Real World Jive to Microsoft 365 Migrations with Eric Bowden

Danny:Hello and welcome to The Two Bald Brothers and a Microphone Podcast. This your host, Danny Ryan. I’m here with someone who has plenty of hair on his head and is not my bald brother. It is Eric Bowden. How are you doing, Mr. Principal Consultant? Is that what your role is nowadays?


Eric:Yes, but-


Danny:But …


Eric:… for the record, you can call me whatever you like. I’m here to help.


Danny:I can, huh?


Eric:Yeah, yeah.


Danny:Do you have a nickname? Did we come up with a nickname for you?


Eric:Mr. Wolf.


Danny:Mr. Wolf?


Eric:I have a few. Winston Wolf is probably my favorite, which is-


Danny:Who gave you that one?


Eric:That’s from Pete.




Eric:Yeah, Pete gave me that. It’s from a scene in Pulp Fiction, which …


Danny:I have to look that one up. It doesn’t pop off in the top of my head.


Eric:Yeah, it’s pretty good. It’s pretty good. It has some choice language in it so you’ll have to-


Danny:I’m sure it does.


Eric:… you’ll have to adapt to that language-


Danny:It’s Pulp Fiction, and some exploding heads and things like that, too, yeah.


Eric:That’s right, that’s right.


Danny:It is Pulp Fiction.


Eric:Language I usually don’t use.




Eric:Winston Wolf, he’s a problem solver and …


Danny:Is he the clean up guy?


Eric:He’s the clean up guy, yes.


Danny:Got you. I know. I know exactly. Yeah, so you’re the clean up guy.


Eric:I’m the clean up guy, that’s right. That’s right.


Danny:You clean up the guts on the floor?


Eric:I like to get it done, yeah. The other is Sherlock.


Danny:Sherlock. That’s a good one.


Eric:For, yeah, being able to solve problems.


Danny:Have you watched the new Sherlock at all?


Eric:I don’t know if I’ve watched the very newest. I watched one that came out a couple years ago. Fantastic. I love him …


Danny:This is the one I think like the BBC or something that put out recently.


Eric:No, I haven’t seen that.


Danny:It’s great. I’ll send you the link. All right, we’re supposed to be here talking about something.


Eric:That’s right.


Danny:We’re talking about a big migration … We’re not going to mention the client, but a very big migration project for a company, not here in the United States, over in the UK. That’s probably bringing some interesting dynamics to this whole thing.


Eric:That’s right.


Danny:This was a pretty good sized migration. I have to say from my standpoint since I was the first person to interact with them, they’ve been a pleasure to work with. I think when we were scoping this out and going through all of the [machinations 00:02:14] of trying to figure out whether we could help them out or not and all sorts of things like that, they were just good folks to work with. This is you said your fourth at migrations?


Eric:That’s right. I think this is my fourth Jive to SharePoint migration.


Danny:This isn’t even what you’re supposed to be doing on a day-to-day basis. You’re being sucked into these migrations.


Eric:That’s right. That’s right. Yeah, this is my side job.




Eric:But it is a great project. As you said, this is my fourth one and I think it’s pretty much the best ever. We’re firing on all cylinders. We’ve been doing this for what, a couple of years now.




Eric:Have quite a few under our belt and you can just really see how the process, and the team, and everyone is just really … We’ve just got it down.


Danny:Tell me, who’s on the team with you?


Eric:We’ve got Bob and Kirk I think launched it with the customer. As you know, we go through these requirements gathering, engagements where we’ll meet with the customer, and understand what the environment is, and where do they want to go, and really help them understand and eliminate what are the possibilities based on prior engagements. That was Bob and Kirk working through that process-


Danny:They did the workshop and all that heavy lifting upfront.


Eric:That’s right, that’s right. Yeah, the workshop. We have the workshop component of it. I think another aspect, which it’s been a while since I’ve been on a Jive to SharePoint Migration project myself, and one aspect that has merged that I’m seeing on this one, which I think is a really good development, is the solution architect role. I think a lot of our Jive to SharePoint migration projects, they will be more or less standard where there’s not a lot of customization, there’s not a lot of design. This one has a significant amount of customization and design.


Danny:Is this making improvements to our suite of utilities that we might have?


Eric:Right. I think it’s really probably two-fold. I think there are improvements to our utilities, which that’s a part of what Kirk has done as the solution architect, design out what are those updates to utilities, but a lot of it are really design decisions, and where are you going to put this content from Jive into SharePoint, and what are the decisions that you need to make along the way. I think it’s really part of it is bits and bytes and part of it is really just guiding those decisions.


Danny:Are you guys doing anything with teams, or communication sites, or with Yammer, or some of the other stuff that I know has come up before with a lot of customers?


Eric:Yeah, yeah, we are. Of course, we’re heavy users of … To be sure I understand the question, we are using teams to collaborate.


Danny:No. I’m saying are you moving any of the content into teams yet?


Eric:I see. I see. I see. No.




Eric:Nothing is going to teams. We are using … The majority of the content is going into SharePoint sites and then, there is another product involved called Wizdom that is … I don’t have much depth in that myself, but I understand it is an add-on to SharePoint and we’re also migrating content from Jive into Wizdom.


Danny:This is one of those intranet-in-a-box products that’s built on top of SharePoint Online or integrated with SharePoint Online?


Eric:Yes and yes.


Danny:Yes. Yes and yes.


Eric:Yes and yes, as far as I know. Like I said, I don’t have a lot of depth in it, but my take so far from looking at it is it looks like it’s an enhancement to SharePoint Online-


Danny:I’m going to start asking you some technical questions about Wizdom. Is it a mode access to work with it?


Eric:Yeah. Yes, absolutely.


Danny:I’m sorry. What else has been so awesome about this project? Tell me. Tell me. Tell me. Tell me.


Eric:A lot of awesomeness. Yeah, I just can’t emphasize enough I think how I can see how we’ve been repeating these types of engagements so that I can see the team members are improving and as I already said, the evolving roles. Next component of it is that because of all these enhancements to our suite of utilities, so we have an app dev project going. We have a month or so in that area of app dev for enhancing the projects.


Danny:Are we adding more content types that we’re moving or what is the app dev around?


Eric:The app dev is around the custom manner in which they want this content moved from Jive into SharePoint. They want metadata brought over-


Danny:What is this? Like likes, and comments, and tags?


Eric:Tags and categories are some examples.


Danny:Boom. Boom.


Eric:They want content not to be pulled over as an HTML. They want it to be pulled over as a PDF and content descriptions, which are in Jive, those are stored in an HTML field so we’re not losing any of that content from Jive. They have a custom manner in which they want to attachments. What else? Of course, there’s the Wizdom aspect of it, but we have … All of this sort of becomes an app dev project. Of course, that is a real sweet spot for us and we wrap Scrum around that. We’re using an offshore team. We have two developers joining the team-




Eric:… from our offshore location and-




Eric:Yes, India representing and they are doing a fantastic job. There are a couple of real neat benefits with the India guys. For one is that they’re focused full time. Unlike sometimes on the ThreeWill team, we may be working on multiple aspects of the project, maybe even multiple projects.


Danny:You won’t may be. You are … You’re typically on multiple projects, right?


Eric:Yes, yes, yes. Yes, yes, yes.


Danny:I’m sorry.


Eric:Yeah, that was my marketing by the way.


Danny:You were being nice. You’re being nice. I’m on 16 projects right now. I’m sorry. Go ahead.


Eric:Yes, yeah. Anyway, the guys, the offshore team have been doing a fantastic job, really starting to show leadership on the project. They are relatively new to the Jive to SharePoint migrations, but they are picking up speed fast.


Danny:That’s great.


Eric:Next is Lisa, our QA engineer. Lisa has many, many miles now on Jive to SharePoint migrations.


Danny:I get a sense things are going to spice up a little bit on the project.


Eric:It’s always spiced up. It’s kicked up a notch with Lisa on the project-


Danny:More lattes, more.


Eric:That’s right, that’s right. Yeah, the first project I was on with Lisa, a Jive to SharePoint project, she said, “Is this your first one?” “Yes.” “Fasten your seatbelt.” Not only is Lisa an awesome engineer and tester, but she’s really … I’m just repeating this thing. We’ve been through these for a number of years now and getting better and better and better. The quality and the speed and the agility is just continuing to increase.


Right now, we’re in the app dev phase and Bob is serving as our ThreeWill side project manager, by the way, doing an amazing job of … There are a lot of conversations. There’s a lot of threads. This is going a lot of different directions and Bob is really keeping all that organized, keeping all of that on track, including having creative  as a project plan for this and that is after this app dev phase, which is where we are now, then we’re going to move into our pilot phase.


Danny:Yeah. I had this visualization of Bob with a cowboy hat and a lasso going around where all these things are coming at him and he’s wrangling with them and getting them going in the right place at the right time.


Eric:That’s fairly accurate. That’s fairly accurate. Yeah.


Danny:It’s not that far off?


Eric:That’s not that far off.


Danny:It’s an appropriate metaphor?


Eric:That’s an appropriate metaphor. Yeah, Bobby can change-


Danny:Oh, we’re calling him Bobby now.


Eric:He can change … Did I do that?


Danny:You called him Bobby. I love it.


Eric:Little Bobby.


Danny:Hey, Bobby. He’s on the project.


Eric:Well, actually-


Danny:Just let Bobby do it. He’ll do anything.


Eric:No. Lately, some have been referring to him as Mr. Bob.


Danny:Mr. Bob.


Eric:Mr. Bob.


Danny:Now that’s formal.


Eric:I kind of like that.


Danny:Mr. Bob.


Eric:Mr. Bob. Maybe kind of like the butler or the-


Danny:If I think Mr. Bob, I’m imagining him walking into the office and then changing his shoes and then putting a cardigan on and …


Eric:Okay, all right, all right. Like the Mr. Rogers.




Eric:This is what you’re going for.


Danny:Yes, that’s what I’m going for.


Eric:I got it. I used to watch Mr. Rogers.


Danny:Yes, too. And talking to trains and imaginary people and that sort of thing.


Eric:This is true. He probably does that when he’s about to the tipping point.


Danny:Eric, I promise I haven’t had a lot of NyQuil today, I promise. I haven’t had too much NyQuil, but … Cool. What else? What else has been fun about this project?


Eric:What else has been fun? That has been a lot for one thing. It’s really just the organization and the volume of it all. Of course, working with the overseas folks, working with our customers who are in different time zones, different locations has been interesting and great.


Danny:You said you’re using teams. Is the client using teams as well?


Eric:Yes, yeah-


Danny:Boom. That is good. That’s something new. I haven’t heard that on other projects.


Eric:Yeah, they invited us to their teams, their team’s team.


Danny:Then you have an ID that is …




Danny:You joined with an ID that they created?


Eric:Yeah. They created a log-in for me. I haven’t taken the time to figure out exactly how this happens, but a log-in just appeared in teams.




Eric:Within my team’s client, I click a button and it tells me my different environments that I could connect to and I click the one for the customer and there I am.




Eric:Yeah. It’s nice. It’s been a very nice way to, yeah, to communicate with them, to share files with them.


Danny:That’s going to be fun when we do this with the typical client out there.




Danny:And all of our projects have this.




Danny:Actually pull them into their … ‘Cause we created the client extranets, but it’s tough to get people to log in to those, I know. Good stuff. What else? Anything else? It sounds like you see the benefit in doing repeat. That’s the only way you can become the best in the world at some things.


Eric:That’s right.


Danny:If you do the same thing over and over and over and you get better each time.


Eric:That’s right. You’ve heard, I’m not sure where it came from, plan, practice, execute.


Danny:Plan, practice, execute.


Eric:I think so. I think that’s a football thing or a football coach or somebody, but this is the practice aspect of it. Let’s repeat it and honing that skill and get really good at it. We encounter new things, every migration project I’ve been on, we encounter new things, but I think that with this one, we’re just faster. We’re just more agile, more creative. We get a lot done largely because of the fact that we’ve just rolled over so many of these. Oh, by the way, in the midst of this, which this is a very highly active project, both Kirk and Bob are very important and key contributors, they went and did another Jive to SharePoint migration project.


Danny:I know I’m a jerk. That’s me. That’s me, yes.


Eric:From looking at Bob and Kirk, you could kind of tell just a little bit from looking at them that they had diverted to another significant effort, but for the most part, they’re beasts. They just come back. They’re like nothing happened so it’s good stuff.


Danny:Yeah. I know how tough it is to be on multiple projects and I think we try to minimize it, but it’s just it’s the nature of the beast, but …


Eric:It is, it is, yeah. I didn’t mean that as a bad thing necessarily. More just saying that I don’t think that if we hadn’t had such repetition on this kind of project, I really don’t think that they would’ve been able to-


Danny:Yeah, they could’ve done that.


Eric:… detour that efficiently and then, come right back to this project so-


Danny:Awesome. Keep up the good work. Maybe we can get together next quarter and talk about … You probably will still be on the project or when are things …


Eric:Not sure, not sure.


Danny:Depends on if it’s the mid quarter or-


Eric:It depends on the quarter, yeah. I think there’s … Not really sure. Don’t know. We’ll have to-


Danny:Thank you.


Eric:You bet.


Danny:I can sense your excitement about this project and that means a lot to … I’m excited when anybody’s passionate about something and so, good work with this. Keep it up and looks like we’re going to have a couple more of these next year. It sounds like each one of them has its own unique difficulties with it so that’ll keep us on our toes and thanks for all your hard work, Eric, and …


Eric:You bet, you bet. Yeah, thanks for having me on to talk about it.


Danny:Absolutely, absolutely. Thank you everybody for listening. This might be our last podcast for the year. I know it’s going to be tough to get through a couple weeks without hearing from us, but you guys can make it through. You can survive, but yeah, this might be the last one for 2017, depends on if I need a couple more posts to make my goals or not. I might have a podcast episode where it’s just me talking with a big bottle of NyQuil in front of me. All right, that’s it. Enough wasting time. Get back to work, Eric.




Danny:Get back to work. Come on, buddy.




Danny:Thank you everyone for listening. Have a wonderful day. Take care. Bye-bye.


Additional Credits

Podcast Producer – Oliver Penegar
Intro/Outro Music – Daniel Bassett

Danny RyanReal World Jive to Microsoft 365 Migrations with Eric Bowden

Join the conversation

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