Estimating Jive Migrations to Office 365 with Bruce Harple

Danny Ryan

Co-Host – Danny Ryan

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Sam Marshall

Guest – Bruce Harple

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

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?” [I say 00:00:26], “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 [inaudible 00:01:51] 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 [disparate 00:02:12] 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

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empty.authorEstimating Jive Migrations to Office 365 with Bruce Harple

How to Migrate Jive Personal Files to OneDrive for Business

Kristi Webb is a Senior Consultant at ThreeWill. She has over 18 years of software development experience working on software solutions and integrations for enterprise and product solutions. Her passion is applying technology solutions to solve business problems and improve efficiency.


During a recent Jive Migration to Office 365 project, I helped with the migration of personal content. For our specific project, we focused only on the Jive personal content where binary documents or pdf versions of the content were available in Jive. For example, we migrated binary files, documents, photos, and discussions (captured in PDF format) over to OneDrive for Business (ODFB). The customer wanted to migrate this type of content to ODFB since the privacy settings needed to be maintained while also ensuring that the documents would now be available within Office 365. ODFB was the perfect fit for meeting these requirements.

Please note that this article focuses on Jive personal content migration to ODFB, but the steps discussed in this article can be used in general for migrating any types of files to ODFB.

Of course, OneDrive for Business is technically just another SharePoint site under the covers, but it does have some unique features that require additional steps in order to complete content migration to each ODFB site. Below is a summary of the migration steps, and then I will discuss each step in further detail:

Migration Steps

  1. User verification and check for already provisioned ODFB sites
  2. Add any missing users in Office 365
  3. Provision any missing ODFB sites
  4. Add Secondary Site Collection Admin to each ODFB site
  5. Upload Content to the ODFB sites
  6. Remove the Secondary Site Collection Admin from each ODFB site

Step 1

First, we verify that the users exist in Office 365 and check if their respective ODFB sites are provisioned already. This is an important step to prepare for a time efficient and successful migration.

  • Check if the user exists in Office 365 with the same email/username as found in Jive. In our case, all users in Office 365 had the proper license assigned to them so they could access ODFB, but you may need to also check for licensing requirements as well. Also, ensure that the user is active in Office 365.
  • Then check to see if the ODFB account has already been provisioned. If ODFB was already provisioned, typically the user self-provisioned ODFB for themselves but there is also a possibility that an administrator provisioned the ODFB site on behalf of the user using a script like the one we will discuss in Step #3. We just need to know which ODFB sites are already provisioned and which ones are not.

We used a PowerShell script to check for all the users we had identified in Jive with personal content, and then produced a report of which users were found in Office 365 and whether their ODFB site had been created already.

Please note, the URL for the ODFB site generally follows the pattern below:

The “O365TenantName” is self-explanatory, but everything to the right of the last forward slash is the username where the “@” and “.” characters are replaced with underscore characters. For example, a username of [email protected] and tenant name of “company” will typically have an ODFB URL of:

But again, this is “typically” the pattern for the ODFB URL. To be certain you are using the correct ODFB URL for each user, it is best to check the “PersonalSpace” user profile property for each Office 365 user to determine the exact ODFB URL. The code below shows how to obtain the personal site URL:

# load the user profile to get the ODFB or “PersonalSpace” URL

$properties = $peopleManager.GetPropertiesFor( "i:0#.f|membership|$Identity" )


Invoke-ClientContextWithRetry -ClientContext $ClientContext

if( $properties.UserProfileProperties -and $properties.UserProfileProperties.ContainsKey( "PersonalSpace" ) )


$userPersonalSiteUrl = $properties.UserProfileProperties["PersonalSpace"]


Additional Notes regarding the code above:

$peopleManager = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.UserProfiles.PeopleManager($ClientContext)

The $userPersonlSiteUrl obtained above will have to be added to the following root URL to obtain the complete ODFB URL: “https://{Office 365 tenant name}”

Step 2

Any users that were identified as missing in Office 365 during step #1 need to be created now and assigned a valid user license. The Office 365 admin should be able to handle this via their standard user provisioning process. Please consider that you may have to map user emails from Jive to Office 365 if the user has a different username in Office 365, although this situation did not occur during our recent project.

Step 3

Now that all your users are set up in Office 365, you need to ensure all the ODFB sites are setup/provisioned. You must use a SharePoint Online global administrator and site collection administrator in order to run the ODFB provisioning code in this step.

Since provisioning takes time, please plan accordingly to properly provision each account and complete the migration on time. Obviously, to save time, we only provisioned the users that had personal private content in Jive and that did not already have a self-provisioned ODFB site. Using the data collected in Step #1 significantly reduced the amount of time required to complete Step #3. But even then, provisioning took a significant amount of time, so please plan enough time to complete this step. In our experience, it took between 1-2 minutes to provision each ODFB site, but this value can vary significantly based on many factors. It is best to provision a small batch of ODFB sites to check how long it is taking in your specific Office 365 tenant. I also recommend running the provisioning scripts during low tenant usage times for faster provisioning rates.

Please keep in mind that there is a limit of 200 users per batch when doing bulk provisioning. You will want to ensure that the batch is complete before starting the next full batch of 200 since there is a queue for the tenant that will only process up to 200 users at a time.

Here are the primary PowerShell script lines for provisioning the ODFB site:

#Run OneDrive/PersonalSite Provisioning in batches of 200 since that is the batch size limit, so the list of usernames passed into $usersToProvision should not exceed 200 total users

Request-SPOPersonalSite -UserEmails $usersToProvision -NoWait;

Note: Microsoft.Online.SharePoint.PowerShell module must be installed to run the code above.

After all batches are run, I recommend rerunning the script from Step #1 to verify that each ODFB site was properly provisioned before moving on to Step #4.

Step 4

Before the content can be uploaded to the ODFB sites, the migration user account must be added to each ODFB site as a secondary site collection administrator. By default, the ODFB user is the only site collection administrator for their respective ODFB site, and therefore the only user with access to the ODFB site content. The migration user account being added to each ODFB site must be an administrator with upload rights and must also be licensed for SharePoint Online.

This migration user account will only be temporarily added to the ODFB sites for the purposes of migration.

Here is a code example of a PowerShell script that adds the migration user account to the ODFB site as a secondary site collection administrator:

#Add secondary admin here: 

Connect-SPOService -Url $tenantAdminUrl -Credential $credential

$sODFBSite=$mysitewebUrl + $userPersonalSiteUrl

Set-SPOUser -Site $sODFBSite -LoginName $secondaryODFBAdmin -IsSiteCollectionAdmin $true

Additional Information about the code variables above:

$secondaryODFBAdmin = "{email address for admin user being added as secondary site collection admin}"

$mysitewebUrl = "https://{Office 365 tenant name}";

$userPersonalSiteUrl = same personal ODFB site URL obtained in the Step #1 code example from the User Profile Property named “PersonalSpace”.

$tenantAdminUrl = "https://{Office 365 tenant name}"

$credential = a credential object for a specified user name and password

Step 5

Now that the users and ODFB sites are all prepared in Office 365, we are finally ready for the actual migration of the files/content.

To upload the Jive personal content to ODFB, we agreed with our customer that all Jive content would be placed in a newly created subfolder named “Migration”. You can place the content wherever you would like in ODFB, but we recommend identifying a standard location, especially if you have a large number of users. This becomes especially important for communicating with users when the IT support person does not have direct access to the ODFB site files or folder structure, yet has to direct the user where to find their recently migrated content. Of course, a subfolder name should be selected that is unique for all the existing ODFB sites, so the Jive content is organized in a new, distinct location with no chance of overwriting an existing file.

During our recent migration project, we also created additional subfolders under the new “Migration” subfolder, labeled by Jive Content Type, to help further sort the files and allow the user to find items more easily.

Here is a code example of creating a new subfolder in ODFB, so all migrated files can be found in a standard location for each user:

using (var clientContext = new ClientContext(URL))


List list = clientContext.Web.Lists.GetByTitle("Documents");

clientContext.Credentials = new SharePointOnlineCredentials(userName, secure);



Folder NewFolder = list.RootFolder.Folders.Add("Migration");




The URL in the first line of code is the personal ODFB site. The “Documents” list is the default location for ODFB files. In the example above, we added a new subfolder named “Migration” to place all the migrated Jive personal content files, but this subfolder name could obviously be changed for a new migration.

Once the new “Migration” subfolder was created (as well as our other custom subfolders), we used our standard file upload functions to move the personal content files into each appropriate ODFB site, iterating through each user that was identified as having personal content.

Step 6

As a final step, remove the secondary site collection admin after the migration has been tested/verified. There may be reasons to keep the secondary site collection admin, such as oversight and support; but in our case, we removed this secondary site collection administrator once the migration was verified so the user would not see this additional admin user in their personal ODFB site.


Although this article focuses on Jive personal content migration to OneDrive for Business, please keep in mind that the steps described above can be used to migrate files from other sources over to ODFB sites in Office 365.

If you follow the 6 Steps above, you should be able to move more of your users’ content into Office 365 from Jive or elsewhere and enable your users to better take advantage of the benefits of OneDrive for Business. Consolidating your users’ information into one common location really improves the user experience and efficiency, and will be well worth the effort.


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Kristi WebbHow to Migrate Jive Personal Files to OneDrive for Business

Scaling Up for Upcoming Jive to Office 365 Migrations

Danny Ryan

Co-Host – Danny Ryan

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Sam Marshall

Guest – Chris Edwards

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Danny:Hello, and welcome to the Two Bald Brothers on a Microphone podcast. This is one of the Bald Brothers. This is my second podcast for the day. Now that Tommy’s out, I’m catching up on all my podcasts. Tommy’s taking some time off, well needed time off. You look like you could use some time off too, right?


Chris:I could definitely use some time off.


Danny:When’s your next vacation coming up? Anytime soon?


Chris:Actually, probably in about a month or so.


Danny:Okay, good. I am talking here with, if you’re wondering who that is, that’s Chris Edwards, the famous Chris Edwards. How you doing, Chris Edwards?


Chris:I’m doing pretty good. Definitely ready for that vacation. I think I’m not too far from that Bald Brother myself.


Danny:You’re working on it up there.


Chris:I’m working on it, yeah.


Danny:Excellent. It can be Three Bald Brothers on a Microphone.


Chris:Yeah, Laurie …


Danny:Although, we’re not brothers, but hey. We’re kind of brothers.


Chris:We’ve been working together for a long time so it’s all good.


Danny:Hey, you can stop holding my hand now. That’s kind of weird.




Danny:So, I wanted just to catch up with you. Yeah, it’s wonderful that you’re busy. Busy is good. That keeps us out of trouble and it’s wonderful to have lots of opportunities to go learn new things, help people out. You’ve been primarily doing Jive migrations recently?


Chris:Yeah. That seems to be my world. It’s been my world for a little while now and continues to be, so it’s a hot item and it’s actually kind of fun. You know, there’s a lot of challenges that go with it but a lot of fun things and it’s nice to see, you know, we can really help a customer solve their problems and make them happy and get a really successful migration.


Danny:Yeah, so you’ve been doing this now for a couple of year … you’re probably the, the first line of code was written by you for this.


Chris:It was.


Danny:A skunk-works project like most things.


Chris:Yeah, I mean, we … you know, the original impetus for this particular thing was we had our own Jive migrations to do and wrote the code to do that and it just kind of organically grew from there. So, kind of cool.


Danny:Yep. Nice and, nowadays we’re getting into the whole idea of creating factories, I don’t know what that, I know what a factory is but I guess just trying to scale up what we’re doing, as well.


Chris:Yeah, so I mean, I’ve been involved pretty much in every Jive migration. Kind of heavily involved, in every one we’ve done. And I try to get it to the point now where we could hand off to a team. They completely do a Jive migration from soup to nuts, really without any of my interaction. But obviously I would definitely like to be involved.


Danny:You’re not planning on getting hit by a bus, right?


Chris:No, not good. Not planning on, never that plan, so.


Danny:This just turned into a therapy session. Are you okay? Do you want- Do you want to- Do you need to-


Chris:I need to lay down. Yeah. You don’t have a couch in here. Put the microphone above me and there you go, it would be okay.


Danny:How do you really feel? It’s alright. Go ahead. I digress, go ahead.


Chris:Yeah, so yeah, so really just trying to get it to the point where we can hand off to a core group and let them facilitate these migrations and allow us to focus in on even improving the user experience, improving the really, what we’re actually, when we migrate to the SharePoint platform, or the Microsoft platform, or whatever platform we’re targeting, I’d like to be able to focus in on more things like improving the user experience and making it even a better experience than Jive.


So, being able to focus on that and then turning it loose at factory to let other folks just go ahead and try to do the migrations. That’s kind of the new objective.


Danny:So, have … I know there’s been some projects where we’ve worked some more on some of the utilities. Are we adding just more content types that we’re migrating, or more destinations as far as where the content’s going, or what?


Chris:I’d say, more content types are always a nice thing. We always try to do that, but really just kind of improving how the existing content types, how we’re doing it and how they actually go over in the target platform.




Chris:Not really looking at too many different target platforms at the moment. I mean … there are some teams, maybe one, in consideration.




Chris:So, but still part of the Microsoft world, kind of right now.


Danny:Gotcha. Gotcha. I think one of the things coming off of the discussion this morning with is looking at, what are the products that are out there, and I think everybody here is … I get this question, which I rare- typically refer off to Sam about, which is people moving from Jive and over into Office 365. Is there a product or set of products that they really should take a look at? And I think we’re … You can talk with me about that. I’m not going to say it on this podcast because that would be giving too much away, but that’s a common question that comes up for us, and I think that it’s interesting, where there are so many different products that are out there, and seeing what people are moving to, and it also sounds like we’re getting some experience with not just moving some of the content to Office 365, but then there’s some other products that have their own stuff that are out there too, so …


Chris:Yeah, we’ve had some pretty good experience working with some other customers and then, kind of spreading across the platform a little bit, so some have been Office 365, some of it, other CMS type platforms, where it actually kind of bridges the gap between the two. We’ve done some work with some third parties to kind of make that happen, so I mean, that’s the nice thing. We’ve kept the architecture of this simple so we can make that happen very easily.


Danny:That’s nice. Nice.


Chris:Gonna continue down that pathway I think.


Danny:Good, good. What … tell me what, anything else going on right now as far as are there, I know there’s a side project that we have sort of going on with making some, having some improvements being done, creating some demo environments and things like that?


Chris:Yeah, so one of the things we’re trying to improve our sizing and estimation capabilities, so we want to be able to very simply hand off a utility to a customer. Have them run it with minimal input, minimal kind of dependencies, and let them come back with some good detail that tells us, okay, how big is your Jive incidence? How many places? How much content do you have? Really, kind of do some upfront work. You know, if we ever enter into a workshop it helps us kind of gauge how big, and how to best kind of table that workshop for the customer.




Chris:I mean, that’s the whole thing. That’s one of the things we want to do is make these workshops as solid as possible when we go in. You know, the more information and relevance we have going in, the better. That’s with the size of utilities. Getting boosted, boosted up on.


Another thing is we’re looking … we have another thing called the J2SP or Jive SharePoint Runner, and what that allows us to do is that all these configurations, that you can imagine, every migration’s different and that basically involves lots of switches and dials and things, combinations of things that could or could not be done, so we’re trying to put that in a way that can be used as runner utility that’s going to kind of collaborate and kind of make that much more concise. Less error prone, I should say, to make migrations very predictable, yet still not lose any of the configuration options.


We want to maintain … if the customer wants to do something very custom, we still have the ability to do that. We document it. We capture it. We don’t have to think about it anymore. Whereas, right now, it’s a lot of, you know, we got to pay attention to a lot of that stuff, a lot of this documenting and run books, things like that.


Danny:Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Chris:So I’m trying to get better about managing that information.


Danny:What else are you excited about right now?


Chris:Just really, I want to see the volume of these things increase and to see us being able to say, oh I’ll bring it, yeah, Is that what you’re telling me, huh? I want you to bring it. Let’s bring it. Let’s do it, so. Really want it. That’s the whole thing is like, we know how to do it and we’ve been very successful at doing these migrations. We know how to do them, and I think we’ve proven that. But now we want to do, more than once.


Danny:You have no idea.


Chris:Yeah, let’s do it.


Danny:Well, I know you need to run off somewhere and I appreciate you taking the time to do this …




Danny:… and catching up, and thank you for all the hard work you’re putting in. I hope … I’m glad to hear you’ve got something a month or so off, and enjoy your time off for that, and there’ll be plenty of work here when you get back.


Chris:Oh yeah.


Danny:But just enjoy it. It’s important to, just to stay balanced with things and just appreciate all your hard work that you’re putting toward this, and it’s fun to see something sort of, give it some watering and seeing it grow into something different, and new, and keeping it challenging.


I think there’s lots of good challenges that are coming along with this, and then, well, this will grow into something different maybe. We try some other migration, trying to get some other platform into Office 365. That’s … I’m thinking about that. That’s my job, to figure out what’s coming after this, and there I, why, I’ve got more ideas than I have time. But don’t we all?


Chris:But they’re fun.


Danny:Yeah. So, I appreciate all your hard work that you’re putting in.


Chris:Thank you.


Danny:And thanks. Keep it up, and you brace yourself.


Chris:Here we go. Here we go.


Danny:Yeah, see, I interact with [Bruce 00:08:38], and Bruce has already told me to slow down, so …




Danny:… he’s the throttler, so, but I’ll keep it coming, I’ll say, “Chris said. I was talking to Chris on the podcast.”


Chris:Yeah, he said go for it, yeah, so yeah.


Danny:Well, thank you all. Thank you for all this listening into this little conversation that we’re having here, and I appreciate the chance to catch up with you, Chris, and keep up the good work.




Danny:Thanks everybody for listening. Have a wonderful day. Take care. Bye-bye.




Additional Credits

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

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empty.authorScaling Up for Upcoming Jive to Office 365 Migrations

New SharePoint “Intranet-in-a-Box” Report for 2018

Danny Ryan

Co-Host – Danny Ryan

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Sam Marshall

Guest – Sam Marshall

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Danny:Hello, and welcome to the Two Bald Brothers and a Microphone Podcast. This is one of the Bald Brothers, Danny. Tommy is fortunately taking the day off today so he won’t be on this podcast, but I am catching up with Sam Marshall from ClearBox. Sam, how are you doing?


Sam:Hi there, Danny. I’m very well, thank you, and it’s great to be back on the podcast. Thanks.


Danny:Excellent, excellent. You’re the first person for us to do two podcast episodes with.


Sam:Oh, I’m honored.


Danny:Your career is full right now. You can retire now.


Sam:Yeah, that’s it. It don’t get any better than this.


Danny:I appreciate you taking the time to do this. I just wanted to start off with a follow-up. The first time we talked, you guys put out a great report that I know a lot of our customers are interested in, and it’s about the whole intranet-in-a-box market. You recently did an update to that report and added some new folks to it and catching up with some trends, and just give me an overview of what’s new in this report that you’ve just put out. You put it out in December, is that correct?


Sam:That’s right, yeah, so just at the end of last year. It’s a complete rewrite, so every single word is new in this report. It’s 430 pages, so it’s almost doubled in size. I think you’ve seen a photograph of a spiral-bound paper copy, and yeah, you really could use it in self-defense classes as well as as a reference.


Danny:It does wonderful for keeping doors open as well.


Sam:That’ll be its purpose next year when we release the 2019 edition, yeah. Maybe I should explain, so intranet-in-a-box, what we’re looking at is products that take the base SharePoint On-Prem or SharePoint Online that you get with Office 365 and add on a whole bunch of functionality that most folks look for when they turn it into an intranet, so things like news publishing, and a lot more control over the [inaudible 00:02:10] market area that we noticed back in 2015, and it’s interesting.


I was growing, because at first I had six products. Last year I had 26 products. This year, over 50 companies asked us to include them, and we ended up doing detailed hands-on reviews of 34 of those. Then there’s another eight that were kind of new and upcoming and we thought, “Well, they’re interesting and we want to acknowledge them, but we don’t really want to spend a huge amount of time,” so we list them as a two- to three-page summary with some screenshots and so on, but we don’t actually score and rate them like we do with the other 34.


Danny:You have 10 people who work on this, and it’s over 700 hours? This is a pretty fair-sized project.


Sam:It really is, yeah. I guess this is how schoolteachers feel when they do the annual prom. You know, it just kind of consumes all your time as you get towards the deadline. We have six reviewers, so everybody who does a review has been an intranet manager, they know SharePoint really well, but I think what’s really important that they also get the mindset of an intranet manager and what businesses are looking for out of these products, rather than just having a checklist of features and functionality, which tends to be the bread and butter of SharePoint conversations. This is much more about, “Okay, so as an organization, we want a community where people are sharing knowledge. How would your tool support that?” Then we have the designers and project managers and all the coordinators going on as well to pull it all together.




Sam:Yeah. It’s quite a big undertaking.


Danny:With this brand-new version that you worked on this past year, what were some of the market trends that you saw happening this year or things for us to expect to see in this upcoming year?


Sam:One of the things that really struck me is we asked, “Who’s your biggest client,” in terms of employee numbers, and that shot up. A couple years ago when we were talking to big organizations of maybe 30,000, 40,000 employees, they were saying, “Well, we wish we could use one of these products, but it’s not for us, it’s just for the little companies. We’re too big and our needs are too unique.” Now, more than half of the vendors have got client reference case studies of companies with 30,000 employees or more, and some of them are over 100,000 employees, so I think that’s a really encouraging sign of maturity of these products, that they can cope with the demands of a big company.


It’s great for the big company because now I think they can move forward with confidence and explore this with a good choice of options as well. The challenges for big companies, it’s things like the ability to cope with multiple site collections. You often need to deal with multiple brands, so one of the evaluation criteria is to say, “Well, how would you cope with this scenario,” say the Sony brand, but within that you’ve got PlayStation which is also quite a distinctive brand, so you might have an area of the intranet that looked more PlayStation than Sony. They’re all products, but some of them have encountered that before and said, “Yeah, yeah, we can do that.”


Dealing with multiple languages, of course, because most multinationals will work in eight and sometimes 30 or more different languages. What you need is something that, for example, says, “Here’s a news story,” in 12 different languages, and recognizes that it’s the same story rather than 12 unique articles. That’s been one thing I think is really interesting and really good.


At the more fun end, we have one of the scenarios is called wild card, so what we do is we test every product against eight different scenarios so that we compare them equally, but the last one is wild card where we say, “Show us something that we didn’t ask to see so far that we think is a real strength for your product,” and I guess about a dozen vendors said, “Oh, yeah, we’ve got a bot. Let us show you our chatbot.” Some of them are cute rather than useful, I would say, but there are a number of companies who have I think had the real insight to say, “Well, what we’ve been doing with SharePoint in a box, in terms of making it a lot easier to build an intranet on top of SharePoint, we can also do with this chatbot concept to make it a lot easier to build chatbots on top of the Microsoft stack as well.”


They tend to use the Microsoft bot framework and then make it really easy for you to put your own personality and your own content mapping into that. Habanero Go, for example, a Canadian-based firm, they’ve got a nice chatbot called Pepper. I think you’re meant to think of Pepper as in “Iron Man” and that’s really cool, rather than Peppa Pig, but the pig is what first came to my mind.


Danny:I have small kids, so I absolutely know who Peppa Pig is.


Sam:Mesh, so Mesh have MeshBOT. I think what’s great about them was they said, “Well, the problem with a lot of bots is that they don’t do much,” and so you link them up to another system like a workday or your room booking system. There’s always that bit of custom integration which kind of takes away from the in-a-box scene. What they’ve actually done is said, “Well, why don’t we have a bot that helps with Office 365 adoption,” so you can say to the bot, “What is Stream,” or “How do I get a Teams site,” and it will give you an answer within the chat interface as a kind of more friendly and approachable way of doing on-demand training for people.


Danny:One of the things I like about the report is you talk through the whole build versus buy, there’s pros and cons of each. I feel like I’ve had this discussion for most of my career, and most of the time I’m trying to convince people to buy if it’s available out there. That’s typically the better solution, but there are times in which building … and we like to build, because typically when it means build, we’re involved in the building of that process, but I thought it was really … you’re driving it off of what we do, which is what are your requirements. Let’s not just go look at what’s bright and shiny and what are the features that are listed, but really build it off the requirements of the organization.


Sam:Yeah. Yeah, definitely. The trend we see is that companies are trying to buy now whenever they can, because particularly if they’ve been with SharePoint a while, and SharePoint 2010 was all about, “Oh, yeah, customize it as much as you like and make it your own, it’s a platform,” and then they really got burned when they had to migrate to SharePoint 2013. That’s I think why companies like the idea of offloading that risk of maintaining the code and all the customizations that come with the in-a-box tool kit onto a vendor, where the vendor in turn is spreading that risk and that workload across all the client base.


Everybody benefits, we can all win, but the downside is that, yeah, it really is a product, so you’re locked in a lot more, and that’s why clarity on requirements becomes super-important because once you’ve made that choice, it’s got to be a good match for what you’re looking for. You can’t say, “We’ll buy it and then we’ll go in and change everything anyway.” That’s the worst of both worlds.


Danny:Yep. What’s interesting as well is … and you covered this in the intro as well … which is what Microsoft is coming down the pike with, and communication sites and the stuff with … Teams really came on strong this past year. One of the things you probably saw in the blog post that I wrote up on this is there’s … a lot of the features, we’re working with a lot of customers who are coming from Jive, and for folks who don’t know what Jive is, it’s a software company that right now is focusing in on their intranet product, and there’s a lot of companies who have both Jive and Office 365, and those folks are looking to consolidate where they’re moving stuff out of Jive and into Office 365.


We’re seeing some of the features that are coming down the pike are ones that companies want to take advantage of, and now you’ve got the confusion of I’ve got things coming from Microsoft and then I’ve got things coming from this product company, and is one going to outpace the other or how are the two going to work together? I’m sure this comes up a lot when you’re just talking through do you want to go with the buy.


Sam:Oh, it really does, and it comes in two ways. One is the, “Oh, is Microsoft going to fix everything in the next six months so we don’t need to buy this product at all?”


Danny:I can tell you unequivocally no, they won’t.


Sam:Maybe we should be so bold and say, “You can tell me that.”


Danny:I can tell you no. I love Microsoft, but the answer is no.


Sam:Microsoft’s track record is that they are very good at ticking the boxes, and they tend to go broad with their functionality rather than deep. We saw this when the whole social, Web 2.0 stuff came in and SharePoint 2013 got communities and a little bit of commenting, but it wasn’t really as robust or well thought through as indeed Jive and a lot of other products were, and that’s ended up in a bit of a side thing. I think communication sites are a much better sort through. The user experience with them is fantastic, but they really are like microsites. You know, they’re great for producing a one-topic set of pages where you pull together photos and do things in quite a visual way, but they’re a long way from what people are actually looking for in terms of a typical corporate intranet, where you’re trying to build a much more coherent and cross-organizational experience.


That’s one way in which people worry about the change that Microsoft are making. The other one is indeed, what’s going to happen if I install this product and then Microsoft releases a new piece of functionality that I really like? Am I locking the house, and nine times out of ten the answer’s no. You find most of these in-a-box products are basically customized styling, then a set of web parts that will sit alongside Microsoft’s own web parts so you can mix and match, you might say. For example, one of the vendors have their own [inaudible 00:13:27] board, and you might say, “Actually, I think Microsoft’s Planner through an Office 365 does the same kind of thing, and we’d like to switch to that now,” and it’s no problem swapping those things out.


Danny:Tommy hates when I do this, but I have to ask a question that I gave you no heads-up on, but I have to do it. You’re bracing yourself, right, right now? It seems like sometimes in this situation, like with Yammer, that Microsoft ends up buying one of these companies and incorporating it into their product suite, I would love to … you know, it’s just you and I talking here and the rest of the people who are listening to this, but I wonder … and I’ll say more of my thoughts in this, and you can just say, “That’s very nice, Danny,” but I wonder if, looking ahead to things, whether one of these products is something that Microsoft would buy.


Then I want to know in the end … you know, we’re going out and meeting with customers where they are, and you mentioned earlier 50 different options. You want to know what’s going to be around, and these are long-term decisions. I mean, this is four to five-plus years that you’re betting on something. I just wonder at some certain point in time is Microsoft going to just say, “Okay, this is what we’re going to go with,” like they did with Yammer or like they did with something else. You can say nothing at all if you want to. You can say, “That’s nice, Danny.”


Sam:Great question, Danny, thank you. Tommy, I think, sent me some other questions that were a lot … no.




Sam:I have no information at all, and even if I did, I’d say I’ve got no information. I’d be very surprised if Microsoft did, simply because none of these vendors are really working at the kind of scale of companies that Microsoft normally buys. You know, Yammer had millions of customers. The origins of most of the in-a-box vendors is that they’ve been agencies serving normally quite a limited geographic base, and they’ve taken that code, packaged it up in something which is more productized, and rolled out to the local geography. This year, one of the new things we add is what we call the intranet choice selections.


Danny:I really like that.


Sam:Ones that scored really well across the board, we said, “Why don’t we just flag these as ones that we think you should consider for your short list,” because there’s no real avoiding the fact that we’re doing a comparative assessment and we’re giving scores for these things, so it’s easy enough to look at a tale and say, “Hey, these guys look pretty good.”


One of the intranet choice awards was for multinational companies, and there weren’t actually that many vendors where you could say, “These guys could take a support call from anywhere around the world and actually have a local partner that might come and help you if you’ve got issues with it.” Most of them, they’re either strong in the U.S. or they’re strong in Europe, but not many are at the kind of size that say Yammer was when Microsoft bought them. If we do the same podcast this time next year after Microsoft’s bought one of the young companies, I’ll backpedal rapidly and explain why, why what I just said still makes sense.


Danny:Nice. We’re talking with Owen Allen from [Inaudible 00:16:57] in one of the upcoming podcasts. He’s a great guy. We’ve known him since he was at Microsoft in the group, in the SharePoint product group, but man, this is a very fast-moving market, so it’s just interesting to see how this is going to play out.


Now, just describing this process of trying to decide who to go with, I think what you did with the awards, it definitely helps people with making sure that their short list at least has some of the ones that are obvious ones, and then I guess people also look and say, “Is there someone in my region, or some someone maybe focused?” Have any of these verticalized, or are they pretty much all for … you look and see who’s in the region or what sort of features you’re looking for?


Sam:I think it is primarily about understanding your requirements and then matching to features. That’s half of the equation. We did wrestle a bit about whether we should do the intranet choice, because I’ve always been emphatic that the best product for you is the one that matched what you want, without buying loads of redundant features that you’re paying extra bucks for and are never going to use. That’s why we don’t have an overall winner, because there’s no overall best product, but there are some that are worth shortlisting. Once you’ve got your short list, then the other side of the equation is about your relationship with the vendor, because that still also really matters.


We’ve worked with a few big clients in Europe now where some of the North American offerings would be really good, except that when you factor in that you’re talking about a seven-hour time difference, there’s a practicality there about getting support and getting things up and running, plus the cost sometimes of flying bodies over the Atlantic that saying, “Yeah, maybe we do go with someone who’s more local, whose product isn’t quite as good,” but then there’s always that scope for a bit of customization on top.


The other big trend that we’ve seen over the course of the last 12 months is many more of the vendors setting up partnerships, and that’s great because that allows them to operate in multiple markets and cover more of those time zones.


Danny:That’s great to hear. This whole selection process, this is something that you can help clients out with? Is this a project type for you? Is that what I understand?


Sam:Thank you for asking. Yes, it is indeed.


Danny:Yeah, some of your services then. Come on, come on. I’m feeding you here. It’s a softball.


Sam:I revel at sales, but we are finally really a consultancy, and most of the time when people come to us, it’s because they’ve got an intranet and they’re saying, “Yeah, no, it’s just not doing what we hoped it would do, it’s been neglected, people hate it, they can’t find stuff,” and there’s been some trigger to refresh it all. It might be that they’re moving to a new technology or it might be they’ve acquired another company or they’re going through a restructuring, any of these kind of technical, strategic, business strategic drivers for it.


We help them think through what their intranet and digital upgrade strategy should be, and then within that of course at a certain point you say, “What’s the technology stack that’s going to help us deliver this?” As can you see, I’m still kind of angling for the requirements first, clarity on strategy first, and then you come onto the product piece.


Increasingly, what’s been helping people choose ClearBox as the consultants of choice is that we understand the in-a-box market really well. If they’ve already decided that, say, Office 365 is the technology for them … and that’s pretty common these days … then what we want to help with is saying, “Yeah, what should be on our short list, and what do we need to make clear to the vendors so that they can respond to an RFP?”


One of the things we really beefed up in the report this year is the non-functional requirements side. We asked a lot more questions about the deployment process for the tool and where the data lives, so even if our own organization might be happy about data in the cloud, it might have to be that it’s local to them. EU legislation says your data needs to be stored in the European Union, so that would rule out some of the Azure-based solutions that we see.


That said, you know, we also have clients who come to us saying … what normally happens is IT have decided that SharePoint’s the answer, and internal comms have said, “Over my dead body,” and they come to us as like the marriage guidance counselor saying, “Can you talk sense into those other people in my organization?”


We act as the neutral party. Whatever decision is made, it’s all good for us in terms of saying, “Yeah, what are the pros and cons of SharePoint,” versus maybe one of the more dedicated intranet platforms like Salt Farmer or Interact or Oak or Justly. You know, there’s loads of other good non-Microsoft technology solutions out there which I still think can be a very good fit for some organizations, depending on the resource level they have and how much they’re in the collaboration piece versus the communication piece.


You guys, I’m really interested in the amount of activity around Jive. You had an interesting podcast link just before Christmas talking about one of your big projects, migrating from Jive onto Office 365. What is it that people look for, that you see in Office 365 that’s great in Jive but maybe not so strong from Microsoft?


Danny:Hey, I ask the questions around here, buddy.


Sam:I’m not clear on the interview format, am I? Sorry.


Danny:No, it is a two-way conversation. I’m sorry, Sam, I just had to.


Sam:Tommy, where are you?


Danny:He’s somewhere. He’s somewhere in the middle of some field. Part of just back to what you were saying a little bit earlier with the whole IT versus corporate comms, we’re brought in on this, and it is often … my first conversations with these folks are around, “What’s your vision for doing this? Let’s get into talking through why you’re do this in the first place,” and that helps to uncover some things. There’s the obvious. The business case that usually people are putting around this is the obvious consolidation one, where people have the perception of what we’re doing in Jive, we can do all of this over in Office 365.


The issue that I run into … and you saw this in the blog post as well, which is … and this sometimes comes with working with some of the Microsoft account teams … is the expectation that you can just take Jive and move the content over into Office 365 and that’s an equivalent. The answer is no, and I usually have to start setting expectations about that. Then that’s where I get into typically talking about two different work streams. One is retaining that corporate IP that’s in Jive and getting it over into the appropriate place inside of Office 365, and then the second part is around really the requirements, the user experience, are you going to build versus buy, and having those conversations and making sure that if they haven’t started thinking about it, that they are thinking about it.


This is usually typically … you know, you see me pull you into these conversations, which is, “Have you looked at what’s available in the marketplace? If you haven’t gotten the report, you need to get the report,” and that’s usually where I’m making a connection to you, and then I try to … because some people come in and they want to say, “Okay, we’re using Jive right now. Which product is the best one?” I have to come back to them and say, “What are your requirements? What do you want to do?” Because not everybody uses Jive the same way either, and some people rely on certain things more than others. They may or may not use blog posts. Different aspects of Jive can be used as well. It’s more of a product than a platform, but it’s still … it’s multifaceted and has its own add-in modules and those types of things.


For us, what we’re seeing is one is to make sure that everybody is on the same page initially, that you just can’t pour it from one to another, that there is going to be work involved whether you build versus buy. We often will recommend the evaluation of what’s out there in the marketplace. Some of our angst about buying something is the fact that a lot of these products have come from agencies, and so how long are they going to be around? For me, I don’t want to recommend that they go with something. I know what happens. We’ve brought products to market. I mentioned one of them, and there’s a couple of them I’ve had to bring out back and put down. It’s not fun, but it happens. I don’t want to recommend to a client something that, three years from now, the company decided to go into a different direction.


As you know, there’s a big difference between services and product companies, and so that’s where I want to make sure that they’re making a good decision and are doing the due diligence, and are downloading the reports and making sure they’re aware of what’s available out there. For the Jive, it really is … there’s a couple … it’s looking also as far as are they looking for more of a turnkey solution, so something that just sort of does what it does, and we’re getting the stuff over and it is more Jivelike, where you can only do it this one way and it does it that way well, and it’s got a nice … it has some other features that are very Jivelike, versus are they looking for more of a platform that they want to build on and extend, more of a product that provides more of a layer and something that can be built upon? We’re often having those types of conversations as well.


You know, there’s been certain companies that I think have capitalized on the whole I’ll call it exodus from Jive, so we’ve done more work with other product companies, versus certain product companies seem to be able to capitalize on the whole opportunity that’s at hand there. It’s just interesting to see, because we don’t … what’s nice is you’re saying you’re staying vendor-neutral. We’re staying … we didn’t create a product that we brought to the market, so we’re not trying to sell our own stuff, and I’m not trying to sell … I try to … you’d be amazed how many projects I go back to them and I say, “Listen, we can’t … we’re not going to build out Jive on Office 365 for you, because it’s not the right thing to do. It’s too expensive to do it,” and we’re talking ourselves out of projects, but it’s just going to be the right thing for people to do. It’s evolving.


I think with what we’re seeing with what Microsoft is putting out, I think there might be a point at which people say, “Well, I just need this, this and this,” and Office 365 will become more of a compelling … well, you just need Office 365, but right now I just … most of the … and we’re focusing more on companies that are 10,000 users or greater, so we’re typically trying to find the larger implementations. For those companies, I really think they need to look at what’s out in the market. That was a long answer, and I don’t even think I answered your original question. How about that? Did I answer your … I don’t even know if I did.


Sam:You gave it consultant answer, which is, “Well, it depends.”


Danny:It depends, and if you want the answer, it’s really expensive.


Sam:The thought you were going to say is that Jive is really strong on communities and there’s no direct equivalent within Office 365. My impression is that Yammer groups are not really as fully-featured as Jive communication. Jive Spaces, is that right?


Danny:Yeah, Jive Spaces are where the … they have Jive Space and Groups, and Spaces is more for like communication at the department level, versus Groups is more team-based.


Sam:Okay, so the groups.


Danny:When I look at … we do want to educate people on what they’re moving over into. Part of what we need to do is show them what is in Office 365, because we are typically coming in like with you, where the business is upset because somebody’s about to move things. The thing that I’m fascinated by is some of the companies not deciding to move their content, which that just … I’m like, “How are you expecting to be … ” I can understand there’s … I mean, over time we’ve been able to identify that yes, there’s some very transient content like the stuff that typically happens, the Yammer-based, I just need to know it for a short period of time, but in Jive you have a lot of document-based content.


You have a lot of … you know, people are describing their internal processes. There’s some very important line-of-business applications, and for those I’m like, “You need to have this content move forward.” Sometimes I’m trying to convince people, saying, “You don’t want to leave that,” because why would someone ever take the time to produce the content in the new system if you just threw it away in the old system? That doesn’t make sense.


All right, we have talked for a little over 30 minutes. I think we could talk for another 30 minutes, especially if Tommy was here. We could probably have some very good questions, but yeah. I think wrapping it up with the Jive thing, there’s typically lots of conversations around what goes into Yammer. The whole content type discussion typically comes up for us.


Sam:Maybe briefly I can comment on that concern about if the vendor’s going to stick around.


Danny:Sure, please.


Sam:One of the things we do in the report is ask about the scale of the client base and how long the company’s been established. We decline now to review products that have been out for less than a year, because we have done that in the past. We’ve reviewed a product and then they pulled it from the market. I think the flip side is in the past, if you did build your own with an agency, in effect the agency’s built your product and then they’ve walked away with no obligation to sustain it either. The fallback is always that your content is still there on SharePoint or on Office 365, and if you use the same product for years, that’s pretty much the life cycle of how your intranet use will be anyway. You might not get all the benefits, but it’s not quite as risky as, say, buying into Jive and the whole company folding.


Danny:Yep. Yeah, it’s interesting you mention that too, because one of our services that we have is a service called sustainment, which is what we leave. You know, when we’re building out what we build out, we want to make sure … and this is driven primarily by clients, but we typically put a year to three-year contracts in place so that … you know, typically we’re creating a product, so we want to maintain that over time, and that needs to happen. Some people don’t … they’re so focused in on the building part of things, they forget about the sustainment part of things.


Okay, I will put … for folks who are looking at this or reading this through blog post, I will put a link at the bottom to the report, definitely. I can’t say enough good things about the report. Go download it. Yeah, I don’t get paid to refer it. You’re nice enough to let me read it, but I think it’s just … I want all of our clients to be well educated, and I appreciate the time and the effort that you put towards putting this together. Definitely go and download the report. I’ll put a discount code in as well, so that Sam can say, “Oh, these Ryan boys, they’re just great. They’re good folks.”


Sam:Yeah. We already say that.


Danny:Sam, thank you so much for what you do and for taking the time to do this, and maybe we’ll check in midway through this year or later on this year when you’ve got a new totally rewritten report.


Sam:That will be toward the end of this year.


Danny:You’re going to the same thing every year? That’s kind of cruel to yourself. You don’t just reuse what you have?


Sam:I think, you know, this last report is probably as big as it’s going to get. Now that we know the products that are really interesting, we’ll try and go deeper onto your products, is the way forward. It’s really hard to turn vendors away because they come along, and actually there are so many vendors doing great things. We don’t want to like exclude all the Australians just because they’re a different market, so we do want to be the definitive report in this space. I’m very happy that we are able to cover as much ground as we do. Yeah, Danny, really good to talk to you. Thank you ever so much for having me back on the podcast.


Danny:Absolutely, absolutely. What’s your Twitter handle, in case folks want to follow you?




Danny:Excellent, excellent. Well, thank you for taking the time do this, and have a wonderful weekend, and thank you everyone for listening. Thank you. Bye-bye.




Additional Credits

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

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empty.authorNew SharePoint “Intranet-in-a-Box” Report for 2018

SharePoint Intranet-in-a-Box Report from ClearBox

Danny serves as Vice President of Marketing at ThreeWill. His primary responsibilities are to make sure that we are building partnerships with the right clients and getting out the message about how we can help clients.

Every time I talk to a new client wanted to move from Jive to Office 365 I have to point this out – Office 365 (out of the box) is not a replacement for Jive.

Yes, there is plenty of overlap between the two products. And, yes, with recent updates from Office 365/SharePoint online like Teams (much like Groups in Jive) and SharePoint Communication Sites (much like Spaces in Jive) the overlap grows with each day.

But, as it stands today, you need to either:

  1. Build a bespoke/custom Office 365 Intranet or
  2. Buy/configure an “Intranet in a Box.”

I typically point this out to clients by describing two workloads when moving from Jive to Office 365:

Workstream 1 – Jive Content Migration to Office 365

  • Purpose is to retain corporate IP locked up in Jive and into appropriate location in Office 365
  • Proof of Concept (migrate a few places) and Pilot (pick key department to migrate)
  • Production – typically done in waves and time for user acceptance and triaging/remediation of issues

Workstream 2 – Customization and User Experience

  • Decisions about making experience more Jive-like (Build vs Buy “Intranet in a Box”)
  • Implementation of either Build on Office 365 or Buy and Configure “Intranet in a Box”

Enter ClearBox’s Intranet-in-a-Box Report

When prospects understand Workstream 2 they naturally ask for our recommendation for which product to buy (if they do want to buy). This is typically when I introduce them to Sam Marshall and his Intranet-in-a-Box report (use “twobb10” for 10% off).

With 34 products (and 8 “short listings”) in the latest version of the report, the first goal is to begin to shortlist which products to evaluate. This report is an essential resource to do this. Sam also describes the process of selecting a product (and as it should, it begins with your requirements as the focus and not the features of a product).

Sam and his team also added a section on which options stood out for different regions (Europe, North America, Multi-National) and different reasons (Value, User Experience). These “Intranet Choice” awards help make sure the products that should be on your short list are not overlooked.

My favorite section of the report is where Sam and his team point out the benefits of using in-a-box products vs. building on top of Office 365. The table on page 11 of the report is very insightful and helpful for you and your team to make the decision about build vs buy.

On to the Product Evaluations

ClearBox focuses on these scenarios in the report: News publishing, User experience, Social and knowledge management, Search, Analytics, Employee services, Integration, and Wildcard. They provide screenshots for each of the products (typically with laptop and mobile views) for visual folks like me. They provide “price brands” for various numbers of users (500, 5,000, and 50,000).

Next, they cover details on the company and product, deployment, and support. This helps you find a fit to your company by answering questions like the location of the company and the typical client size for the product. For most of the products, you can also get a select list of customers.

The deployment section covers the versions of SharePoint / Office 365 supported by the product and options for how the product is deployed. They also cover how product updates occur, mobile support, accessibility compliance and the set-up process for new clients.

Finally, in each of the product evaluations, they cover technical support, user community, and partners/resellers. This section was invaluable to me – as a service provider some of the companies work through a partner model and some companies go direct (and provide product and services).

Next, we get product highlights with plenty of visuals and insights from the ClearBox team. This includes suggested areas to improve and considerations. To wrap up the review, they share what’s next up on the roadmap for the product.

And then on to the next 33 products. Which is why this report is over 400 pages long.

The last section covers some new products for “newer and niche offerings.”

Some Personal Thoughts

Many of these offerings are from services companies like ThreeWill that decided to build a product.  We’ve decided to focus on Workload 1 and partner with companies – here’s an example.  We learned the lesson years ago that you need to focus on one or the other. If I have any advice from my experience, it is…make sure the company is committed to the product and will be investing in the product in upcoming years. There’s nothing worse than owning a product that is no longer supported and/or doesn’t have a roadmap because the company has reverted back to services.  This happens.  Trust me (I’ve had to “put down” several products because I ran out of runway).


I recommend purchasing this report for clients for the following reasons:

  1. You want to understand the current market ecosystem for “Intranet-in-a-Box” products for SharePoint and Office 365.
  2. You are trying to decide whether to build vs buy.
  3. You need to do “due-diligence” around what products are in the market since this decision is one you will live with for years (chatting with Sam I found out that it took a team of 10 people over 700 hours of work to produce and that it saves buyers over 15 working days of effort to select a product…paying for itself in no time).
  4. You are a partner like ThreeWill and want to understand the opportunity in this market.

* We don’t make anything off of this – it just lets Sam know we referred you and how awesome we are as a partner.

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Danny RyanSharePoint Intranet-in-a-Box Report from ClearBox

Real World Jive to Office 365 Migrations with Eric Bowden

Danny Ryan

Host – Danny Ryan

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Sam Marshall

Guest – Eric Bowden

Bio – LinkedIn

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 00:06:50] 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

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empty.authorReal World Jive to Office 365 Migrations with Eric Bowden

Guidelines for Jive to Microsoft Migration Costs

Danny serves as Vice President of Marketing at ThreeWill. His primary responsibilities are to make sure that we are building partnerships with the right clients and getting out the message about how we can help clients.

We’ve been doing a lot of ROM Estimates for Jive to Microsoft costs for clients for budgeting purposes.  Since we’ve been getting this question a lot (budgeting for Jive Migrations in 2018), I worked with Bruce Harple and Kirk Liemohn (our Migrations Practice Lead) to come up with some rules of thumb for creating ROM budgets for migrations (see below).

Typical Costs for a Jive Migration

  • Small – 9.5K workshop plus 30 to 50K implementation
  • Medium – 9.5K workshop plus 50 to 150K implementation
  • Large – 9.5K workshop plus 150K to 500K implementation
  • XL – 9.5K workshop plus 500K+ implementation

Typical Characteristics of a Jive Migration

  • Small – Fewer than 500 places (spaces, groups, and blogs), no new content types and no new destination types for content
  • Medium – 500 – 5000 places, no new content types and no new destination types for content
  • Large – 1000 to 15,000 places, target 1-5 additional content types/destination types
  • XL – 2,000 to 30,000+ places, target 5-10 additional content types/destination types

Please note –

Let me know what questions you have in the comments below.

A full eBook on Jive to Microsoft Migrations will be released later this year – let us know you’d like to be notified when it’s released by joining this list.

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Danny RyanGuidelines for Jive to Microsoft Migration Costs

Jive to Microsoft Migration eBook Excerpt – Questions to Ask Your Service Provider

Bruce is the Vice President of Delivery for ThreeWill. Bruce has over thirty-five years of extensive experience and proven success in IT Professional Services Management, COTS Product Development, Application Management and overall Financial Management.

Here’s a list of questions (with answers for ThreeWill) that we suggest that you ask when talking to service providers about migrating from Jive to Microsoft.

How do you handle the transformation of all the Links/URL’s in Jive as all the content moves to new URLs and destinations in SP/O365?  Do you transform links to people and places as well?

We have a dedicated action in our utilities for handling link transformation.  The link types include people-referencing links, place-referencing links, and content (content type) referencing links.  We use regular expression patterns to scan content, capture links in our inventory database along with the replacement link.  The replacement link is produced based on the type and dedicated business logic.  We retain the original content in our database and represent all replacement links in a separate “Transformed Content” field that is used for SharePoint.  This allows us to know exactly what links were found and replaced.   We also retain all the original content from Jive.

We have other utilities to scan the migrated SharePoint content and search for broken or lingering Jive links; as well as a way to repair these broken/Jive links in-place in SharePoint.  This link repair/replacement process does not disrupt the created/created by and modified/modified by values.

To properly handle links to people, we work with each customer to determine the target profile page and work to ensure a user’s profile can be properly represented in the target environment.

To properly handle links to places, we rely on our destination mapping methodology/formulas to properly construct the target place URL.

How do you handle migration of Jive security groups and associated permissions for both Groups and Spaces?  How do you preserve the security around Private and Secret Groups?

During the inventory process, we pull all Jive people and places into a database.   This process also involves capturing ALL security groups via the Jive API.  We do a deep pull of each security group to also capture members/administrators.

As we are pulling Jive places into inventory, we check to see if we are working with a Jive group or a Jive space.

If we are working with a Jive group, we pull all the group members/owners into a specific table of our database.

If we are working with a Jive space, we pull the respective “Applied Entitlements” (which are at the content type level and related to the previously pulled security groups).

This allows us to represent security for both groups/spaces and makes it possible for us to do detailed reporting and planning for how permissions will be applied in the target environment.   We have a default way to apply permissions to the target SharePoint sites but typically work with each migration customer to further define the rules for applying permissions.

How do you migrate comments associated with all of the different content types in Jive?  How are these comments stored in SP/O365?

We capture all comments and retain the threaded relationship of comments in the database.  Comments are transformed (as described above) in the same way as content.

We have a couple of different options related to how comments are migrated.  One way is to incorporate all comments into the actual content pages (wiki pages in SharePoint).  These comments are fixed (more of an archive).

Another way is to put all comments into a Yammer thread that can be surfaced as a web part in SharePoint.

Overall, the challenge is that SharePoint does not really support the rich commenting in the same way that Jive does… so we have to work with each migration customer to determine the best way to make comments useful/manageable.

How do you migrate all of the different types of video content in Jive – attached, embedded, etc?

We are able to pull video content that has been uploaded to Jive (and may or may not be hosted by a third party).  Typically, we create a video asset library in SharePoint and leverage a separate media streaming server/environment for handling video streaming.  If the videos are consistently small enough, the video “can” be stored directly in SharePoint… but typically we have found it best to reference videos from a media server/platform.   This is another area where we work through individual customer requirements to determine the best video solution.

For embedded videos, we capture the embed details so that the respective video and be embedded in the target SharePoint site.

How do you migrate all image content to SP/O365 and how do you maintain the linkage/references to these images once they are stored in SP/O365?

All images and referenced binary content (attachments, binary file content (Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, etc.)) are organized and consistently stored in a dedicated SharePoint document library.  Referencing content, which may be a wiki page, blog post, discussion list item or reply all reference images, attachments, etc. that have been stored in this dedicated SharePoint document library.

Do you maintain the author/editor of the content when it is migrated to SP/O365?

Yes.  We do maintain the author/editor in all places where possible.  In the case where a person has left the company and/or cannot be found in the target SharePoint environment, we also work with each migration customer to determine the best profile to represent ownership.

Do you maintain the created/modified timestamps of the content when it is migrated to SP/O365?

Yes.  When organizations do a manual move of content, this is one of the key limitations.  Content’s timestamp is key to understanding the value of the content.  Content created 2 weeks ago vs 2 years ago can be a key indicator of the relevance of the content.

How do you handle changes that occur in Jive during the migration?  Do you have a delta/incremental migration?

Yes.  We capture the date/time that content is pulled from Jive AND when it is actually uploaded into SharePoint.  Our utilities can pull deltas (additions and changes) since content, comments, message, etc. were last changed in Jive and can focus just on transforming/uploading the specific delta-based content.

This allows us to pull content from Jive, upload it to SharePoint in batches and during specific hours.  We leverage our delta capability to pull, transform, and upload content right before a site is targeted to go “live”.  Since working with deltas involves a much smaller amount of content than the complete set of content, we can leverage the delta process to best align with migration scheduling/release.

What is your process for mapping Jive places to SharePoint sites?  Do you have the ability to bundle several Jive places in a single SharePoint site collection or split a Jive space hierarchy into several SharePoint site collections?

We produce a consolidated view of all places with a roll up on content details into a spreadsheet we call the Inventory.  This Inventory spreadsheet has additional fields for SharePoint site collection, sub-site, and managed path values.  We leverage formulas and the Jive place-based URL to build the required site collections and paths to all target SharePoint sites.   This detail can be manipulated and customized across the board based on customer requirements.  We can also customize for individual sites.  This constitutes as the mapping that is put into our SQL Server-based inventory database.  The transform and upload operations (as described in the above items) leverages this mapping information to accurately reference content as it lives in SharePoint.

Additional Questions

Here are some more questions to ask – we’d love to discuss these (and more) when you’re talking to us about the migration.

  1. How do you determine what specific places are part of a Jive environment?   Basically, how do you capture your inventory?
  2. How do you determine what places should and should not be migrated?
  3. Are you able to forecast how long a migration will take?
  4. If I want to customize or re-organize my content during the migration planning, what options do I have?
  5. Are you able to coordinate and collaborate with 3rd party vendors during migration planning and delivery?
  6. Can you provide multiple customer references for companies that you have successfully migrated from Jive to Microsoft?

The full book will be released later this year – let us know you’d like to be notified when it’s released by joining this list.

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Bruce HarpleJive to Microsoft Migration eBook Excerpt – Questions to Ask Your Service Provider

Jive to Microsoft Migration eBook Excerpt – Preparing for the Migration

Chris is a Senior Software Engineer at ThreeWill. His area of focus is consulting in the development of Microsoft .NET and SharePoint technologies. His primary role has been development lead in recent projects. Project roles have ranged from Development/Technical Lead to Development Resource.

Jive to Microsoft Migration Step 3 of 9 – Preparing for the Migration

With Over 6 Months to Jive Cut-Off Date

If you have over 6 months of time before you Jive Cut-Off, that is good… you can breathe, but be aware that the time will fade away quickly!

Here are some things to work on to be best prepared for a smooth migration.

  • Work with ThreeWill to run a detailed or “deep” inventory of Jive. (Inventory is described in more detail under Step 5 – Understand the Process)
  • Determine what the target/destination platform will be for the content to migrated.
    • Is the destination SharePoint Online (Office 365)?
    • Is the destination on-premises SharePoint?
    • Is the destination something different… maybe even a hybrid of SharePoint with another platform
  • Are you planning to use Yammer? If so, will this be for all users or a sub-set of users?
  • Work with ThreeWill to set up the process to regularly refresh the inventory to account for additions, updates, and deletes for people, places, and content.

Capturing the Jive inventory also involves the creation of a master inventory spreadsheet.  This spreadsheet is used for additional analysis and planning.  It is important to make it available for all parties involved as an authoritative source of information.  It should not be passed around in email as the information can quickly become stale and/or misrepresented.

  • Review the inventory spreadsheet and analyze the list of Jive places to determine what is and is not to be migrated.

The additional analysis typically consists of identifying fields, such as place/content last modified date, content count, etc. to help determine if a Jive place should be migrated OR simply archived.

  • Determine the specific customizations that need to be done on the destination platform.
    • What are the must-have customizations vs. the nice-to-have or optional customizations?
    • Is a third-party involved? If so, they will need to understand how to work with the Jive inventory.  It is important to pull in the third-party as soon as possible to begin planning as a group.
  • Work with ThreeWill and any third parties to perform one or more proof-of-concept (POC) migrations. Each POC represents the need to prove out one or more technical requirements.  The audience is typically limited to the primary groups involved in the migration.
  • Work with ThreeWill and any third parties to perform one or more Pilot migrations. This is where representation from “the business” is pulled into help review the output from a small-scale migration.

The Pilot audience helps by reviewing the migrated output and providing feedback.  This feedback is used to help refine and correct issues, set expectations, and really help to scale up the production migration.

With Under 6 Months to Jive Cut-Off Date

If you have less than 6 months until the Jive cut-off date, it is important to set realistic expectations for the projected outcome of the migration.

ThreeWill recommends to not take on a complete overhaul of the destination platform.  It is best to keep the migration separate and simple in the scope of overall vision for company collaboration.

Here are some things to work on to keep things as simple as possible and prepare for migration.

  • Work with ThreeWill to run a detailed or “deep” inventory of Jive. (Inventory is described in more detail under Step 5 – Understand the Process)
  • Determine what the target/destination platform will be for the content to migrated
    • Is the destination SharePoint Online (Office 365)?
    • Is the destination on-premises SharePoint?
    • Is the destination something different… maybe even a hybrid of SharePoint with another platform.

Since the time for migration is limited, we recommend that the platform be kept simple; no customizations or perhaps limited customizations.  If you are planning to migrate to SharePoint Online (Office 365), it important to obtain licensing for all users and ensure the user base has been configured; all users should have a consistent Office 365 account.

  • Are you planning to use Yammer? If so, will this be for all users or a sub-set of users?
  • Work with ThreeWill to perform one or more proof-of-concept (POC) migrations. Each POC represents the need to prove out one or more technical requirements.  The audience is typically limited to the primary groups involved with the migration.
  • Work with ThreeWill to perform at least one Pilot migration. This is where representation from “the business” is pulled into help review the output from a small-scale migration.

The Pilot audience helps by reviewing the migrated output and providing feedback.  This feedback is used to help refine and correct issues, set expectations, and really help to scale up the production migration.

The full book will be released later this year – let us know you’d like to be notified when it’s released by joining this list.

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Chris EdwardsJive to Microsoft Migration eBook Excerpt – Preparing for the Migration

The SharePoint Intranet-in-a-Box Market – Interview with Sam Marshall

Danny Ryan

Co-Host – Danny Ryan

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Sam Marshall

Guest – Sam Marshall

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Tommy Ryan

Co-Host – Tommy Ryan

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Danny:Hello. This is Danny Ryan and welcome to the Two Bald Brothers and a Microphone Podcast. I’m here with Tommy Ryan. How are you doing Tommy?


Tommy:I’m doing great Danny. Looking forward to today. Talking about SharePoint intranet-in-a-box.


Danny:Awesome. Yes, yes and interview number two. Today we have Sam Marshall from ClearBox from over in the UK. How are you doing Sam?


Sam:Hi there. I’m very well thank you. I’m looking forward to it, too.


Danny:Awesome, awesome. Today we’ve got a great conversation that a lot of people are talking about. I know it’s come up for us quite a bit. I wanted to talk about … with Sam, he’s got a company that really focuses in on the decision process around what you should be using for your digital workplace. Sam, you’re gonna correct me if I say anything wrong here, right?


Sam:Oh for sure. Yeah.


Danny:Good. So Sam has a lot of options as far as workshops that he runs. Also, at the end of the podcast, we’ll go through a report that he has available for people who are interested in the products that are out there. I’ve given sort of a high level for you there Sam, but just tell me a little bit more about what your company does.


Sam:Yeah, thank you Danny. We’re based in the UK. This year’s our 10 year anniversary. We focus on digital workplace, strategy, things like intranet adoption, intranet governance, getting the right team in place. Basically, we do everything about intranet apart from the actual technology. So, we don’t sell any products, we don’t build things on top of share points, we’re really focused on the needs of the business user and the analogy I make is … it’s a bit like once a company’s installed a load of gym equipment, you then need to say, “Well okay, what’s the training program for our team? What is it we’re going to do with this equipment to achieve our goals?” and that’s quite a nuanced thing to help people think through because you carry on with the analogy, if you’ve got a bunch of marathon runners, they’re going to use the gym equipment in a certain way and do certain routines, but if you got a bunch of Olympic power lifters, then they’re probably completely different equipment and follow an entire different program.


We come across this a lot with Office 365, but you get so much stuff just with that license. The trick that we try and help companies think through is, what do we need out of this goodie bag that would work for us and what can we safely ignore?


Myself, I-


Danny:What’s your-


Sam:Yeah, go on.


Danny:Yeah. What’s your background … I was just inter … just going to ask you probably what you were just going to say, but tell me more about your background?


Sam:You’re going to cue me up perfectly, and I interrupted you by segueing in to it myself.


I’ll give you the funny answer. I studied baboon behavior as a psychology graduate, and then I specialized in Artificial Intelligence, building like a robot. If that isn’t the perfect background for intranet, I don’t know what is.


It turns out that the baboons are like robot’s pays as well, as getting involved in things like SharePoints. A man’s got to eat, you know.


In between that, the serious answer is I did a lot around knowledge management and working with internal communicators. That’s what got me into intranet and things like SharePoint cause I think the technology to me isn’t that interesting, but the things that people do with it and how it affects the digital workplace, that’s fascinating.


Tommy:In saying that, if you honed in on SharePoint and Office 365 as that platform, or are there other platforms outside of that? I know you advise people on Intranets and the box that interacts with SharePoint, but are there other platforms that you get involved with?


Sam:Yes. We’ve always made a point of saying “We are technology neutral,” because we don’t see that as the biggest challenge. We have worked with clients who are using open source systems like, Drupal, and also some of the ready-made non-SharePoint platforms like, Interact, which is a big player in the UK and I think also getting more visibility in the US. But, in fact it’s probably 80% of our clients have already made the decision that the answer is Office 365 and they come to us saying, “Now Sam, can you tell us what the question should have been so that we can justify the answer, Office 365.” We run with that. We have no problem with the technology choices that we make.




Danny:Awesome. What … just sort of getting into our conversation here, which is … and it has to do with really the build versus buy decision, what’s been happening over the last couple of years with regards to, in particular with SharePoint online, but also some of the other products that have been coming around. What and … How did you get into this whole idea of doing this, the SharePoint in a box report? Give me a little bit more background, was it just a lot of people were asking you for what the options were out there? Tell me a little bit more about that.


Sam:Yeah, yeah, in part. So maybe we should explain a little bit what this intranet in a box is and what report is that we’ve done. So intranet in a box products are things that you install on top of SharePoint, or alongside SharePoint, or within your Office 365 environment, and they kind of take the bare bones of SharePoint and give you a lot more of what you would normally expect to see in an Intranet. So, for example, that hero image, the news publishing, maybe a much nicer looking feel. So recently, something that worked well on mobile, that wasn’t available from SharePoint 2013. We saw a big growth in companies who have maybe been doing this for years as an agency, taking a whole bunch of requirements, and responding to an RFQ, and then building it again and again for different clients.


And I suppose each one of these companies said, “Do you know what? Why are we building yet another Carousel web-part from scratch when 90% of the requests ask for the same thing. Why don’t we turn that into some kind of product so people can buy it and take an accelerated approach to getting the intranet that they want. And as ClearBox, we noticed this was happening, and thought well, we’re in a pretty good position to be the neutral guide for people on this because we’re never gonna sell any of these products, but we do have a really good understanding of what it is that companies are looking for. We’ve worked with everything from small charities of a couple hundred employees, all the way up to the Unilevers of this world that have 50 or even 100,000 employees, so we see the range of requirements.


A couple of years ago, we’re talking end of 2015, we took a look at the market and said “Let’s do a free download where we look at six of these products, and we’ll do like a buyers guide. We’ll do a star rating of the strengths and weaknesses and have a look, at least let people who are interested in sourcing one of these understand what’s available.” So we did that, and we got a really good response, and we got lots of indignant vendors knocking at our door saying “How come you picked them, and you didn’t pick us. We’re really great as well. When’s the next faction of the report going out?” So we thought, yeah okay, that’s a fair question, let’s do this again. So we put out an appeal for participation, and we had 26 vendors respond. And I’m starting to think “Okay, so this is something we should really take seriously.”


So we produced a paid-for research report, it’s like 250 pages. Every product, we put them through like eight different common scenarios, so things like publishing news, supporting communities, two-way conversations, analytics, and we evaluated them consistently across each one of these and said to the vendors, “Show us how your product would fulfill this scenario.” So it was a little bit like a mock RFP, where you might come up with some use cases and ask for a demo of those use cases.


Since we did that, we find yet more indignant vendors knocking on the door, who yet again felt excluded by this, but also some really good feedback from the vendors who had taken part, saying “Yeah, we’ve got lots of new things to show, we’d like you to do an update of the report.” So we’re just oiling the wheels to start again for this year and, so far, we’ve had, I think, 48 companies that want to be listed.


Danny:My goodness.


Sam:So this is a very, very active market area. And I think really interesting because what’s driving it from a company point of view, a lot of our clients say we’ve got this steer from CIO, we want to buy, not build everything in IT. Wherever we can, we want software as a service, or we want it to be cloud based, because we’ve been so often in the past with SharePoint, where we invested hundreds, if not millions of dollars in this custom solution. Microsoft broke it all and it cost us hundreds, if not millions, of dollars more to fix it. Can we push that headache onto an external company who will not just keep in-step with Microsoft plans for us, but in-step with maybe a whole cohort of customers, and therefore spread the cost.


I think not only is there a boom from the supply side, but there’s also a real boom from the customer interest happening as well.


Danny:Looking at that report Sam, it’s incredible. So detailed and it’s something that I think a lot of people like to see and kind of compare it as rating it as a Consumer Reports-type of view, where you’re comparing some of the same parameters.


Sam:Thank you, a lot of ibuprofen went into that report, I can tell you.


Danny:Yeah. You can tell there’s someone that has attention to detail or obsessive-compulsive maybe behavior there.


Sam:It wasn’t just me, I had a team of eight obsessive-compulsive working for me as well.


Danny:Okay, nice. Yeah. And I can see … it’s interesting to see the amount of folks that are in this space. You probably don’t know this, but you wonder what’s the market opportunity, you know, what does the space look like, and all these companies that are going into creating an intranet in a box, how are they rationalizing that. Are they product companies that go into it saying “We see this space, it’s got a market potential of this, and we’re going to go after that market and go after this niche in that market,” or is it consulting companies that built the same customizations over and over again and that productize that and try to spin off a product side. I assume you see a mix of those and do you have any comments on what makes a good intranet in a box company that can be successful endeavoring in this space?


Sam:It’s a really good question because it has a lot of signs of an immature market, and what I mean by that, is last year on the whole, pretty much everyone doing this is coming at it from the consulting side and moving into being a product company.




Sam:I don’t see many product companies who are saying “We want our product in this space, alongside all the other products that we’ve got.” And what that means is that there’s a really challenge for a consulting mindset company to change the way they work to support a product that might mean multiple releases and help desks and all the other things that you would expect when you buy a license that don’t fit that project mindset of doing consulting where there’s a clear endpoint, and anything you want after that is another contract or a kind of bespoke support engagement.




Sam:So to answer your question about what makes it good, in a box vendor, it’s the ones who’ve really, I think, segregated their business so they have a team that’s dedicated to look after the product and just thinking about the product roadmap, irrespective of there necessarily being a sale behind every feature that they add. So it’s not like they’re saying “Oh we’re going to do this because a big client has asked for it,” they’re doing it cause it’s the right thing to do and they’ve got that vision of where they want to set the product, as a way to generate the sales.


Tommy:What you see is a sampling of companies that haven’t made that segregation, is that maybe the guy that developed a feature that you’ve raised a ticket on cause it’s not working right, is pulled off from a client project for the next three months, and that poor guy’s going to have a real tension in terms of how does he allocate his time to looking after the conflicting needs.




Sam:If I can share a little secret on the podcast, and everybody listening has got to promise not to repeat it. I’m joking. There are a few companies that got in touch saying “Please can we be in your report,” and they couldn’t even provide a website link cause they hadn’t got the website live, you know, the product was that fresh. We’ve had a little chat with them, said “Come back next year when there’s more to show,” because I think part of what people investigating this area need to be aware of, is some of these products, I don’t think, will last, and that’s part of what we’re trying to help do, is understand how robust is this offering. Cause if you back a product where the vendor walks away from the market in 18 months, then you’re no better off than if you built it in house, you got that same headache, in terms of upgrade groups.


Danny:Yeah, that’s an interesting thing, and as I was looking through the report, I see when the company was founded, it’s so and so IT consultancy. Is there any measures around, say, maturity and, let’s say, process product capabilities that can give a client a certain sense of assurance that they’re going to be around two years from now versus they’re just kind of dipping their toe in the water. How do companies sort that out and do you help them with that?


Sam:We do and there’s a couple of checkpoints within that. So one is how committed is this company to the product roots, and the other one is how stable is the company itself. So, you know, the company might live on, but they might say “Yeah, we’re walking away from looking at this product anymore,” and you’re still high and dry.




Sam:In terms of the company stability, I always say to clients, just make sure your procurement is doing it’s due diligence in terms of looking at the vendor financials, the Number of employees they’ve got, and the track record of companies of a similar scale to yourself. The usual revenue credit check-type stuff you do.


Danny:Right, right.


Sam:In terms of the product maturity, in the report we list when the first release of the product was, we list how often they release it. In the new version, we’ve asked what’s the typical customer size, and also what’s your largest customer size, and most of them have also given us the names of reference companies. And all of those are good reflections of a healthy product, I think.


Danny:Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s good. It’s interesting your answer to the profile of a company that it’s, you know, primarily consultancies, you wonder is there the market there for it where product companies maybe do a market-level research versus saying “Oh we’ve got code for this,” it’s more of is there a market established that we know we can invest so many dollars in product to convert so much business. Do you think … do you have a sense of why traditional product companies are not entering this market?


Sam:Well, it’s a busy market, isn’t it.


Danny:Yeah, yeah, maybe they see it’s too packed.


Sam:Not necessarily, the SharePoint space has traditionally been dominated by the partner model, and there aren’t so many companies that have got established SharePoint products who, perhaps, understand the intranet world, you know, that whole publishing model. They’re much more on things like the transactional BI or the back [inaudible 00:17:31] tools.




Sam:You know, you think about metalogix or K2 on Intact, I don’t think any of those have anything else that’s similar to what an intranet would do. I mean what are your guys’ thoughts on this cause you’ve, I know, have been exploring this space as well.


Danny:I can maybe say a little bit about that Tommy and I are very interested to learn sort of about … and this is probably because we’ve been in business for quite a while and have tried launching a couple products of our own, we’re not planning on launching nay intranets in a box or anything along that/ those lines. I think one of the things that Tommy and I have recognized that it is truly a different type of business, and in order to be successful, we’re at the point where we say it’s got to be a separate company doing a product, it can’t be us. So we’ve recognized that and so we’ve been very cautious about entering into any sort of product type of business. In fact, I’ve got up on our website, we’ve recently … we did some integration products with Salesforce, and we’ve recently retired those because it’s just … we just don’t … we can’t … it’s not the right business for us.


What I’m interested … if I can … I’m interested right now because of traditionally the … number one the SIs, how would they handle … cause typically with these different intranet and box products, they’re selling both the product and the services along with it, what are … cause we’re an SI that doesn’t have this, are they typically just building? Are you seeing them build on top of SharePoint or are they … and we’ve partnered with … there’s been some companies that we’ve worked with that, in particular, where they’re moving from Jive, which is a social platform, to Office 365, we have some expertise where we’ve been pulled in to do the migration where we’ve got some expertise in several of these products.


But how are SIs … what are they … are they deciding I’m just gonna build on or how are they handling this whole situation?


Sam:I see a big growth in the more established in a box products, setting up partner and resell and networks. So I’m guessing these guys are aligning themselves to specialize in one or two in a box products and saying “Yeah, we can meet 80% of a client’s requirements by adopting this product,” and then we’ll fulfill the other 20% as bespoke. But it allows them to deliver a solution way quicker than they could have done before. So some of the in a box vendors, in particular Powell 365 and Kamina, are really geared up to deliver through SIs, rather than you would go directly to them for the solution.


Danny:Gotcha, gotcha.


Sam:And again, I see that as an encouraging sign of maturity, that the product is something they can build out a partner network through. The less mature ones, you could argue it’s not really a product because it’s actually a set of code libraries and you always need the in-house consults and the expertise to turn it into a delivered intranet solution.


Danny:Yup. Tommy, were you gonna say something? I think I cut you off a little earlier, I’m sorry.


Tommy:I want to say Sam was asking what do we see as that marketplace and why are there intranet in the box solutions out there. We started in the SharePoint space back in 2006/2007, and it’s when Microsoft really touted SharePoint as a platform, a customizable platform, and gave a lot of knobs to turn as developers, and as SharePoint is maturing, and as Microsoft is going to the cloud, you can see SharePoint becoming more commoditized and going into the cloud, being in a multi-tenant environment, it’s really not suited well for some of the customizations you would do in the past. So you have organizations that want those better look than feels and they can’t work within the constraints of what Office 365 puts in place, so they want to extend that capability and have more control, and that’s working with these companies that are providing more the functionality that might not ever get there in Office 365 or maybe doesn’t get there soon enough, where they’d rather get there sooner by buying it than building it, knowing that things might change underneath them with Office 365.


And I think also, it’s been the space around Microsoft where Microsoft kinda put out share point and said “It’s here, it’s got some core capabilities, do with it what you want and think about the possibilities of what you can do with the intranet.” That can be paralyzing to a lot of organizations, and buying something out of the box, like what we experienced with people buying Jive, is it’s a polished product versus a platform play, and a lot of organizations kind of like that and went in that direction. I think these intranet in a box companies are seeing that people want the reliability of having SharePoint storing the data, being that backend, and then have the nice shiny upfront with something that Microsoft is not necessarily known for, but getting better at. You’re seeing things that are coming out that make you about Microsoft. It’s becoming “more modern” in their UIs, but with a company that size, they’re always going to be probably a step or step and a half behind what these smaller companies are able to do with web technologies.




Tommy:And that’s just my kind of high-level view of, you know, why is this space being created, and it’s not totally surprising that it’s coming primarily from SIs doing this. But it is, I think, a sign of, like you said Sam, maturity, the market, where it is coming from, shared code libraries, that are coming from projects, from SIs versus you have a product company saying “There’s an addressable market, there’s a gap here, we want to address it and we feel confident that people are going to spend the money here.” We’re surprised … it might because we’re doing a lot of Jive to Sharepoint point migrations, but we’re surprised in the number of companies that are choosing the intranet in a box option, because it will put your data inside other CMS systems. We’ve seen with some of these systems, they’re not just storing everything in SharePoint, they have to have their own CMS to give the kind of capabilities that they add on top of SharePoint, then maybe they just store the file in SharePoint but the blogs are sitting in their own CMS system inside of SharePoint.


Sam:I mean I absolutely agree with your analysis, Tommy, but that point about where your data sits … there’s only three or four where it resides in a separate CMS. So we’re working with a client at the moment where it’s an absolute prerequisite that the data stays entirely within the Office 365 tenant.




Sam:There’s about 20 options where that’s definitely the case, they … some of them it’s really just web parts and styling that they’re adding, they’re not taking the data outside of your own client at all.


Tommy:Yeah. That’s what I would want as a customer, but also some of the sexier ones are not necessarily using SharePoint as a store cause it complicates things. A blog in SharePoint, that data structure’s totally different than what you would want to do from scratch to create a blog interface.


Sam:Yeah. It’s understandable cause often the brief from the client is can you make SharePoint look not like SharePoint?




Sam:So what you’ve do is get another CMS and patch it in the [inaudible 00:26:20]. When you do that-




Sam:The big trade off is that it becomes an uncomfortable hop back into anything Office 365. So if you look at something like flow and say “Ah it’s great, can’t we use flow as part of what we’re doing with this separate CMS?” The answer’s always gonna be no because the CMS won’t have that level of integration.


Tommy:Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Danny:So I would be remiss if we didn’t talk about … sort of the hot topic and the elephant in the room, which is communication sites. Sam, I was fortunate enough to listen in on a webinar, and I think this is an interesting thing cause as a feature … sort of as maybe a feature set, this is one of the things that SharePoint and box companies were addressing, which was the modern experience working well on mobile devices, and we’ve seen this year, Microsoft release this. What … give me … what does that mean to folks, how does that … what’s your general take on what’s happening right now, in particular with communication sites?


Sam:Yeah, so communication site’s really interesting, really good to see because, I think, it reflects that Microsoft is definitely getting the UX message that it’s so important, and they frankly just haven’t got it right for many years. Communication sites are fantastic when you need to create something that’s attractive, around a single topic. But it is still a micro-site, in effect. So, right now, we shouldn’t pre-judge cause we know this is just like the first release, and there’s probably lot more to come from Microsoft.


Right now, it looks like an intranet homepage, but it really isn’t. And what I mean by that is that it has the hero images, but they’re just images with links behind them, it’s not actually you click on it and you’re taken into a news article unless you manually tie that hero image into a news article. There’s no cross-site publishing, so we find once you get up to 500 employees, or two or three countries, or two or three business sectors that your company operates in, it’s not enough to have separate sites for everything. You want to be able to create a news story and say “Here’s a news story, now zing it out so we can target it to everybody in Canada, but not in the U.S., or everybody who worked in sales, but not in marketing.” And for that, you still need the idea of a news center, a repository of news, and some kind of metadata and personalization, which then does a search, call and pulls them back to show people.


That’s not something that I can see coming in comp sites anytime soon. In terms of the in a box marketplace though, Microsoft is definitely gonna make the sales guys work harder cause comp sites look great. Getting from ResX saying “We really need an intranet in a box,” when they can see a comp site becomes harder, it probably means that some of the in a box vendors who were targeting companies of 50 to 200 employees, somewhere like the small to medium enterprise business, they might pull out of this market in time, unless they are really focusing on doing non-communication stuff like transactions, which some of them do very well, indeed.




Sam:Yeah. I mean what your take? Do you see your clients excited by communication sites?


Danny:From my experience, Sam, I think it’s early on and they’re so buried in everything else that they haven’t fully explored that at this point.


Sam:So now it’s class, we’ve got actual lives and actual businesses rather-


Danny:Yeah. Definitely. It’s something that makes you pause to say “Okay how does that play into the equation?” The thing that I think Microsoft’s doing well with, but developers in the Microsoft ecosystem might get frustrated, is they’re trying to narrow down the lane a bit, and get more focused around areas in SharePoint to be very good at. I like the concept of segregating into teams and communication sites, and that I think is the 80/20 versus the traditional Microsoft is we’ll try to cover 100% of the space versus honing in and doing very well on the majority. They can go across platforms and devices to expose that in a polished way. I just love seeing teams and that visual overlay on top of a SharePoint team site or Office 365 group.


That’s exciting for us to really have a customer go a long way because they’ve gone deep on that topic of a team site versus before, in 2007 and 13, you had 20/ 30 different things to choose from as a starting template. I think that’s different for Microsoft, I think it is speaking to we’re all busy people and we need less choices. It’s interesting that you say there’s 50 intranet in a box selections. I think that’s good news for your company because that just makes that equation even more complicated of okay, am I picking the right one? I don’t have time to evaluate 50 different options. Then you feel at the mercy of which one has the best marketing program to touch me, is the one I’m gonna choose, and maybe that’s not the right selection criteria. I need to make sure I’m thorough and picking the company that best aligns with our needs and our direction.


Sam:Yeah. That is so important because once you’ve made that choice, once you’ve committed to it, you really have narrowed down the scope of what you can do. So these in a box products, they make things easier to use by, in effect, reducing some of the choices that you would have if you were On a bare bones SharePoint and could develop anything. I always say to people, “Don’t pick a product and think that you can just tweak this and tweak that,” because you won’t be able to if you want to stay faithful to the vendor’s own roadmap.


Danny:Yeah, definitely.


Sam:If they become tomorrow a formal requirements gathering exercise, and we’re helping quite a few clients through this at the moment, just to go through an RSP that gets you in the right place to come up with a short list and then choose between them.


Danny:Very good.


Tommy:Sam, I think we could talk to you for hours here, so I know you’ve got a hard stop. So before we wrap-up, if you don’t mind, I know you mentioned that you might have a discount code for listeners, can you give us a little bit more … some more details on that?


Sam:Yeah, sure. So if you head over to our website, which is, I know I’ve got a funny accent, so let me spell that out, that’s c-l-e-a-r-b-o-x, opposite of black box, You will see, right there on our own hero image, a link to the SharePoint intranet in a box reports, and when you go to check out, use the code t-w-o-b-b 20, so that’s t-w-o-b-b, for bald brothers, and 20, cause. T-w-o-b-b 20, and you get 20% off, so the full price is $495 dollars, you’ll get $99 off, making it $398.

(Editor Note – new discount code is “twobb10”)

Danny:That’s awesome.




Danny:That’s awesome.


Tommy:That’s great.


Sam:[crosstalk] Right until the end of August so if you’d like, on your summer holiday reading by the pool, the report will certainly help with your siestas. I mean it will certainly give you plenty to read.


Danny:That’s wonderful. And maybe, Sam, we can have you back after the next version is out. Tommy and I’d be interested to hear some of the details on that, so that’d be wonderful to have you back.


Sam:I’d love to. Once I’ve had a big lie down, I’d love to come back and talk to you more about this topic since you’re really into it.


Danny:Super. Well thank you, Sam, thank you Tommy, and thank you, everybody, for listening. Yeah, thanks so much.


Sam:Pleasure, thanks very much, guys, for inviting me on. It’s been great.


Danny:Alright, cheers.


Tommy:Absolutely, take care now.




Tommy:Thank you, buh-bye.


Additional Credits

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

Remember to use discount code “twobb10” for 10% off!

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empty.authorThe SharePoint Intranet-in-a-Box Market – Interview with Sam Marshall

Typical Action Plan for Jive to Microsoft Migrations

Danny serves as Vice President of Marketing at ThreeWill. His primary responsibilities are to make sure that we are building partnerships with the right clients and getting out the message about how we can help clients.

We’ve been doing Jive to Microsoft (including Office 365/SharePoint) migrations for the last 4-5 years and we’ve got a great process and tooling to help with these migrations.

One of the things I like to do early in the process is to put together an action plan (from Solution Selling).  It’s based on one of the seven habits, Begin with an End in Mind.

Here’s a typical action plan based on our experience – it might seem like some of these timelines are longer than expected, but they reflect the reality of what we’ve seen (we are typically working with larger clients so usually the paperwork is what is slowing us down).

Tentative Action Plan for Transition from Jive to Microsoft

Now – Download and run Migrator Trial Version and get counts on People and Places and answer questions about migration in Pre-Migration questionnaire

+2 weeks – Decide on and schedule 2-day Migration Workshop

+1 month – Begin getting NDA/MSA/SOW in place for the Workshop and get date for Workshop tentatively set

+6 weeks – Pre-Migration Workshop meeting and finalize paperwork

+2 months – Migration Workshop and POC (migrate a couple of places)

+2 months – Client completes mapping document (where Jive content is going to in Office 365)

+3 months – Get SOW in place for migration with Project Plan

+3 months (2-4 weeks) – Pilot Migration and Data Extraction

+4 months –  Production Migration and Final Acceptance

+5 months –  Contingency Time

+5 months – Off Jive

We’ve done smaller migrations in less time (I think the smallest was around 6 weeks total) and have sped up the process with clients that can make decisions and get paperwork in place quicker.  Some things, like communication to and feedback from department heads and end users, require time not just from the team and are dependent on others.

Important factors to time are if the client is just migrating content types we’ve worked with on previous projects and the number of places that we are moving.

Read more Frequently Asked Questions (has details on things like the 2-day Migration Workshop and content types we can migrate).

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Danny RyanTypical Action Plan for Jive to Microsoft Migrations

Why Move the Content from Jive into Office 365?

Danny serves as Vice President of Marketing at ThreeWill. His primary responsibilities are to make sure that we are building partnerships with the right clients and getting out the message about how we can help clients.

I had this question come up in a recent email…the response went so long that I thought that I should share it in a blog post…

Here’s my .02 on making this decision:

I’ll make the assumption that you’ve decided to move to Office 365.

Why move the content from Jive to Office 365?

  1. The documents, discussions and other corporate IP within your Jive environment would be lost (think of the tens of thousands of hours that went into creating much of that content).
  2. This will impact the adoption of Office 365 because why would they recreate content in Office 365 if there is the risk of it going away again?  End users would probably return back to email as the primary way to collaborate.

Maybe the idea is to start with a clean slate in Office 365.  Actually, cleaning up content before or while we move it is done on every project that we do.  Our suite of utilities shows you details about the amount of content along with when it was last accessed so you can decide whether to move the content or not.  You do want to take this opportunity to clean things up – but starting your employees over with blank sites would be disheartening.  There’s nothing more frustrating than having to recreate content and adoption of Office 365 will be impacted.

Let’s say you just tell people to move over content from Jive to Office 365 on their own.  This could be because it’s difficult to say who should pay for the content migration.  You probably know this, but getting content out of Jive and into Office 365 is not an easy task (especially for business-oriented folks).

If the budget is the issue, we could give you a cost model for migrating different departments (say a certain cost for moving over Marketing – they could decide whether it’s worth the cost or not).

Another option is just to move over certain types of content.  For example, just move over binary files.  This would reduce the budget and yet still retain some of the corporate IP.  Our suite of utilities actually don’t migrate all content types – the list is here – – so we actually have taken this approach with clients.

What’s your take on this?  Leave a comment below…

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Danny RyanWhy Move the Content from Jive into Office 365?

Jive to Microsoft Migration eBook Excerpt

Chris is a Senior Software Engineer at ThreeWill. His area of focus is consulting in the development of Microsoft .NET and SharePoint technologies. His primary role has been development lead in recent projects. Project roles have ranged from Development/Technical Lead to Development Resource.

Jive to Microsoft Migration Step 5 of 9 – Understand the Process


The Equip phase shows some basic information about server hardware that we recommend for performing a typical migration.   The diagram shows two servers/VMs.  This is not required.  At least one dedicated server is required and two is recommended.  One is required to allow a “migration engineer” an environment to perform the work for a migration.  In some of the larger migrations, it is helpful to have more than one migration server dedicated to pulling content from Jive or pushing content to SharePoint.  It is also helpful to have multiple servers if there is a need for multiple migrations engineers to have access at the same time.


The inventory phase is one of the most important parts of the migration.  This is where we pull the people, places, and high-level content from Jive.   We have the concept of a “shallow” pull into inventory and a “deep” pull into inventory.   A “shallow” pull is where we make minimal calls to the Jive REST-based API to capture representations of People, Places, and Content.   This level of content is generally suitable to indicate the breadth and size of a Jive migration and helps to perform initial planning (leading into the Prepare section).   We sometimes also perform a “deep” pull which makes additional calls to the Jive REST-based API for each representation of People, Places, and Content.   This includes retrieving the roles of a Person, the members of each Place, and comments for each Content item.   A deep pull takes longer to execute and is typically performed when it time to do the production-level batch planning (see Batch phase below).


The prepare phase is where we begin work on proof-of-concept (POC) and Pilot migrations.  A POC-based migration accounts for code and process-level enhancements to the utilities (if required).  The goal for a POC-based migration is to make sure the utilities work as expected and the migration process is solid from a developer/technical perspective.

A goal of a Pilot-based migration is typically to involve the business and key stakeholders and to make sure the end-result of a migration works as expected.  We solicit feedback from a well-defined pilot group and may iterate/perform a migration multiple times to account for the feedback.  The feedback is typically prioritized and addressed according to a statement of work.

Another part of the prepare phase is to establish the basic patterns of mapping places.  Mapping places means determining the rules and conditions for where a place in Jive will ultimately be found in SharePoint.


The batch phase is where the overall inventory of places and content to migrate is analyzed.  During the analysis, the business helps to determine what will and what will not be migrated.  Typically, we work with the business and key stakeholders to help define criteria for what is and is not to be migrated.  An example would be to exclude the migration of Jive places where content has not been updated in the past eighteen months.  We also work with the business to determine if there are any “custom” mappings.  This covers scenarios where two or more Jive places may be combined into a single SharePoint location OR maybe the target URL/location for a Jive place needs to be a bit different from the others in SharePoint.

Once the business has made their pass at determining what is in and out of scope for a migration AND has specified custom mappings, the migration engineer performs the next part of the batch phase.  This next part is where places are grouped together into batches of 50 places at a time.  These batches will be used to orchestrate the sequence of a migration.


The migrate phase is where the actual migration of content from Jive to SharePoint takes place.  The migration engineer will work with the batches of 50 places (typically) at a time as defined in the batch phase above.  The migration engineer will monitor the following primary operations for each place in a batch.   A log is created for each of these operations and it is the responsibility of the migration engineer to review the log and address any issues that may occur.

  • Get Content – A deep pull of content (including the pull of binaries) is performed for each of the places specified in a batch. This part of the process pulls in all content either into the Inventory database or into the file system, depending on the content type.
  • Transform Content – After content is pulled from Jive, the transform operation prepares the content to be stored in SharePoint. This includes but is not limited to revising content links (links to content in Jive changed to links to content in SharePoint), revising image locations, and revising references to people/profiles.
  • Upload Content – Once content has been transformed, it is now ready to be uploaded to the destination SharePoint environment. This upload operation uploads all content targeted for SharePoint, attempts to set the original author and creation/modification dates to match what was in Jive.  The upload operation also updates the internal counts to be used for the Verify phase.  This phase is repeated until all batches are complete.

Verify (and Remediate)

The verify phase is where the migration engineer accounts for any issues/errors found in the log output from the migrate phase and ensures that all content can be accounted for.   Typically, content count from Jive is compared against content count of what was uploaded into SharePoint to ensure there is nothing missing.

The full book will be released later this year – let us know you’d like to be notified when it’s released by joining this list.

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Chris EdwardsJive to Microsoft Migration eBook Excerpt

Is Your Organization Prepared to Do a Complex SharePoint Migration?

Kirk Liemohn is a Principal Software Engineer at ThreeWill. He has over 20 years of software development experience with most of that time spent in software consulting.

Is your organization prepared to do a large and complex migration?  There are a lot of considerations.  Here a few related to organizational preparedness:

  • Experience – Has your organization performed large-scale migrations with SharePoint or other platforms in the past?  If so, you have some valuable experiences to draw upon.  Even an Exchange migration, for example, shares some aspects with a SharePoint migration such as communication and support.  The most analogous experience may be comparing a SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 migration to a SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint 2016 migration.  Keep in mind that migrating to SharePoint Online has several important differences when compared to migrations involving on-prem SharePoint for the source and target, so be careful not to over-state your experience.
  • Skilled Resource Availability – Does your organization have the people required to handle a large and complex migration?  Skilled individuals are necessary from the core technical migration team through project management, helpdesk, and communications.  In addition, some migrations require doing a lot of work in a relatively short amount of time.  Having enough skilled resources during that time may be a challenge.
  • Helpdesk/Support Preparedness – Do you have a ticketing system that can be used for migration support?  Can the system handle the increased volume that may occur with a large-scale migration?  Do you have the individuals behind the system (Level 1, 2, and 3 support) that can handle the increased load?  Do they have SharePoint skills?
  • Communications – There are several questions to consider regarding communications within your organization.  How does your organization deal with mass communications?  Do you have a complicated or restrictive approval process?  Does your company culture foster the type of communication that will be necessary for site owners and users?  Do you have a good understanding of how to communicate with users and site owners?  Communications is arguably one of the most important aspects of a migration, so these questions should not be taken lightly.
  • Compute Resource Availability – With a large migration, it may require a lot of compute resources to physically move the bits from one environment to another.  This is highly dependent on the method of migration.  For example, using CSOM (Client-side Object Model) to copy content from SharePoint on-prem to SharePoint Online requires a lot more compute resources than the database attach approach that can be done when you are moving from one on-prem farm to another.  Local servers can be used regardless of the approach, but with moves to SharePoint Online, it may make more sense to use Azure virtual machines as it can be physically closer to the SharePoint Online datacenters.
  • Time – Is there a required timeline for completing the migration?  Is the timeline reasonable given all the steps that need to be performed during the migration?
  • Senior Executive Advocates – is the migration supported by senior executives within the company?  Are they aware of some of the tradeoffs that will need to occur as part of the migration?  Do they understand enough of the complexity to defend decisions made in the Policy Document?  Will they defend timeline and scope that are reasonable given the nature of the migration?  Without having support from C-level individuals, the migration may be at risk of being cancelled or put on hold.

If you’re looking at doing a Large and Complex SharePoint Migration, download our recent eBook on this subject.

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Kirk LiemohnIs Your Organization Prepared to Do a Complex SharePoint Migration?

Migrating from Jive to Office 365 Webinar

Kirk Liemohn is a Principal Software Engineer at ThreeWill. He has over 20 years of software development experience with most of that time spent in software consulting.

Danny:Welcome to this Jive to SharePoint/Office 365 webinar. I appreciate you taking your time out of your busy day to come join us and talk about this subject. What we wanted to talk about today was sort of ten things that folks should know about migrating from Jive to SharePoint Online. In general, I’ll just say SharePoint Online meaning a part of Office 365. I have two of my experts. I’ll call you guys experts, is that okay?


Kirk:You can call Chris an expert.


Danny:Oh, I have one expert here. I have Chris Edwards, who is a Senior Software Engineer for ThreeWill, and he is the chief architect of the initial version of the tool, and sort of was the grandfather of the migration tool and has helped it grow through the years. We also have Kirk Liemohn here with us. Kirk is a Principal Software Engineer. Kirk is the practice lead for our migration practice. Kirk has been very involved in various types of migrations, and more recently has been doing some job migrations himself, right?


Kirk:That’s right.


Danny:Awesome. I felt like getting us kicked off with, and maybe let me do a couple of logistical things before we do this. If you’ve got any questions, you can ask some questions in the go-to-webinar interface and I’ll look over there and check for them every once in awhile. If we’ve got some time in the end, which we probably will. I’m assuming this won’t go for the full hour. I’ll check those questions and ask you guys on the fly. I’ll make sure they’re not too tough questions. You guys were both looking at me like, “You didn’t pay me enough to do that.”


Kirk:Bring it on, bring it on.


Danny:We’ll see. If you have any questions, ask them. We’d love to have some interaction with you guys as you’re watching the webinar. So first off, I thought the, there’s a book that’s called “Begin With Why.” Why don’t I start with the why question. Why are companies doing this? Why are they moving from Jive to Office 365/SharePoint Online? Kirk?


Kirk:Sure, I’ll start, if Chris wants to add stuff he can. I think the main one is to save on costs. So, Jive is not cheap, not that SharePoint Online is super cheap, but Jive is not cheap. It has a recurring cost every year, and a lot of times companies want to go to SharePoint, they might already have SharePoint in house, or they might already have SharePoint Online. Of course, SharePoint Online, a lot of people think is relatively cheap. So I think when you look at that cost standpoint, you see, “Oh, well can we do a lot of what Jive does in SharePoint?” You can do quite a bit of it. So they think, “Well maybe we should save on costs by having everything in SharePoint. And another aspect of that is if they’re going to SharePoint Online, they see a lot of what it has to offer. There’s kind of new features coming out over time with teams and Delve, and just different types of things that are coming out, groups, those things. So they want to take advantage of that. They think, “Well, if we just start having that as kind of our main place to collaborate and not have a separate Jive environment, then we can hopefully take advantage of more of those features that are out there at SharePoint Online.”


Danny:And there’s even, I mean there’s a lot of redundant features with Yammer too, with people seeing what Jive does with the whole activity feed. I think probably a lot of people are saying, “Well do we want to use Yammers with our way of interacting with each other socially?”








Danny:It’s probably they’re, they also see a lot of, it seems like a lot of the features that are coming down the pipe from Office 365 seems to be getting faster, not slower. I know for us it’s one of those things, and this, initially, when you were looking at Jive versus SharePoint, it was, Jive was coming up with quarterly updates, so they were pushing software out quicker, and SharePoint had the three-year cycles. And it was like you’d wait every three years to get your new set of features, but I think in a lot of ways it’s reversed a little bit. You’re getting pushed out more features from SharePoint. So you’re not having to wait the three years. You’re constantly getting updates, so as far as innovation goes, there’s a lot of things that Microsoft is really pushing with regards to SharePoint Online. Yammer seems to be pretty-


Chris:Nah, Yammer is not changing that much I don’t think.


Danny:Yeah, it’s pretty stable. Tommy and I talked about that a lot. We think the Yammer team probably had more to do with changing how they deliver software than the actual Yammer software itself.




Danny:You’re really seeing a lot of people saying, “Well, I want to take advantage of the latest software, or whatever the latest software trends are,” I turned into Elmer Fudd there. The latest trends are in software, and we’re seeing a lot of those come from Office 365.




Danny:There’s also, folks, if you search on our site, or Google business case Jive three wheel, you’ll see a blog post that I put out which was sort of the business case behind why I see people doing this. That gets updated all the time, as far as what the story is around that. Numero two, let’s go with, with these projects, we like starting things with a workshop. Describe to me what goes on during one of these workshops.


Kirk:Yeah, and Chris, if you want to chime in, feel free, but I’ll start out, this is Kirk so. The first thing I think we want to do is understand what the vision of the client is, what do they want to get out of this, why they want to move, what is it they want to move. And then, after you kind of understand that overall vision, then you want to dig in deeper, so you understand their current environment. What do they have currently in Jive, what version of Jive are they using? Is it the one that’s up in the cloud? There’s hosted versions of Jive, there’s on-prem versions of Jive. And ideally, before we even do the workshop, and this has happened many times, there’s sometimes it doesn’t happen before the workshop, we can do an inventory of what they have in Jive before the workshop.


That’s the ideal scenario. And if we do that, we can review what we know about their inventory. Our inventory will give them counts of different types of contents, counts of places, and we can kind of slice and dice that different ways, and that’s very, very useful. So if we see, for example, they’re heavy users of Jive collaborative documents, then we can kind of tailor the migration, or at least tailor our discussion in the workshop on here’s what happens with a Jive collaborative document when you migrate. We want to understand what customizations they have. Do they use heavy branding in Jive? Is that what they kind of want in SharePoint? Do they use Jive plug-ins, or widgets, or tiles? Those are important points to discover. And with all this stuff, you need to understand user identities and how that’s going to transfer from Jive to SharePoint. Typically, you have the same email address as your log-in. If you’re going to SharePoint Online especially you’ll use an email address, but Jive can or doesn’t have to. And so you want to understand if that’s going to match and how that’s going to work.


So you also want to understand their current state in SharePoint. Are they going to a Greenfield SharePoint? Are they going to SharePoint on-prem, Online? What version of SharePoint? Do they have a lot of site collections already? How do they do search in SharePoint, if they use it already? And of course, user identity is there as well. I’m going to continue talking, I’ve got more things to talk about. In this workshop, you want to show them a demo, at least screenshots of what the tool can do. So we’ve got a set of tools we’ll talk about, I’m sure, and these, we want to show them what, start setting expectations early of what the tool can and can not do. And what are the supported types of contents from Jive that we can migrate, and what are the types that aren’t supported, and does that meet their needs? And finally, with the workshop, we want to come out of that, getting a good understanding of scope. What is it they want to migrate. They aren’t going to have all the answers right away. What is it they want to migrate, what types of content they want to migrate, how quickly they want to migrate, and do they have anything that they want migrated that our utility doesn’t cover, or certain aspects of it that it doesn’t cover. So that will help us come up with a timeline and budget for the whole project.


Danny:Nice. That’s usually, I know one of the first things I ask folks to fill out, if possible, is a pre-migration form that’s up on our website, and one of the things that drives along these projects is the timeline, because typically you have a hard-date that’s out there that you’re trying to get people migrated over by for that date. And we like to be eight to ten months out before that date, but more realistically, you guys have seen, it’s been, you know, we’ve got a date set three to four, or even sometimes less than that. And so you’re almost trying to decide, you know, really trying to deal with, normally our projects aren’t this way, but you have a hard, basically you have to do something by a certain date. You have to make sure that key things are done by that certain date, and that probably modifies a little bit as far as how we go after these projects.


But just interesting to see that that’s typically for us, the timeline is driving a lot of this. Now, from our workshops that we’ve done with the Jive stuff, have you noticed any, have people been using a lot of plug-ins? I know way back when, we created an app for Jive. It was like a SharePoint list app for Jive. Are people, you know, do they have a lot of customizations and are they wanting to move those customizations over, or is it pretty much we just want the core content and that’s all we’re interested in moving?


Chris:From what we’ve seen, there’s been very little customizations of Jive that we’ve had to be concerned about.




Chris:For the most part it’s the pure content, the documents, the discussions, the heavy content that people don’t want to lose. That’s really what we’re trying to retain in SharePoint.


Kirk:But I’ll add that our, what I’m working on now, they care about these homepages and these overview pages, and tiles, and widgets that Jive has that can be on these pages, and these are very custom things. So that’s significant customizations to be concerned with.


Chris:We’ve thought about some of that stuff and how we deal with it. Every customer is going to look at that a little bit differently.


Danny:One of the things I don’t see, you probably also talk about, I know with some the migrations, we’re not only just moving them over to SharePoint, but we’re also, they’re using something like BrightStarr’s Unily, or some other sort of UI that’s on top of SharePoint as well. It’s probably, you’re starting to set some of those expectations as well during the workshop.


Kirk:Yeah, that’s a very good point. We need to understand if there’s other parties involved that you care about, some of the third-party missions, Unily. Do you care about Yammer? Do you have a different media server or something for your videos? We’ve definitely seen that more than once. So those are things that do need to come up during the workshop so we understand what the real requirements are.


Danny:So we come out of that with a scope, timeline, budget, decision to be made about going after this project, and then the phases are sort of the workshop, and then we have a pilot phase, and then a production phase, and then a sustainment type of phase that we go into. Good stuff. Next question about our own utility. I was calling it a tool earlier. I can’t call it a product, because it’s not a product. Tell me about this utility that we use for migrating customers.


Chris:Actually, we’ve got a set of utilities that we like to use. The first one I think is actually available for download on the website, the migrator utility. That’s kind of the initial one we like to get folks, essentially in the Windows-based utility, someone can put in their Jive URL, put in their username and password, and essentially hit the run button, and it goes off, and it basically uses the same public rest-API that Jive puts out there that our other utilities use. Then it gives us a sense, is there any issues with running commands, running the API with your username. Is there any issues with running that? We find issues quickly. But it also gives us a list, an account of how many places, how many we basically, how many repositories or places that a particular customer has in their Jive. So it gives us an overall size. What are the counts of different types of groups and spaces, and projects, blogs, those are the main containers or places, if you will, in Jive.


Danny:That’s the trial version of Migrator, which is downloadable off of our website, correct?


Chris:Correct. That’s kind of the initial utility most folks will see, just to kind of get that initial sizing. The main utility that we have is JtoSP, for Jive to SharePoint. It’s a console-based utility, it’s originally written to keep things simple, very console-based. Doesn’t need a UI, because it’s designed to focus in on purely getting content out of Jive and getting content into SharePoint. What it actually does, quite a bit of the work of our process. One of the things it does, I mentioned the public API from Jive. It does leverage Jive’s rest-based API, so I use the public API, which is important. One of the first things we go after, and we kind of mentioned the workshop earlier, one of the key things it goes after is it produces an inventory of detail from Jive. Things like a list of all the people that are in Jive, all the places, again, places are the groups, spaces, projects, blogs. Then, within the places, it actually does what’s called a shallow pull of content for those places.


And I’ll leave the term shallow, deep, I’ll kind of explain that here in just a minute. The whole idea is that we want to be able to get that content in a form that can be presented in the workshop or presented to the customer, and actually really detail out when content was last touched per place, how much content is really out there, really kind of helps us understand how to plan for the migration itself. Shallow is basically saying, “I want to go after the content.” By shallow means it just pulls, at the API level, it just basically pulls some of the basic information about the places. It doesn’t go down deep and do multiple calls. It doesn’t like, if you’ve got a person, it may find that person, but it may not find what roles that person is a part of. It doesn’t make the extra calls to do that. It’s designed to do a quick hit against Jive to find that information so we can do


Danny:And the output of this is an Excel spreadsheet for the shallow?


Chris:Yeah, so that’s part of it. The primary output is it builds our database.




Chris:One of the things we do, you kind of mentioned earlier about this whole timeline aspect. A lot of customers come to us during the last minute trying to migrate off of Jive, right? What we try to do is we pull this content, this inventory content into the Jive, into a SQL server database, and into the file system. And we do that so that we can quickly get the content out of Jive. Let’s say someone is being turned off in the next week of Jive. We can get that content in our database in the file system, and then we’ve got what we need to do the migration.


Danny:And that’s doing a deep or shallow?


Chris:Well that’s more of the deep side, but the shallow pull is going to get that inventory piece. The deep pull that you’re talking about, that’s when we go after and get all visible binaries. That’s where we get all the sub-calls. Like, as I mentioned earlier, we go get a person, we get their roles, we get all the different aspects of it. But I mentioned this, because more from an architectural perspective is that we are able to use this utility to go after, produce this database, produce the file system. We can go after that stuff first, get everything off of Jive, and if for some reason they’re shut off in the next day or two, we’ve done everything we need to do for the migration. It kind of ties into, oh someone’s, they need to get this done quickly, we have the ability to do it.


Danny:So a pull usually takes a couple of hours, a day?


Chris:It really depends on how many places. It can take days.


Kirk:Yeah, it can take days.


Chris:It can take days depending on how many places we’re talking about and how much content we’re talking about. But we’ve got ways of kind of going after that. The utility does try to do things in parallel, does try to do things as efficiently as possible to pull that information off of Jive. So that’s one aspect of what the utility does, this JtoSP utility. Another aspect is what it is also designed to do is it’ll, it’ll take that inventory, let’s assume the customer has gone through and done what’s called a mapping exercise. You mentioned the spreadsheet earlier. We do produce a spreadsheet for that inventory that kind of says, “Here’s all the stuff, all the places that are out there. Here the customer needs to see this inventory.” The customer typically goes to and says, “I want these particular places, and I want them to be mapped to this place in SharePoint.” There’s an exercise we work on with the customer on to do that, so that mapping exercise. Then, the utility takes that mapping and says, “Okay, I need to validate, do these SharePoint sites, these target SharePoint sites we’re going to push content to, do they exist?” The utility verifies that where we are intending to push content, does the site exist, and do I need to push permissions or adjust permissions on these sites, it can do all that work.


And then, two other main pieces of activity that this thing does. We do what’s called a transform phase. So we take the content, as it was pulled from Jive, and we do what’s called a transform. What that basically means is saying it’s preparing the content to be pushed to the SharePoint. So you may find in this content, you’ll find a lot of links to, from Jive content to other Jive content, or links to Jive profile information. Things that reference Jive in general, we take and convert that to SharePoint versions, or SharePoint speak. A Jive person profile URL may go to now to a Yammer profile, or it may go to a specific SharePoint URL that we care about to represent that person, as well as all of the documentation and all of the links get converted into something that SharePoint understands.


Danny:Nice. I love how each time you said transform; you were doing it like a robot.


Chris:Yeah, you like that you can’t see the phone, but I’m moving. I’m moving as I’m talking here.


Danny:You can’t see it but, we were doing a bit of transforming with his hands in the air.


Chris:Transformers, no.


Danny:Sorry, go ahead. Number four.


Chris:Yeah and so the last main thing that the utility does, and I know this is a lot of information, the last main thing is it can take in this prepared content, and it actually will push it to SharePoint. And so it actually, that’s when the actual content makes it’s way. A couple other variations on this. We are able to do what’s called deltas. So let’s say we push this content to SharePoint, and folks are still using the same place for their content in Jive. We may want to stage this up in SharePoint. We can do what’s called a ‘true up’ or a delta, which basically says, “Okay, right before we’re ready to switch it over to using SharePoint, give me whatever deltas and whatever changes have taken place in Jive, let’s get them into SharePoint. So we can kind of hit it multiple times to make sure it’s in sync, and then someone can turn off Jive.




Chris:So that’s there. And there’s a few other miscellaneous actions that probably more detailed than anyone really cares about in this particular call. Some other utilities that we do, we have a couple, actually three PowerShell utilities that we use. One is called New Sights, and it’s really helper PowerShell that kind of helps customers basically provision their SharePoint site collections, things that we’re going to be targeting for the deployment from Jive to SharePoint. Folks don’t necessarily have to use this. It’s just something we provide, and we provide scripts that basically provision those site collections. And then, we’ve got another set of utilities that kind of work hand-in-hand. One is called Validate Hyperlink. It’s also a PowerShell. And Replace Hyperlinks.


So, Validate Hyperlinks, what it does is it goes after, after we’ve migrated, post-migration, pushed up to SharePoint, we run this Validate Hyperlink to say, “Okay, all of the links that are present in the content, we look at all the images, all the links, do all they jive? Do they all work?” term in there. Do they all work and do they not rely on Jive anymore? Do they work without Jive in the mix? If they don’t, we find the report for those that are failing, and we use the Replace Hyperlinks utility to make fixes. That’s kind of our remediation efforts. That’s our main remediation, and then we go through, there’s another set of processes, more processes and queries that we use to validate counts and make sure that things that were in Jive are now in SharePoint. We make sure that the counts match and things match up properly. That’s the gist of it.


Kirk:Just to mention there that, a huge thing that this tool does is dealing with links that you have inside of Jive. So if you’re writing a Jive collaborative document, it’s very, very normal for people to create a link in there that points to some other Jive content that’s not that, that’s you know, it can be pointing to another Jive collaborative document, or a Jive blog post, or something. And something within Jive, the moment it does that, our utility, that’s part of the transformation process Chris was talking about, it transforms those URLs to be the URL that’s going to be or already is in SharePoint. It can be inside of a totally separate Jive place, going to a different SharePoint site collection or site. But that’s what these links are all, they’re all fixed for.


Chris:Clean all that up.


Danny:Impressive. Well done. I know this has grown through the years. It’s sort of the tool, you know, starting off, it started a long time ago, and it’s sort of growing, but it’s amazing how far along it’s gotten. So good work there. So for you, Kirk, what type of contents, we’ve been talking a little around this, but what are the types of contents that we migrate?


Kirk:Yeah well, first off, Chris has already alluded to the different types of places in Jive. There’s spaces, groups, projects, and blogs. There’s some differences with those and how they work, but inside of those, you can have what we call content, or sort of first-level content. The big ones are collaborative documents, which are kind of like a Wiki page in SharePoint if you aren’t familiar with Jive. There are binary files, which are just files like word documents or PDFs or Excel files. There’s also videos and photos, and then there is discussions, so it can be similar to like a Yammer discussion, or a SharePoint discussion, list discussion, those types of things, that’s in Jive, and then, blog posts. And we migrate all of those.


So those are the big content types. And there’re some other minor content types that we currently don’t, but those are the big ones that people use a lot. And we do migrate those, and then, within each of those you can have comments or messages. For whatever reason Jive basically says if you’re commenting on a discussion it’s called a message. But you’ve got comments on these blogs or collaborative documents, or what have you, and we migrate those. You might have attachments or embedded images on them. We will migrate, if we’re migrating a whole Jive group, we’ll migrate the members of that group, and put people into basically different SharePoint groups for that SharePoint site. I just talked about links, so we migrate those links that way to Jive content so they’re now transformed to the new SharePoint links. And then, things like timestamps, items, and the created-by, modified-by, those types of things.


Danny:Those are migrated?


Kirk:Yeah, yes.




Kirk:So when you’re looking at SharePoint, and you see the blog post was created by so-and-so at such-and-such time, that’s going to be when it was created in Jive. And you know there’s cases where the user may not map over for whatever reason, maybe it’s a user that’s now left the company, they’re no longer an active directory, so there’s some weird scenarios like that you have to get around, but for the 99.9% of them, things are going to migrate over with the user and the timestamp. And then we will archive some things that we don’t migrate as well, an example of that is Jive has the concept of categories and tags. We archive that, so we have that information, currently we don’t migrate it.


Danny:Okay, let me do the last little part. The part that we don’t migrate, I’m going to do this like a lawyer speak at the end. This is the very last part of the commercial right now. Won’t migrate-


Kirk:We’ll both say it. Many times, our customers don’t care about these things, and these are usually not used a whole lot. An example, one of these items, I think, is a poll, sorry, I’ll let you say it.


Danny:No, no, no, go ahead.


Kirk:[crosstalk] like polls, the last inventory I was on, I think in their whole Jive, I could be saying this wrong, but I think they had two polls. You know, they didn’t have many of them, but polls might be the wrong one, but they had a very small number of one of them.


Danny:Are they stored in the SQL server database, or are any of these things available for later on? If they need to go.


Kirk:Some of them are, yeah.


Danny:If someone said, “We had a poll, what did we ask in that poll?” Or yeah, those sorts of things? So some of them are.


Chris:Why don’t you rattle off the list?


Danny:Sure, okay, here we go. We’re going to see how fast I can do this. Ready, on your mark, get set. Polls, tasks, calendars, status updates, private messages, shared links, bookmarks, announcements, streams, overview pages, home pages, tile switches, category stacks, properties, personal documents, space, members, security. Ding!


Chris:Of that list.


Danny:We’ll migrate any of these for the right price.


Chris:But we are capturing.


Danny:If somebody needs to migrate this, we need to add it to the tool, then we can add it to the tool. It’s just a lot of these, the value of doing the migration hasn’t been worth the cost, right? That’s typically what we’re talking through.


Chris:Well, it comes down to, and I think we’re probably going to talk about this in more detail later is that SharePoint and Jive are not the same animal. Right? These things don’t really mean as much, or don’t mean actually anything in SharePoint, right? And a lot of them are, like for the case of a poll, that’s very time-sensitive, you know, a lot of times these things are done, they’re done. They’re completed, they’re done.


Kirk:Status updates are the same way.


Chris:Status updates we actually do capture in the database. We do capture tasks in the database and the categories we capture in the database.


Kirk:Shared links.


Chris:Yeah, yeah. Shared links as well. Those we actually archive, if you will, or capture them. We just don’t have any mechanism at this point to play them forward in SharePoint, because they really don’t translate into SharePoint. There are ways of representing them there, but nothing has been compelling enough to our customers to say, “Yeah, I want to go ahead and do that.”


Danny:It looks like we’ve branched over into question number five, which is, “Do we create an archive?”




Danny:Basically we do.


Chris:We do. That’s kind of what I alluded to earlier is, the way the utility, the way the whole architecture has been designed is that the archive is kind of banked in. So when we pull content out of Jive, when we do that deep pull of content, we can essentially do that for all places. And essentially, what that does is it puts it into a SQL server database, and for all the binary files, things like images, word documents like Kirk said earlier, Excel files, PDFs, that sort of thing, they’re stored in the file system in a very structured way. The database actually has pointers to those files. Typically what we do is we put all that together, we ensure that the customer has enough space to be able to retain all thos information, and that we can potentially walk through it with the customer, so they can understand how the database is organized, what the schema is of the database, how do we actually find these collaborative documents, or these discussions, or individual images. If someone wanted to know how to go after that. Maybe they didn’t migrate something to SharePoint, but they’ll want to actually look at some content that was pulled out of Jive at a later date. How do they go about doing that? So we sit down with a customer and show them actually how to access the database and be able to find that content in the database and their files.


Danny:So we sell them the database at the end of the project, right?


Chris:We just hand it over? What is wrong with us.


Kirk:It’s already there. It’s already done paid for.


Danny:Yeah you done pay for it, cool.


Chris:So that’s how that’s done. Again, we try to get the content. We want to be able to do stuff with it and be able to migrate it, but at the same time, why not use that same phase to archive it, so same process.


Danny:Question six, good, we’re half, we’re 30 minutes in. We may use up the full hour. Nice, okay, that’s fine. But this one I was sort of queuing it up a little bit earlier, which is the different phases of the project. I mentioned, workshop, which we covered in some detail, and then the pilot, and then the production, and then sustainment. Tell me more about these.


Kirk:Sure. First off, before the workshop, we like to do an inventory, as I mentioned. That, sometimes there could be issues getting connectivity to work, and stuff like that. So that can take two to three days sometimes. If there’s no connectivity issues, it can be a day, basically, it’s not as bad, but many times, there’s connectivity issues. And that’s just because of the security and how things are set up for some of our clients, but it just depends. And then, the workshop itself is two to three days. We want to sit down with you and discuss what this is going to be. It’s a lot of, like I’ve seen three, four hour sessions as one way of doing it.


Chris:Not two full days. Not two to three full days.


Kirk:No, they aren’t full days, right yeah. And it helps us, as we learn something from the first day, maybe we can show you different parts of a demo or something the next day. Then, after that workshop, that’s when we’re going to kind of come up with our scope and budget, hopefully. And one of those things that may be part of that and may be in scope is maybe updates to our tool. So that takes time, right? And what those updates are totally depends. You rattle off that long list of items that are not supported right now, and you get the big ones that we think people really care about, and those other ones, maybe they’ve got an idea of where they want that to go.


And We could talk about what that would mean. So then, after that, or at some point, it could be before or after those tool updates. If there’s significant updates, we’ll want to actually do more than one PoC, but at some point we need to do a proof of concept. And that may take a week or two. That’s going to verify, access, complete access to Jive and SharePoint. We’re basically going to be running sample migration of several places from Jive to SharePoint, and we’re going to basically, end to end, we’re going to see what happens.


And then, some people will get to see that from the client. They’ll want to take a look at that PoC and what the output is. But after that is a pilot, and that’s where you really get the business users and get them to, get their input. That’s usually a couple of weeks to do a pilot. That pilot may have iterations within itself, right? So a pilot, you might do one, you really want customer’s eyeballs on that. You want to make sure that people are seeing what they expect to see. Do they agree with it. Is there any issues, is any content missing. Really make sure there’s nothing that’s going to surprise the end-users of this particular. And if there is, and a lot of times there’s stuff that we have to tweak or adjust, we typically do another iteration of a pilot to make sure things are corrected just so they’re happy. It’s all part of the process.


Yep and then finally is production. Now, if there are a lot of tool updates and there can be like multiple pilots and multiple PoCs. You can be certain that we’ve seen that, but in production that’s where you kind of want to be full on moving stuff from Jive to SharePoint. But you know, if you’re going to SharePoint Online, SharePoint Online can throttle you if you’re going too fast, so. And Jive’s going to have some limitations on how quickly you can hold their content as well so Chris talked before about a shallow pull. We also, when we do a deep pull right when we’re about to go to move a Jive place from Jive to SharePoint. So that’s when we pull from Jive further, if we don’t pull everything way before hand. If you want like the latest update to Jive when you’re moving someone over, you’d do that last minute. And that time totally depends, you know. I think of, one way of measuring is say 300 to 500 places, Jive places, per week, but we’ve seen, I know we’ve seen one place that took, I would say it was three days. That’s just to move one place. Now you can do stuff in parallel, but that was a huge place. It depends. when we get inventory we’ll have a better idea of what’s possible.


Chris:And I guess the key thing here too is that it comes down to that timing, right. You want to have enough time to be able to move this stuff, you know, from our transform database and then into SharePoint. Sometimes it takes a while because of the throttling, because of other things that can affect your performance. The nice thing though is that we’ve got the time, we move this stuff into SharePoint. We let folks tweak the tires a little bit. We can do that delta process with that true up process to kind of bring over the changes, so that allows that kind of like, “Let’s get everything up to speed. Let’s get everything in place.” And maybe the weekend before you’re converting over, you do your true up process and flip switch. There’s ways to do it now.


Danny:I know, sorry this is a bit sideways, but I know some of the customers, they get it sort of as the wrapping up, using Jive to get a back up of their Jive database and have we ever looked at, have we ever had to use that sort of as the thing that we’re pointing to to migrate data at all?


Chris:The actual Jive database?


Danny:Yes, the actual Jive database so pointing that the, that database as opposed to a rest API.




Danny:We haven’t had to do that?


Chris:No, that’s more of a, you know, we typically recommend that other guys still ask Jive for that back up just to have that.


Danny:Just to have it around?


Chris:Something extra. Yep, just to have it. Cause that allows them to spin Jive back up, right? If they ever, for some reason needed to. It’s more of that extra guard. But, no, we’ve never had to.


Danny:I just wonder if that ever is going to be the situation for us with in depth occurring to us. Who knows? We haven’t had to exercise it quite yet.


Chris:Well so, this is from an experience perspective we originally, this set utilities was usually written for us to do our own Three Will migration.


Danny:It’s where all good things come. You scratch your own back.


Chris:Right, so when we were first doing this we had the . We did miss some stuff, right? We didn’t catch everything so I had to go into the Jive database back up and learn how to do that.


Danny:Oh really? Interesting.


Chris:So I’ve got some experience doing that, but we’ve tried to, we’ve worked hard to not have to do that. I’ll tell you that much.


Kirk:And if Jive Cloud you’re not going to have access, direct access to that database, so.


Chris:You definitely have to have


Danny:Yeah you would have to have them create the archive.


Kirk:I don’t know what that process it, but they’ll do it for you.


Chris:If possible, but we try hard to make sure that that’s not necessary.


Kirk:But one thing we do do, is we have to had projects before, and I know Chris has done this directly, is we come back to a client and they say, “You know what, we want these other 500 places to be migrated now, I know you didn’t migrate them before, but you archived them, so you can migrate them, yeah, right?” And then we say, “Yes we can.” Cause as long as you got our database, the database migration tool uses, then we can migrate to SharePoint later as long as we did archive that content.


Danny:Nice, that’s great to know. It’s good to know you don’t lose it, that it’s still available for you. So I get the easy one, of course I give the easiest question to myself, right, which is how much does it cost to do these migrations. Simple answer, we do the workshop is a fixed price, right now it’s $7500, subject to change, I’m going to have my own lawyer speak to that, it might go up, especially if we’re getting large backlogs of these workshops then we may end up increasing that price. The typical migration, since we’re doing a bunch of these, the average size of these, is the cost for the pilot and the production phases is around $150,000, so what that tells me is that typically we’re working with mid to large size Jive implementations. For the smaller implementations I usually will coach them through or talk them through doing some manual migrations or, “Do you really need this.” Or we’ve been somewhat staying away from them and looking at only some of the larger clients who need to do these migrations.


So if you ask me right away, which a lot of people do, they ask me, “Can you give me a quote for doing this number of sites.” If we don’t have the time to do the workshop first, which the workshop gives us an updated estimate, I’ll just tell them, “Use 150K as the number.” Given the limit to the amount of time, and especially we end up, that’s around 1000 places when we’re working with that. If it’s more I’ll end up jacking that number up, but at a high level that’s what I want people just to have sort of an overall sense of what the budget is, and if that’s too high of a budget and doesn’t seem to make sense, it’s probably cause you have a smaller implementation of Jive and I completely understand, but I think we’re more focused around large implementations, right. So done with that one. What are some of the, and if you need to create a business case for this, or talk through why people have done this and some of the benefits, or want to talk to a customer about the benefits of doing this, we have all of those things so feel free to reach out to me through the contact us page, we can hook you up with the right people.


What are some of the biggest takeaways from these type of migrations? And I guess this is open to the two of you guys, from doing these for now years, what have you seen as, are some big take aways?


Chris:So I mean I would say one of the big things is just to understand that Jive, I mean I’ve said this already before on this call, Jive and SharePoint are just not the same. They are different animals, they have a lot of the same elements to them. It is a, SharePoint offers a great opportunity to consolidate a lot of this Jive content, but they’re definitely not the same. So you have to make sure you plan for, understand your content types very well so that you know kind of where the stuff is going to go. And that comes down to, I know we’re going to talk a little bit more about this, but it comes down to just time. Give yourself time to understand this stuff. I can keep going, Kirk, unless you want to-


Kirk:Well along those lines, you just need examples. Jive has something called streams, SharePoint doesn’t have really that concept per say. Jive has shared content where you can share stuff from one place to another but it only exists in one place but it’s just available from two places. SharePoint doesn’t really have that, I mean they have links but ideas, missed ideas on the dot cover list that think some cool ideas. SharePoint-


Chris:And you usually don’t see that, you just pretty often end up seeing that really affecting.


Kirk:So they’re not, like for like is a term I heard a lot and I don’t like it. They are not like for like.


Danny:We don’t like “like for like.”


Kirk:Yeah, it is apples and oranges. There’s some stuff that makes a lot of sense to move over and there’s some stuff that just doesn’t work well, you’re trying to force it in when you want to put it in SharePoint. And if it’s something that’s very important for you, then you got to really think hard about, “Well does this even make sense for us to move to SharePoint.” Or, “What are we going to do with this content we need, we can’t do this with SharePoint.” Segway to.. So you really have to think hard about those things if they’re important to you. So I mean we can talk about-[crosstalk].


Danny:Other takeaways you guys have?


Chris:I mean we’ve got one here, but there’s another, there’s opportunity to let us clean up the content too. When you’re moving from a system that’s been around for a while, there’s going to be some content to.. a lot. And there’s things that may make sense to bring together from multiple places, multiple spaces in Jive into one location in SharePoint, it’s basically a consolidation exercise. So this is an opportunity to be able to do some of that, not that you have to, but it is an opportunity for us to take advantage of if you indeed want to do that.


Kirk:Yeah and finally when you do these migrations you’ve got to make sure you’re communicating with, not only IT, but the users and I mentioned this before on SharePoint-SharePoint migrations, just you want to get your stakeholders involved. Everyone needs to be notified as to what’s going on here. And we’ll say it several times, communication is key. I mean you’re moving people’s around, so people don’t tend to like it when you move their stuff and so you want to make sure they, everyone’s on the same page, everyone knows what’s going on and we have ways just kind of helping with that as well. So some of the stuff we can kind of share in the workshop and also in the actual migration, how do you actually, when do you communicate with folks, how often do you do so, we have techniques that help with that.


Danny:I think that’s good that you mention that, I mean one of our brand promises is around control which is we want the client to feel like they’re in control of what’s going on. I think a lot of this types of things are important cause it feels, it does feel like you’re moving somebody’s, you’re moving the place where they collaborate from one place to another and it can, we can do these projects technically correct, but if we don’t get the communication piece down and also along with that communication, the expectation management from folks, then it can definitely fail. You can do a perfect technical implementation but then it fails if you don’t get the communication and expectation management right. Yeah if they expect to see what, “Here’s what it looks like in Jive, I expect it to look exactly the same in SharePoint.” That’s the wrong expectation.


I know we’ve also, along those lines, we to address that issue, have done stuff where we’re working with the Unily’s of the world or other products to make it a little bit more Jive like and also done, I know some of the clients had us do some branding or some things to make it feel a little bit less jarring as you make the move. So I think if that’s something that’s important to you, that’s something we would talk about as well, is if this expectation of moving from this to this doesn’t work, what are the things that we can do to make it work for you guys.


All righty, number nine, getting there. What advice would you give someone who was looking at this, this is probably similar to insights, but what advice would you give to someone who’s doing this? Besides, “Don’t do this alone.”


Kirk:One you kind of already mentioned, is starting early and make sure that we have time to make this happen for you. If we are rushed too much, then we’re going to have to start cutting corners. “Oh, maybe we won’t move over this type of content.” Or, “These places that haven’t been touched in the last year, we won’t move those because you’re giving us a month to do things.”


Danny:If you come to us a month ahead, it’s like my kids say, “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.”


Kirk:So you want to start early.


Chris:And we mentioned the communication portion, it goes back to that again, we’re going to keep reiterating the same thing. I have another thought related to this one, but I lost it so I’ll let you pick it up.


Kirk:That’s fine, yeah I mean we’ve gone over communication. I mean the other one that we’ve already talked about several times is a proof of concept and a pilot, these are key pieces of our process and we can’t cut those. And they’re going to happen whether you say they need to happen or not, because we’ve got to basically prove that we can communicate in your environment and pull stuff from Jive and push into SharePoint. And then we got to actually do a site or two that we get some feedback from before we start the full on migration. So that’s got to happen, and we need to plan for it, we need to make sure you’re aware of that part of the overall timeline.


Chris:Yep, and then a couple of other things. So understand the content types. So you really need to understand what Jive content types are out there. What are people really using them for. What are they using, what are they using them for, understand what your actual user base is doing in Jive, right? So that really kind of in the work shop we try to find out, “Okay do we need to have the customers, do we need to make customizations to SharePoint and or the migration utilities to be able to handle those .. or those very specific use cases.” I think customizations to the tool, I mean realistically someone can go and build, cause we use the public Jive REST API, someone could go build something that’s very, something similar to this. But I mean there’s quite a bit to understand and it’s very easy if you’re not careful to make mistakes, based on how they structure their things back out of Jive and you’ll, you can build it yourself I guess is what I’m saying, but you’ll run into some in that process.


Danny:I already have two examples of where someone once tried to build out the tool themselves and they failed. So it’s not, I’m not saying it can’t be done, it can be done.


Chris:Oh yeah, it’s a public API, so yeah.


Danny:But there’s been years we’ve been doing things with Jive, for now over five, six, I don’t know how many years, we probably been longer than that. Probably seven years where we’ve been exercising stuff with first building the connector and just sort of working with it through the years that there’s a lot of built in knowledge that has gone into it as well.


Chris:I mean it’s kind of giving us just a little plug for why would you choose us to do this, I mean we’ve done it. We’ve pulled, we’ve migrated quite a few customers now and we’ve got some experience and the code has been poked at quite a bit.


Danny:And I didn’t go through this earlier with the cost, is that we end up packaging in the cost of the tool into our services and so when you’re engaging us, you’re engaging us, what I want to say is for a solution, which is to migrate you from Jive to SharePoint Online and we end up, the pricing for all of this, we’re not a product company, we are working with a product company right now to see about transitioning what we have as a tool over to them, so it could be bought more like it’s a tool, but we’re in the middle of doing that right now. As it stands right now, you’re engaging us, our expertise, our tools that we have, and hiring us to do this migration and the pricing is based off of what our services cost is.


Last one, we’re 10 minutes left, we have one question left. Well done guys. You’re working on a, and I also saw a question, which I’ll have a question for you as well, which is great, wonderful to see that. If anybody else has questions, please go ahead and ask them through the go-to-webinar interface. You’re working on a white paper, I’m plugging your work, white paper here, plugging it. You’re working on a white paper back complex migrations, how do these types of project, the Jive migrations, influence what you’re writing in the white paper?


Kirk:So the white paper is focusing on SharePoint to SharePoint migration, but there’s plenty of similarities between when you go SharePoint to SharePoint and when you go from Jive to SharePoint. And they’re usually the big idea or process type of thing, so your overall process has to, you want to start with a workshop, cause we want to understand what you’re all about, what you need, where you are today and we want you to understand what we can do for you and what some of the caveats are and maybe what things we can’t do for you.


And you know I’ve talked about PoC and pilot several times already over the last hour, that’s true in both cases, and it’s extremely important and we talk about those and all of this in the white paper. And just we might word things differently in terms of our process when we’re doing SharePoint to SharePoint we tend to use terms like assess, plan, verify, and execute. But those transition over to the same stuff we’re doing here. And as Chris has said several times, the need to communicate is top on the list and that’s true in the white paper as well. That’s pretty much it.


Danny:So guys, couple of questions for you, and the first is, “Do you guys have an intranet in a box, that’s atop SharePoint Online that we can map and migrate our selective Jive content into.” Great question and up to this point the answer is no to that, we don’t have something where we’ve built something on top, basically an intranet in a box on top of SharePoint, the reason being there’s probably four, five, maybe six different options that are out there that we’d love to talk you through as far as what’s available out there on the market place for this sort of intranet on top of SharePoint. We’ve mentioned one that we’ve been working with on a couple of projects, which is BrightStar’s Unily. There’s also other intranet in a box products that we’ve been talking to those companies as well. So rather than having something that competes with those, we’ll work with whichever one you want to select and so we will go through the whole process, as part of the workshop we’ll talk through the process of, “How do we migrate that content.” Maybe not just into SharePoint but also into some other data stores, so some other places that you want to have the content go into.


So, great question, one of those things that we’ll be, we will work with another third party to, if you want to build out, use one of the intranet in a box products, then we’ll sort of work with you to select the right one if you want some help with that, or just point you to the ones, and I’ll actually follow up with an e-mail on what some of those options are. I’ve been meaning to write a blog post on what’s on there, I know there’s a CMS Wire paper that’s out there as well that has sort of the different options. Great question and good, the answer is you don’t have to use what we, if we did create something, you don’t have to use what we created. We will do some, after we’re done with the project, we can do some customization, we’re all about that so if you want to make some changes to the way that SharePoint works, we can do, I know some good people who can do that for you.


Great question Scott thanks for asking that and I’ll also follow up with you on an e-mail with that. Another question from Tom, “What are the biggest user issues from moving from Jive to SharePoint, for example, training, management, use.”


Kirk:Well people are used to using Jive in a certain way when they’re using Jive, and then SharePoint you don’t use things the same way. It’s just a different look, and so yeah there’s definitely some user training aspect to this where you want users to understand how to use SharePoint, what their stuff is going to look like once it’s in SharePoint, I would think that’s a big deal. From an IT perspective, totally different way of managing the product too. SharePoint’s got a lot more to think about.


Chris:I mean it’s also an opportunity to unite with your users and get in front of them and say, “Okay we’re switching to something, we’re moving your, but we’re switching into something that’s really powerful that’s going to give you a lot of capability.” Most users find SharePoint pretty easy to pick up and use, you don’t have an issue with that. But it gives you an opportunity to actually schedule some time with your users and get in front of them and say, “This is where the stuff is going to, this is how you actually take advantage of this now.” There may be things you couldn’t even do before but you can do now.


Danny:And this may go along well with communication, which is as your rolling this out, for years we’ve written about SharePoint best practices, sort of how do you do this the right way and what we see in different organizations. And it really is a competency thing, which is, you want to grow the competency of the organization as far as how it manages the information inside the organization. And if you’re using SharePoint as a platform to do that, there is, there’re training aspects of it. There’s just, what ends up happening in a lot of these larger communities is you have power users that end up showing up, you have different people who are really take initiative in building out their own solutions on SharePoint and you just have to nurture and cultivate those people and really grow it into something that everybody is using.


And so we have probably 10’s of blog posts that are out there as far as training types of things that you can do for building applications, and Microsoft has lots of materials on that as well, but you’re moving somebody to a new platform which is a very powerful platform, but with that it requires training and building up an internal competency around it.


I appreciate, looks like that’s the last question, I appreciate everybody taking the time to do this. I will, I’ve been recording this, I’ll send out the recording of this to everyone so that you have it. And it’ll be up on our website as well so that you can share with others who might not have been able to attend this. Chris, Kirk, you guys, phenomenal job, well done. I look forward to doing more of these with you guys. I think it’s giving people a choice, they don’t have to feel like they’re locked in and that they have a choice that if they want to keep what is important corporate IP, that knowledge that we have within our organization, that they can take it with them. That’s a really empowering type of thing, so I appreciate what you guys are doing.






Danny:Thank you everybody for listening, feel free, you can always reach out to me if you go to the contact us page on our website. That comes to me and I’ll get back to you really soon and if there are any other questions or anything else, feel free to reach out to me. And I appreciate you taking the time to do this and have a wonderful day, thank you so much, bye bye.


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