’s multiple destinations where that content could go in Office 365, and you really got to know and understand. In the Jive world, what are those users of that content, what’s the usage scenario on how they’re kind of collaborating around that content because that could drive where we place that content in Office 365. I think that’s the other thing, the other kind of challenge. Jive, like a lot of collaborative platforms, there’s not a lot of governance in place, which in collaborative platforms in many ways, that’s good because you’re kind of letting the culture of the company define how they’re going to collaborate with one another and what that looks like. In many of these tools today, you can define different types of containers within Jive and different types of containers in Office 365 that you can use for collaboration.


All these containers behave differently and act differently, and have other content types attached to the that supports [a real 00:05:42] experience, but I think because of that kind of lack of governance in those current Jive environments, I think a lot of customers don’t really know at a detailed level all the different kind of usage scenarios that are out there and how people are really using Jive to collaborate. They certainly, in most cases, don’t have a handle on how much content’s there. That’s, as you can imagine in a migration, understanding A, the usage scenarios; how are people using this platform? B, how much content is there and needs to be moved? Those are pretty critical components of trying to figure out how big something is.


Danny:Yeah. I’ve been working with the team about our sizing tool that we have and getting that out there to folks. Is that a part of our process with trying to come up with an estimate?


Bruce:That’s right, yeah. One of the things I was going to talk about is how do you begin to mitigate some of the unknowns, and that is certainly one. Danny, I think that the Jive Size Utility, that’s a free download on the website, correct?


Danny:Yeah. All they have to do is make a small donation to me, and then they get it for free. Yes, it’s absolutely free. All I require is an email address so I know at least who’s downloading it and can send out the updated versions of it.


Bruce:Certainly as you look to how does a customer get better educated around their Jive environment that helps them better plan and estimate, the effort is by running that Size Utility. That does give us counts of all the different types of content. Danny, you’ve seen it. Typically, we’re looking at hundreds of thousands of pieces of content in most of these Jive instances. A lot of these Jive instances, Jive is a platform that a lot of companies are really taking seriously and it’s becoming a key part of their enterprise collaboration strategy, and there’s a lot of content there. [You can imagine 00:08:06] moving…


Danny:So Bruce, what are some of the other things that are out there that lead to the complexity of these projects? What are we running into?


Bruce:Some of the things just technically getting down to a level of detail with these migrations. If you think about Jive being this large collaborative environment with a lot of different containers, with a lot of different collaborative content, some embedded in HTML, some contained in binary files. If you think about that environment, there is all kinds of linkages, [URL 00:08:49] linkages between all those pieces of content. Guess what? All those URLs are Jive URLs. Now we’ve taken all that content and now it’s in Office 365, and it could be an Office 365 team site. It could be in an Office 365 group. It could be in a blog site. It could be in a communications site. Now that content that used to be in Jive all connected; attachments, everything connected through URLs, now it’s in a whole different set of containers with different URLs. Guess what? We have to transform all those URLs. All that linkage between all those places in Jive, we’ve got to maintain all that linkage between all those sites and other containers in Office 365 plus all the supporting content that now might be document libraries or folders, or other pages within Office 365.


We get to transform, as part of that migration, all those URLs. We kind of call that our “referential integrity,” [crosstalk 00:10:00]. The technical effort there is big, but also as a customer you’ve got to invest the time to do that detailed mapping. You got to say, “This group in Jive that has this URL is now this team site over in Office 365 that’s got this URL.” We’ve got to have the URL of every single piece of content that’s going to move into Office 365 because we’ve got to map all that, and customers have to help us with that. That’s a critical piece of upfront planning.


Danny:With the content, it might be not everybody moves over all the content either. It might be in a different location. I know there’s things that you have to deal with with regards to how we’re linking up the content together, and that’s one thing we need to think about. The other thing that often comes up is some of these links are to people who might’ve left the organization, and some of this information about who updated what could be to someone left the company. I think through the years, we’ve hit into a lot of the edge cases that people might think about, “How are we going to handle this?”


Bruce:Absolutely. If you think about the whole process, if you think about the traditional [inaudible 00:11:38] SharePoint Migration from let’s say 2013 to 2016, you might just do a content database backup and restore, and boom, everything’s there. Here, because we’re moving from containers in Jive to different containers in Office 365, we have this process; we have to get all the content from Jive, then we have to transform all that content. Depending on where you content to live in Office 365, we’ve got to transform it into the right format so that now we can call the SharePoint API the Office 365 API and upload that content into Office 365. Again, we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of pieces of content. One of the other challenges is as you’re pulling all that content from Jive and pushing it into Office 365, we often get throttled. You get two cloud environments, and they will throttle you. That’s just again, there’s time that it takes to move all this content. Even though a lot of it is automated, it takes time to push that much content through network pipes. It’s [physics 00:12:57]; it’s not anything other than that.


Danny:Yeah, yeah. I think a lot more things you’re thinking about that go beyond the, “Oh, I’m just upgrading.” I think one of the things I’ve wanted to point this out where everybody’s saying, “Hey, move to my cloud” is, what’s the portability of your content? How easy is it for you to take your content and move it from one place to another? This problem, it’s not like it’s going to get any easier as people move their content up into the cloud. Long-term, I think people are used to, “When things are [On-Prim 00:13:45], I can get access to the database” and stuff like that. Really thinking through, if I wanted to make a change from one platform to another, it seems like there’s whole thing with cloud lock-in that’s out there as well. We’re seeing it right now with some of our customers wanting to move off of Jive and realizing it’s not a simple task at hand, and it might take months to do it. They just didn’t think about it.


Bruce:Another area, as you were talking I was thinking through this, Danny, where I think customers tend to underestimate the effort, if you think about moving from SharePoint On-Prim to SharePoint On-Prim, or even SharePoint On-Prim to Office 365, if you look at validating that migration, it’s pretty easy. Your containers are the same, the names of the containers are the same for a user. End-user, let’s say a site owner, a place owner, to validate, “Hey, that content’s successfully moved. It’s easy, it’s quick. I can look at it. I know my site, I know my content. I can look at it in Office 365 and go, ‘Yeah, you got everything. It’s all there. Check, I’m done.'” Think about a Jive user that is used to operating in, instead of a Jive group, it’s got its own user experience. Content is organized a certain way. Now, you’re asking them to go in Office 365. That content might be in an Office 365 group. Other content might be in document libraries or folders underneath that group. That’s a whole new experience for them. That’s not a 15-minute exercise for that [end-user 00:15:32] to give you the OK that, “Yes, you got all my content. I see it all, I can find it all. Check. You’re good to go.”


The whole quality assurance parts of these migrations, the inspection and the validation, it’s a lot of manual effort and it’s a different environment. It’s a different world for the end-users. At some point, you’re going to rely on them to do some of that validation for you to make sure you’ve got it all.


Danny:Not to make your head explode, but the other equation that’s coming into a lot of these migrations are if they are going with a SharePoint internet-in-a-box, and how does that impact migration itself? I know we’re working with a lot of the different players that are out there with regards to this and we’re agnostic as far as where they go to. There’s been some ones that we’re used to working with and have built some relationships with, but I think that’s one of the factors as well when you’re looking at a high-level estimate for these things. It’s not the same cost to move whether you’re going to Office 365 itself or you’re also including one of the SharePoint internet-in-a-boxes as well.


Bruce:Yeah, absolutely. That should be a key piece of the migration that a customer should look at. Typically in Jive, it’s a very rich user experience. Typically out of the box, Office 365 is not as rich, and that’s changing as we know with modern sites, modern pages. It’s beginning to get to a rich user experience, but certainly as you said, Danny, many of our customers have turned to an internet-in-a-box product to provide that wrapper around Office 365 to kind of better present that content to the end-users, and make it so that it’s not so different maybe than their experience in Jive. That’s a big piece of it. I think customers, again, with migration they think, “Okay, it’s just about moving content,” but hey, it’s more than that. It’s moving content, but what’s the user experience going to be and how do I need to prepare my user community for this new user experience?


Danny:Let’s talk through some of the things that our customers can do to mitigate some of these costs. We typically will say, “Okay, let’s take this opportunity to maybe do a little bit of cleaning house with content.” Some of what we do is a little organizing and maybe going through and taking this whole opportunity to get rid of things that don’t need to move forward. That’s one thing, is probably the amount of content. What are some of the other things that are out there that help cost-wise for us as people are looking at doing these migrations?


Bruce:I think the other thing is, is really to be prepared and know up front that you’re going to really need to develop a good, solid change-management plan, as well as a communication plan. I think to start thinking about, again, it kind of goes back to understanding your current state Jive environment. How are your Jive users? What are those key usage scenarios? How are they using Jive today? Really begin to understand that because that’s going to help us map what user experience is best going to fit and what are the best content stores as we prepare to move into Office 365. Really investing the time to understand that the key in critical usage scenarios that you want to kind of bring forward into Office 365, I think, is a key piece of that. I think the other thing, we talked about running the Sizing Utility. I think, Danny as you know, once we get the output of that utility, we can provide an initial ROM estimation for that migration so people can begin to set expectations inside the organization on what it’s going to take for this, for these migrations.


Then you know, Danny, the key thing that we really push customers to do is to go ahead and schedule the Jive Migration Planning workshop and/or the Digital Workplace workshop. The Jive Migration Planning workshop really focused more on the content migration and getting down to the detail. We talked about the 30 to 40 different types of content in Jive and mapping that to where it’s going to live now in Office 365. It’s really getting down to that level of detail and doing all that mapping, and looking at how we can reduce scope. What are some of the criteria that we could put in place to start to exclude content? Maybe there’s content that we pull from Jive that stays archived and doesn’t get pushed into Office 365. As you know, the Digital Workplace workshop is really more focused on the user experience, and what are the things that we can do to make sure we effectively support those key usage scenarios that are key in Jive? How do we replicate those usage scenarios and that user experience in Office 365?


We talk about the three C’s in the digital workshop. It’s the communication, collaboration, and coordination. How do you want to implement that in Office 365? We’ve had great success, as you know, with the workshop. These workshops as much educating our customers on complexity somewhat, but also on the decisions that they’ve got to make and really try to help them make those decisions based on our experience, based on what we’ve seen other customers do, based on best practices that we’ve seen, and leveraging Office 365 as your new collaboration platform.


Danny:Awesome, awesome. This has been great. We’re past 20 minutes, so this is where I start losing people to…


Bruce:No, I think we got the main points across, Danny.


Danny:Yeah. When I post this up, I’ll have a link to the workshop for people to go take a look at that in more detail, and then also a link if they want to download the Sizing Tool. I’ll put that up onto the blog post as well. Bruce, I know this is a very difficult subject. It’s one where, I think, through the years maturing on, but it’s a big problem and big problems require big minds and big problem-solvers. You guys have been doing an awesome job on these projects, so I appreciate all the hard work that you do.


Bruce:Absolutely, man. Enjoy it very much.


Danny:Okay, thanks Bruce. Have a great day. Thank you everyone for listening. Bye-bye.


Bruce:Take care.


Additional Credits

Intro/Outro Music – Daniel Bassett

Danny RyanEstimating Jive Migrations to Office 365 with Bruce Harple

Join the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.