Microsoft recently announced the release of updated tools and resources to assist companies migrating from IBM Lotus Notes and Domino to Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS). The latest version of Microsoft Transporter Suite for IBM Lotus Domino hit the street January 20. For those of you who read these columns faithfully, you’ll smile (ironically perhaps) remembering Anne Grubb’s story about how Penton Media recently migrated from Lotus Domino to Exchange Server and Outlook ("Changing the Status Quo," November 12, 2007). We were just a bit too early for this update to the Transporter Suite. But we have no regrets in moving to Exchange and Outlook.

Reasons for Moving Off a Legacy Platform
Any software migration has its costs. If you aren’t on the Microsoft unified communications and collaboration platform, you need compelling reasons for your company to make the switch. Excipio Consulting and CASAHL Technologies, companies that have researched the migration issue and who partner with Microsoft and other corporations on messaging system migrations, find three compelling reasons why companies don’t make the change: No budget allocation for migration, insufficient data on which to estimate costs, and administrator bias toward the software they already deploy. Excipio and CASAHL investigated the top business challenges other companies had when considering switching from their current system. If you’re thinking about a possible migration, you might want to compare your situation with their findings. Here are some of the top problems they reported:

  • Lack of a legacy platform’s ability to change with the business
  • the organization’s inability to get meaningful information to the appropriate people in a timely manner
  • existing systems operate on costly, outdated, or unsupported platforms, thus the systems are unreliable
  • "It’s always worked this way, so why change?"
  • operating costs continue to rise, while the value of the legacy systems continue to decline

To read this whitepaper click here. The Transporter Suite and partner alliance is Microsoft’s bid to ease the transition from one email platform to another.

What’s in the Transporter Suite?
The Transporter Suite contains tools for directory and free/busy interoperability between Lotus Domino 7 or Lotus Domino 6 and Exchange Server 2007 and Windows Server 2003 Active Directory (AD). The suite also has tools to migrate Lotus Domino users, groups, personal address lists, mailboxes, personal mail archives, and applications from Lotus Domino 7, Lotus Domino 6, or Lotus Domino 5 to AD, Exchange 2007, and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. In the suite, you’ll also find tools for generic POP/IMAP servers to enable you to bulk migrate mailboxes from generic email servers supporting the POP3 or IMAP4 protocol to mailboxes in Exchange 2007.

The Transporter Suite, which was released last year, has been updated several times. The current update contains scalability improvements, so administrators can move organizations with hundreds of thousands of mailboxes, users, and groups. For download information, click here.

What’s Your Migration Story?
Have you recently migrated from Lotus or another platform to Exchange? What’s your experience with the Transporter Suite or with dealing with Microsoft partners to effect the switch? We’d like to hear from you. Our forums are the perfect place to share your caveats and successes. You can also reply directly to me smolnar@windowsitpro.com or Brian Winstead, my coeditor, bwinstead@windowsitpro.com.

Having Trouble with our Web Site?
Brian and I have heard from a few folks who were having trouble using our Web site. We’ve recently migrated to a new Web host and there have been a few glitches in the process. Most of these problems have been solved, but if you’re having any trouble signing up for a subscription or locating something on the site please send mail to Brian and me. We’re here to help you. As always, drop us a line and tell us what you want to see on Exchange and Outlook Pro VIP. If you like to write and you have a solution or a script, please send us an article proposal.