Cox Communications is the largest private broadband company in America, providing advanced digital video, Internet, telephone, and home security and automation services over its own nationwide IP network. Cox serves more than 6.5 million residences and businesses across 18 states. Cox Business is a facilities-based provider of voice, video, and data solutions for commercial customers, and Cox Media is a full-service provider of national and local cable spot and digital media advertising.
Cox Communications wanted to migrate their older SharePoint version on-premises sites to Office 365, and for those sites that could not migrate to Office 365 (e.g., due to certain customizations), Cox wanted to migrate these to SharePoint 2016 on-premises.
To complete this effort, Cox wanted to partner with an organization that could come up with an overall migration plan and strategy that leveraged Microsoft’s FastTrack service offering, and then deliver against that plan.
Initially, ThreeWill partnered with Cox Communications to perform the following:
- Conduct a Migration Assessment – the effort to plan and design the baseline activities, needs, and approach to define an overall project charter for the migration.
- Create a High-Level Migration Plan – a plan outlining the proposed approach to the technical migration process, related business communication plans, and overall coordination of migration execution with the Microsoft FastTrack team and Cox teams.
- Develop a High-Level Hybrid Design – an initial high-level design for collaboration in a Hybrid (SharePoint 2016 On-Premises and O365) environment with a focus on Search and OneDrive for Business.
Key activities to complete above included:
- Creation of an inventory of all Cox sites and content to be migrated.
- Execution of the SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool (SMAT) against the inventory to identify any potential migration issues.
- Identification and mapping of sites and content that would migrate to Office 365 as part of FastTrack.
- Identification and mapping of any sites and content to SharePoint 2016 (on-premises) that could not migrate as part of FastTrack.
- Definition of Search and OneDrive for Business hybrid requirements
- Creation of an initial design for Office 365 and SharePoint 2016 hybrid Search and OneDrive for Business.
After the above initial migration assessment, analysis, and planning efforts were completed, ThreeWill then partnered with Cox to execute and deliver against the migration, which included the following key ThreeWill activities:
- Detailed Migration Planning – the creation of a detailed migration plan, including assignment and scheduling of sites and content into FastTrack migration “Waves”.
- Pilot Execution – the assistance with preparation, migration, and remediation of the FastTrack sample Waves, including the revision of any process and communications content and updates to the overall migration plan based on Pilot results.
- Production Migration Execution & Coordination – involved the creation of sites, content, or processes used to manage, track, and communicate migration activities/results, as well as coordinating and partnering with the Microsoft FastTrack team during their migration execution activities.
- Remediation – assistance to the Cox team with addressing the redirection of users from old source SharePoint sites to new target SharePoint sites when links or bookmarks request the old source content. Also, assistance to Cox in migrating large list content for sites post-FastTrack migration.
- Communications Development & Delivery – assistance in content creation, audience identification and automation (as needed) of communications to site owners and general users for content to be migrated by the FastTrack processes, including custom content (FAQ’s, policies, process documents) and FastTrack emails and site banner notifications.
In the end, the project was completed successfully, according to plan, and represented a great partnership between Cox Communications, ThreeWill, and the Microsoft FastTrack teams. Following are some key metrics from the migration:
- 4,125 Total Sites Migrated to Office 365
- 3,028 Community Sites (73%)
- 912 Project Sites (22%)
- 185 MySites (5%)
- > 2.5Tb of content was migrated
- Content Migrated Over 11 Production Waves
Migrating from legacy versions of SharePoint resulted in cost savings for Cox and eliminated the risk of Microsoft support for legacy SharePoint versions. The migration also allowed for the ability of Cox to take advantage of the latest Office 365 and SharePoint 2016 capabilities.