Transition from Lotus Notes to SharePoint
Following many years of developing some 100+ applications and 1,000+ databases in Lotus Notes, HEINEKEN took the strategic decision to re-develop and standardise on Microsoft technologies in the UK, including SharePoint.
HEINEKEN needed to transition 50+ Line of Business Lotus Notes Team Rooms, across all business areas, to a central HEINEKEN Group SharePoint platform in a robust, repeatable manner.
The key challenges for HEINEKEN were the lack of SharePoint experience across internal staff and the need to deliver the programme within 12 months.
Based on their deep .NET experience, SharePoint know-how, agile development approach and rigorous software engineering discipline, HEINEKEN selected Bridgeall to devise the strategy and manage the transition from Lotus Notes to SharePoint.
Heineken required a robust and repeatable approach
As the transition was to cover all UK business areas in a short timescale, HEINEKEN required a robust and repeatable approach to minimise the work needed and to provide a consistent experience across each area.
“HEINEKEN’s UK Marketing Department was chosen as the pilot area for transition due to their complex usage of Lotus Notes and their desire to be involved at an early stage in the process. We then used this pilot area to develop the enduring process for the other business areas” says Graeme McLean, Bridgeall’s SharePoint Practice Lead.
Adrian Chambers, Head of Software Development for HEINEKEN in the UK says “We relied heavily upon Bridgeall throughout this project to advise us on best practise and implement a system that would accommodate our diverse requirements."
The process was split out into 4 Stages:
Stage 1 - Introduction & Database Review
Bridgeall introduced the aims of the project and gave an overview of the common functionality within SharePoint.
During this initial stage a full review of the current Lotus Notes Team Rooms configuration was conducted to identify the status and determine which documents could be archived.
Stage 2 - Defining Requirements
At this stage Team Rooms that were no longer used were scheduled into an archival process, notifying users before marking it as read-only and performing the archiving.
Team rooms that were in day to day use were analysed to see if they were a fit for SharePoint functionality and also if any consolidation could be made. Team Rooms that had complex requirements were placed in a queue for consideration for either a custom SharePoint application, or a custom .NET application.
Stage 3 - Designing Solution
The SharePoint site was implemented using a remote provisioned SharePoint template containing common functionality which provided a platform for further customisation if needed.
This remote provisioning ensured that Bridgeall could apply up front governance to the lifecycle of the SharePoint site.
Two key features of this were:
1. A technical support group to provide help to the business area’s for their site.
2. Google Analytics code on the master page of the SharePoint site in order to track usage of the site now and in the future.
Stage 4 - Content Transition & Support
Bridgeall worked with the business area to transition content from current Team Rooms over to the new SharePoint sites. Support was provided for end users during the transition process and this played a key part in driving end user adoption of the final solution. Drop in clinics were also held for business areas that wanted to extend the functionality or to ask any questions about best practice.
Finally, the last of the Team Rooms were archived leaving the new SharePoint site as the enduring solution. The sites were then handed over to HEINEKEN’s UK support function to be managed.
Bridgeall quickly understood the needs of the project and devised a robust, repeatable process that reduced the time taken to transition sites for each business area. Bridgeall added value to this process by devising a remote provisioned site template that included the common functionality needed as well as aspects of SharePoint governance allowing HEINEKEN’s UK support function to easily monitor and manage the sites in the future.
By engaging the business areas in the process, Bridgeall was also able to drive end user adoption and encourage users to utilise the out of the box features of SharePoint.
“We are delighted with the outcome, replacing our Lotus Notes environment with SharePoint has improved our staff collaboration as we are now able to discover information, present and manage documents and organise data in a more structured way, resulting in time and cost savings across many departments.
Bridgeall continue to be a key supplier for HEINEKEN’s UK software development function”. Adrian Chambers, Head of Software Development for HEINEKEN in the UK
About HEINEKEN UK
HEINEKEN is the UK's leading beer and cider producer and the name behind popular drinks brands such as Bulmers, Strongbow, Foster's, Kronenbourg 1664 and Desperados. In the UK HEINEKEN employs around 2,000 staff with offices in Edinburgh, Livingston, Tadcaster, Manchester, London, Hereford and Ledbury.