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Top 5 Document Migration Challenges

Top 5 Document Migration Challenges

The document management marketplace has been with us for many years and is still going strong. The longevity of the market creates conditions where companies can have more than one document management system. Systems can be inherited through acquisition, disparate departmental systems, or systems from software vendors that is no longer supported.

The following list provides the business drivers behind document/data system centralization:

  • Reduce IT complexity and maintenance costs
  • Reduce Infrastructure complexity
  • Adhere to regulatory retention, audit and compliance policies
  • Eliminate information silos
  • Safeguard information integrity

The following list is our top 5 challenges with document migration projects:

1. Old Technology

This goes with the territory. If customers are looking to migrate content, the source system is likely to be hosted on older technology/hardware using older software versions. The target is the reverse. Therefore, the migration process has to span technical environments that can be some years apart in compatibility. Another issue here is system accessibility, as support for older APIs need to be maintained.

2. Missing/Corrupt Documents

A migration forces a read of every document in the system and if the system has not been used for a while missing/corrupt documents can be discovered. These need to be identified and mitigated through the migration process.

3. Data Interpretation and Translation

The taxonomy of data that is stored with the documents in the source system may have been designed some years before. For example, an index value that made sense 10 years ago in one business context can have little value now, or categorization of certain document types has changed and need to be translated. This situation causes the business to get involved to advise on the data translation scheme. This is important to do, but can increase the timescales of the project.

4. Managing Time Expectations

Legacy systems can accumulate a large number of documents and data which can take time to migrate. Although timing expectations can be set during the project initiation, it is recommended to perform a pilot/test migration to prove the process and understand the timing. The following points should be considered:

  • Resource Utilization/Network Throughput – Document management is resource and network intensive as it moves both data and documents and migrations involve continuous movement of data.
  • API and Document Processing Overhead. It easy to think that you can roughly estimate a document management migration by timing just the file copy. However, there is the overhead of the source and target system APIs, and any additional processing that is required while migrating, such as OCR’ring or rendering the document to a different format.
  • Impact on Production. If the source/target systems are in use, the migration process could utilize the resources enough to slow down the system which impacts the business users. This situation may force the technical resources to be increased, or the need to run the migration out of production hours.

5. Differences in Document Management System Taxonomies

Not all document management systems are made equal. Objects or data contained in the source system may not all have a “slot” in the target system, or are simply managed differently. This means that a discussion with the business is required to reconcile and understand the differences. Areas that have caused discussion in our experience are:

  • How to Handle System Data
  • Differences in Managing Security
  • Moving Annotation Objects

Migration projects need careful planning and the above points should be considered and discussed with the business before timescales are presented and socialized.

Portford has developed a document migration methodology to accompany our own DocuNECT migration technology to address these challenges and to make sure migration projects are successful.

Contact us now if you want help in planning your next migration project.

Migrate Your Content to a Central Document Repository

Document management is becoming a commodity, which can create a problem for companies who are looking to centralize their documents into one repository. Commoditization helps make document management solutions accessible, allowing them to quickly spring up in different departments, divisions and locations. With the cloud providing more and more online solutions, a department looking for document management does not have to rely on IT for hardware. Internally, many organizations have Microsoft SharePoint and/or another document management system such as Documentum, OpenText, FileNET or eRoom to manage documents. In addition to these controlled document management systems, there are network file-shares, cloud storage, and FTP sites that can also store and provide access documents.

The more content each solution stores the bigger the problem becomes, compounding the challenge of centralized document management. Each individual solution provides it own value, but does not allow a unified approach to managing documents and associated data.

Three Reasons for Centralizing Document Management

Save on Maintenance and Resource Costs. Multiple document management solutions mean multiple annual maintenance bills that can mount up. Consolidating in one repository can allow you to retire solutions to save on maintenance and reduce hardware. Multiple systems also require resources with multiple skill sets, and possibly require more consulting time to support and maintain.

Realizing the Value of One Central System. One repository provides a global view of documents that facilitates better searching, allows better data integration, and also creates a foundation to facilitate initiatives that are not possible when documents are split between repositories. These initiatives include workflow, retention management and information discovery that can work on the complete scope of documents rather than just a smaller subset.

Increase Compliance. Regulations surrounding document management are on the increase, so having one environment where compliance is controlled reduces an ambiguity of what system stores the master version and allows audit trails and controls to be consistently applied to all documents.

How Can We Help?

DocuNECT is a solution to manage the capture and migration of documents from a number of different sources and document management systems. DocuNECT works in conjunction with our Idea to Implementation (i2i) methodology that has a complete reconciliation process that can help satisfy quality organizations that the documents have been moved from one system to another without the “chain of custody” being broken.

Ten Features of DocuNECT for Migration

1. DocuNECT can migrate documents and meta-data to and from popular document management systems.
2. DocuNECT can also interrogate file-shares, FTP/sFTP sites, user’s machines and cloud storage for documents to migrate.
3. Users can also manually migrate documents from their email, their file systems, or use the Virtual Print Driver to print documents directly into the new document management system.
4. Business rules can be applied to automatically classify documents and extract meta-data to allow it to be correctly placed into the target document management system.
5. Users can verify/change information using a web-based application before it is finally distributed.
6. Documents can be converted to and from a number of different formats. Documents can also be appended together, or broken apart, to better represent their classification and associated meta-data.
8. Data can be distributed to, or accessed from, business applications.
7. Complete document “chain of custody” audit reporting to maintain compliance during the migration.
9. Duplicate documents can be identified and either ignored or reviewed before being distributed to their final location.
10. If the “out of the box” features are not enough, DocuNECT has a powerful Microsoft .NET and Web Services API to allow documents and data to be exported or distributed to “home grown” solutions.

Top 5 DocuNECT Business Use Cases for Documentum

DocuNECT is a powerful document processing and integration platform that can be used in a number of different ways to add value to your EMC Documentum D6/D7 system. We have picked 5 business use cases from our customer base to demonstrate the flexibility and capabilities of DocuNECT.

1. Accounts Payable System Integration and Email Capture
Business: Fund Management Company
Functionality Used: Email Capture and Business Application Integration

A fund management company utilizes Documentum to manage the electronic capture, review and approval of invoices on both the fund management and corporate areas of the business.

They use DocuNECT’s email capture functionality to allow users and vendors to email invoices directly into the accounts payable Documentum workflow solution. In addition, DocuNECT is used as a platform for retrieving and uploading data to the Unit4 CODA accounts payable solution.

2. Automated Imports and Desktop Capture
Business: One of the Largest Home Builders in the US
Functionality Used: DocuNECT Import Module and Clients Tools

The company profiled in this case study is one of the largest home builders in the United States. Like many organizations today, this home builder was faced with the challenge of trying to get away from managing paper which was labor intensive and time consuming. They embarked on a project to see what solutions were available to capture documents electronically from the desktop, index them and then distribute them to both Microsoft SharePoint and EMC’s Documentum document management systems.

The company first implemented DocuNECT’s Virtual Print Driver to digitize desktop document capture, which immediately reduced the amount of paper the company was moving between departments. Rather than printing the documents to paper, and then scanning them into Documentum, the documents were printed directly into Documentum using the Virtual Printer Driver. This made the documents quickly available to other users who needed access to them to make business decisions.

Read the case study:

3. Multi-Function Device Integration
Business: Medical Device Company
Functionality Used: Multi-Function Device Integration

The medical device company were looking for a cost effective way to implement a distributed scanning solution for Documentum, utilizing their multi-function scanning devices. DocuNECT was implemented to allow any user within the organization to scan documents using a multi-function device and then use DocuNECT’s web-based indexing interface to index the document before they are distributed to Documentum.

4. Capturing Documents from the Desktop
Business: Mortgage Company
Functionality Used: Virtual Print Driver

The customer service representatives within the mortgage company needed to quickly add documents to the loan documents stored in Documentum from business applications and desktop applications.

Their business application generates reports/documents that cannot be exported, but need to be archived in Documentum. The DocuNECT Virtual Print Driver is used to print these documents directly into Documentum from the business application.

5. “Bulk-Import” into Documentum
Business: Pharmaceutical Company
Functionality Used: Bulk Import

The pharmaceutical company uses a number of outsourced service providers, such as Clinical Research Organizations (CROs) and Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMOs). Documents are regularly provided that need to be migrated into the Documentum central repository.

DocuNECT is used to facilitate the bulk-import of documents, providing an import audit trail to insure that all documents are accounted for and compliance is maintained.

If you would like more information on how you can use DocuNECT with your Documentum environment, then contact our sales group