By Account Management Lead Corbitt Grow
When it is time for a network migration, tensions can be high. Horror stories of down time, frustration, and buyer’s remorse abound. Anderson Technologies recently completed a SharePoint migration for one of our long-term clients, a deep-value investment firm, and their Head of Business Operations was kind enough to debrief with me after the project concluded.
Note: We anonymize our clients’ stories for their protection.
Corbitt Grow: What were some of the challenges/issues you were experiencing with your original platform (a third-party hosted environment)?
B. M., Head of Business Operations: While the hosted environment provided us with a one-stop shop for many of our systems, files, Microsoft suite, etc., we experienced pretty severe latency issues as well as outdated versions of Microsoft programs. Large Excel files took a long time to open and file performance often suffered if an employee had multiple files open.
In order to send a file from the hosted environment File Explorer, we had to use the hosted environment version of Outlook. Not only was this version several updates behind our local Outlook, but it also struggled with severe latency issues.
We have many files that are collaborations between multiple teammates, but our old environment did not allow two users to be in a file at once. Lastly, our environment did not allow for any integration with the new CRM that we put in place in March of 2023 (Salentica Engage, built on Microsoft Dynamics).
C. G.: How would you describe the migration project process?
B. M.: The migration to SharePoint was about as smooth as you can get for a technology migration project. It took very minimal preparation effort on our part. We spent a small amount of time restructuring and reorganizing some of our files and folders prior to the migration, but otherwise, we just made ourselves available to answer any questions or deal with any concerns that came up (spoiler: there were very few!).
The discovery project that Anderson [Technologies] did with our prior service provider allowed us to have a clear understanding of the complexity of the project and the expected timeframe. [The] Anderson [Technologies team] kept us up to date with weekly updates and we felt that there was very clear communication throughout.
All in all, the project stayed on track and was concluded as we expected.
C. G.: How has Microsoft 365 (SharePoint/OneDrive) impacted your team? Do you have any examples you can share of how the new solution has improved efficiency or workflows?
B. M.: The impact that our team has seen from the SharePoint/OneDrive migration is two-fold: speed and collaboration. We concluded this migration right before quarter-end, which is the busiest time for [our firm]. Not having to deal with file performance or File Explorer/Outlook latency issues allowed our team to work quickly through all of the client reporting, consultant questionnaires and other quarter-end requirements. It also allowed us to work in many of these files at the same time, instead of having to wait until the person that you were collaborating with was done.
We had several instances where multiple employees were working on an investor letter or marketing questionnaire and the ability to collaborate made for a much smoother, quicker process. While we have not integrated SharePoint and our CRM yet, we expect this to greatly enhance our ability to find all information about a client as quickly as possible. If our Head of Client Relations gets a phone call from a client, he will be able to pull up their record in the CRM and not only view account details, but also any documents related to that client that are housed in SharePoint.
Are you experiencing the “before” picture that our client described? Would a network migration make a business-impacting difference for you?
Before you pull the plug on your old network, let Anderson Technologies take an investigatory look at your environment and consult on the project.