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Thursday, 13 December 2012

How plan a successful Novell GroupWise to Exchange/Outlook migration strategy?

GroupWise offers email, calendaring, personal information management, instant messaging, and document management. The same functionalities are offered by Outlook. Though, Outlook has become one of the most popular Email Clients. If you are an administrator and want to migrate from Novell group wise to Exchange then, you are going to face some challenges to perform an efficient migration.

1.Technical Challenges
  1. Ensuring Coexistence 
  2. Migrating Data
1.Ensuring Coexistence
If the size of the organization is small or medium than it’s okay to migrate the data from GroupWise to Exchange over a small time span using a proper planning this is called big bang approach.
But if you working with an large organization the migration process may take a long time , in that case  coexistence and coherence is required so, that the two e-mail systems behave like a single systems for end users.
This requires some thought in three areas:
    1. Directory synchronization
    2. Mail flow
    3. Calendar and free-busy lookups
Directory Synchronization
  • Provisioning of objects in Active Directory. If the AD object doesn’t exist, it won’t get a mailbox or appear in the Exchange GAL. 
  • GroupWise and Exchange 2010 should have the same view and agree on the definition of users, groups and resources 
  • GroupWise and Exchange 2010 should display the same address book or GAL.
Mail Flow
  • Whenever the Group wise to Outlook migration is going on there can be three types of users
  • non-migrated GroupWise users
  • Users migrated to Exchange 2010.
  • Users from Outside world.
So, it is required to maintain continuous and proper mail flow among these three communicating parties.

Calendar and Free-Busy Lookups
You can natively can be migrate Legacy calendar content  between GroupWise and Exchange 2010 but to accomplish  collaborative use of calendaring between GroupWise and Exchange 2010 , you need to configure Calendar Connector  for GroupWise, After that Microsoft Connector for
Novell GroupWise can be shared with directory synchronization and mail flow.

2.Migrating Data
If you are migrating data between the two platforms then you need to pre check tow things the:
  • The amount of data to be moved
  • Space consumed by it before migration & after migration
2. Logistical Challenges
The logistics of managing a GroupWise migration to Exchange include the following three areas:
  •  Migration schedule
  • User training and support
  • Deploying Outlook to the desktop
The Migration Schedule
In its simplest form, a migration schedule needs to include a list of Start with a definitive list of
Users, mailboxes, names and resources, and then, dates to draft a Migration schedule.

User Training and Support
GroupWise and Outlook behave differently. As you migrate from GroupWise to Outlook and Exchange, your processes and help desk staff needs to be able to support them so, here arises a training need for the users.

Deploying Outlook to the Desktop
If you want GroupWise and Outlook to co work on the same workstation then, first install GroupWise then Outlook because if GroupWise is installed after Outlook, then Outlook stops working. 
You can customize Outlook installation using Custom Installation Wizard. Or choose Group Policy, System Center Configuration Manager, or manual install to deploy Outlook.

3. Cultural Challenges
It might be possible that the end users don’t like to use Exchange or have got habitual of using   GroupWise. They may face some problems while communicating and managing with the new platform so, being an admin the end users shouldn’t be insisted but they should be given proper help and time to get themselves familiar with the changed environment.

Keeping in mind, all the above discussed points you may step forward to migrate from GroupWise to Exchange/Outlook. With a laconic search online, you can find a wide variety of software that let you easily migrate from GroupWise to Outlook. Just choose the suitable one and enjoy efficient migration from GroupWise to Exchange/Outlook.

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