Successful Migration

How to Enable Successful Migrations from OpenText Content Server to Microsoft 365


Is your organization preparing for a migration from OpenText Content Server to Microsoft 365 as part of a legacy platform consolidation, business merger, or acquisition?  Check out the tips below to help make the process as smooth as possible and ensure successful migration.

The OpenText Content Server or Livelink platform is utilized by many organizations for content services needs including document, records management, information governance, and business process automation (workflow). 

At one time, OpenText was the right technology and platform for many organizations. However, the rise of Microsoft 365 and SharePoint Online has allowed organizations to consolidate their ECM needs into the cloud whilst leveraging a single consolidated platform for email (Exchange), collaboration (Teams, SharePoint), document management (SharePoint), business process automation (Power Automate) and AI / Machine learning for content processing (Syntex).

The most common reasons for decommissioning your legacy OpenText Livelink system:

  • Cost savings (maintenance and support)
  • Simplify the complexity of legacy systems and consolidate platforms – no more upgrades
  • Desire for a strong cloud offering and platform
  • Replace duplicated functionality with best-in-class cloud in Microsoft 365 and SharePoint Online

Ensure successful migration from Livelink to SharePoint Online with these key tips to overcome common migrations challenges.

4 Common Migration Challenges and Tips to Overcome Them:

1.) Figuring Out What You Have and Where to Start

Your organization’s OpenText system contains many years worth of data across many disparate business departments and groups.  Where does one even begin to analyze and develop a migration plan to handle all of your company’s data?

To overcome this challenge – start planning and then plan some more. 

The Gimmal Content Server Discovery and Analytics tool allows you to easily report on what you have, how much content, and department. This tool also allowed users to generate detailed analytics such as counts, sizes, types of documents, staleness of the data, types of metadata, and employee permissions. Additional analysis is provided to identify ROT (redundant, obsolete, trivial) and duplicate data.

Understanding the type and volume of data enables your organization to begin devising a project plan and schedule. You will be able to easily determine the appropriate time to migrate departmental content based on size and velocity. Additionally, your organization can begin to understand what it means to migrate all content versus only the latest versions or N versions.

In some cases, organizations will decide to migrate only active content and archive content that is no longer active.  Gimmal Migrate will allow you to selectively choose what content to migrate to SharePoint and what to archive to file shares or Azure Storage.  If an organization decides to archive a subset of content, rest easy in knowing the archived content can be rehydrated with full fidelity back into SharePoint at any time by using Gimmal Migrate.

Understanding the differences between your source and destination system is important to achieve a “full-fidelity” migration – a migration where creation/modification dates, versions, objects, users, and metadata are fully preserved.  The desired result is that your content appears as if it were always in SharePoint which is important from an information management and records management perspective.

Ensuring you know about long folder paths, long file names and invalid characters between source and destination are important to migrate properly.  Not understanding and not planning for those differences in your systems is a common mistake that can cause delays and issues during a migration.

Ensuring you can handle different objects (subtypes) in your source system is essential to ensure all content is accounted for in a “full-fidelity” migration.  Things like project workspaces, compound documents, emails, and even custom object types should be considered during your migration planning – consider how they are supported and how they will be migrated to SharePoint.

The Gimmal Migration Tools will automatically report on and allow you to handle differences between your source and destinations.  Gimmal Migrate can support any sub-type you require to ensure a full-fidelity migration is achieved.  We can help you avoid “re-inventing the migration wheel”, which ultimately saves you time and effort for your migration initiative.

Often customers have integrations with their OpenText Content Server environment to line-of-business systems like SAP, Plant / Asset Management (Maximo), and Contracts Management.  Our team of migration experts has you covered – we have first-hand experience dealing with different business integrations and can advise your organization on the best approach for successful migrations. 

For example, Gimmal Link enables customers to replace SAP’s integration with OpenText with a similar integration with SharePoint.  This enables our customers to greatly simplify their technology stack and support decommissioning of their OpenText environment.

If your organization has an existing requirement to replace OpenText Records Management functionality – Gimmal Records is the solution that can be implemented that allows your organization to manage and govern your records from a central location against multiple content sources such as SharePoint Online and your File Shares.

Finally, organizations that have been using Livelink Content Server for many years likely have links referencing their content throughout documents, emails, and webpages.  Document links are used to reference and consume documents.  These document links represent vital pathways to organizational knowledge, and if broken, it would be a big hassle for an organization to try and fix all the broken links.  The Gimmal Legacy Link Redirector automatically provides a powerful and elegant redirection of your Content Server links to their new destination in SharePoint Online or archive location.  To your end users, there will be no broken links – they will automatically resolve to their new correct destination location.

4.) Not Having the Expertise, Time, or Resources

We understand that many of our customers are very busy and rely on finding a trusted migration partner and advisor to help plan or conduct their migration project for successful migrations.  Whether that means assisting on an assessment, training, and guidance all the way to a full turnkey migration services engagement – we have you covered!

Gimmal is a Microsoft Content Services Charter Member.

Being a member of this exclusive program means we are recognized as an expert/vendor in the field of ECM by Microsoft, for excellence in migrations, information, and records management.  This includes SharePoint Online and the overall M365 Suite.  Charter Membership enables us to work closely with the SharePoint Online leadership team with visibility and advanced participation in product updates and feature changes.

Leverage Gimmal’s best-in-class and fastest migration tools, migration expertise, knowledge, and turnkey services to achieve successful migrations.  Gimmal has conducted an industry-leading number of Content Server to SharePoint Online migrations. Our expertise will help make your migration smooth, including optional turnkey Project Management activities, change management, validation (maintaining Legal Chain of Custody) and customer education requirements.

Benefits of leveraging Gimmal:

  • Gimmal specializes as domain experts in migrations from Content Server to SharePoint Online.
  • A repeatable and proven Migration Methodology to help your organization avoid re-inventing the migration wheel.
  • We have migrated many small to large environments, including global fortune 500 corporations, and can help you implement M365.
  • Best-in-class tools that enable the fastest turnkey migrations that provide a full legal chain of custody and end-to-end automated validation to ensure your migrations are successful.
  • Our experienced staff can support legacy OpenText Content Server environments during your migration.

Make your migration process as simple as 1-2-3!

Looking for more migration tips? Schedule a complimentary assessment of your migration needs and learn about how Gimmal Migrate can make your migrations from OpenText Content Server to SharePoint Online fast, effective, and efficient.