Over the past two decades or so, companies have been storing their data on various platforms--Lotus Notes, Exchange Public Folders, file shares. When Microsoft introduced its SharePoint platform, some companies decided it was the solution for consolidating all their disparate data. Now with the 2007 versions of the SharePoint platform, even more companies are deciding that SharePoint, with its collaboration, document management, work flows, version control, and storage capabilities is the wave of the future.  But how do companies make the switch to SharePoint and bring all this data stored on other systems.  Recently, I spoke with representatives from Quest Software, who told me about their solutions for doing just that.

Quest provides solutions for migrating from Lotus, public folders, file shares, and earlier versions of SharePoint. According to Doug Davis, Director of Product Management for Quest, the two products that are getting the most uptake right now are the Notes Migrator for SharePoint and the File Share Migrator for SharePoint. He says that there's been a shift in the market and people aren't content to stay with Notes. And they're also buying into the concept of SharePoint as the next-generation file share.

"Those are the two most active areas right now and people are heavily interested in looking at migrating tools for those products," Davis said, "but we're seeing continued interest in the public folder migration space and growth in the \[SharePoint\] 2003 to 2007 migration space as well." Quest also provides migration tools for those scenarios as well.

So why do organizations need a file migratory product instead of doing it manually? Davis says, "These are all large datasets, there's no native process to bring them into SharePoint. There are some bulk uploaders but they're fairly limited in scope and most migrations require a project approach. All our tools are built around a project methodology."

Although initially, companies may feel overwhelmed by the daunting task of moving all their crucial information to SharePoint, the reduction in resource management and increased productivity will make it all worthwhile. And fortunately, with help from migration tools from companies such as Quest, they don't have to go it alone.