The Colorado Department of Revenue (CDR) is using Lightspeed VMT to migrate 1000 users from Banyan VINES to Windows NT. As is happening in other VINES shops, upper management decreed the move to NT.

At first, the Banyan administrators were hesitant, because they were comfortable with StreetTalk. "I put the administrators through an eight-day NT training course, and they became NT converts," said Bill Heldman, CDR's team lead, network operations.

With the move from Banyan to NT, the end-user experience definitely changes, which can have a negative effect on the migration. Heldman recommends training super users in each work group. For example, CDR trained six super users from its 250-person tax group to become extensions of the IS group. Each super user received 6 hours of end-user configuration training. They learned how to install Outlook, uninstall the VINES client, configure the TCP/IP client, log on to the domain, and install the Norton virus scanner and a 3270 emulation client for mainframe access. "The super users are key to making this migration successful. Touching all 1000 clients would take us too long," said Heldman.

Heldman suggests you sit down with users to determine the key workgroup applications. CDR found that several custom Foxpro applications use VINES-specific tools to enable a single logon. The migration team has to rewrite those applications to eliminate the VINES code.

As part of the migration project, CDR is using Systems Management Server (SMS), Exchange Server, and Internet Information Server (IIS) for its intranet and FTP site. CDR also purchased ST4NT for the migration project. Heldman points out that although ST4NT periodically crashes, it helps the VINES people see what's on the NT servers and the NT people see what's on the VINES servers. In addition, CDR uses the Exchange Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) gateway to keep the NT and VINES email systems working together during the migration.

Lightspeed VMT let CDR move one workgroup at a time to NT and Exchange Server. Heldman has been impressed with the help he's received from Lightspeed during his migration project. "A handful of companies provide top-notch support, and Lightspeed is one of them," said Heldman.