Your Windows Management and Migrations Community: Automate and simplify all of your Windows-related tasks.

  • 20-minute QuickCast: How to Manage Windows Server Permissions from a Single Console @DellSoftware

    Your organization keeps data on numerous servers: Windows file servers, NAS/SAN devices, SQL Server, Exchange and SharePoint.

    Unfortunately, permissions are stored directly on each resource, making it nearly impossible to manage access control consistently and effectively.

    On Thursday, September 4, see a better way, one that is simpler and more secure. In this 20-minute tech demo, you’ll see how Security Explorer makes it easy to:

    • Maximize productivity by using a standardized platform for managing permissions.
    • Enhance security by finding and fixing security deficiencies on the spot.
    • Meet security compliance requirements with management and reporting capabilities.
    • Uncover security weaknesses by searching on “who has access to what” across the enterprise.

  • 5 Business Benefits of Migrating from IBM Lotus Notes to #SharePoint– Part 2 of 2

    Remember the first time you used IBM Lotus Notes, or an application built on top of Notes? It’s kind of a quaint memory, isn’t it? Like the first time you used the World Wide Web or installed an app on your phone.

    Maybe you could see the potential in the platform and started thinking about how Notes apps could replace the hodgepodge of spreadsheets and documents floating around your work group. Notes has indeed shown promise over the years, but businesses now discover that same potential and promise in SharePoint rather than in Notes. If they are just embarking on collaboration and enterprise app development, they are starting with SharePoint, not with Notes. And if they have Notes, they are migrating away from it toward SharePoint.

    In our last post, we outlined the first three business benefits of transitioning from Notes to SharePoint. In this post we’ll pick up where we left off and outline the last two arguments in favor of migration: long-term business strategy, and mergers and acquisitions.

    Long-term business strategy

    The trend toward moving business applications into a web portal means easier access for users (tighter integration, common look and feel) and easier management for administrators (security, compliance). Notes does not fit well in this picture, and more organizations are struggling to keep their legacy Notes deployment on par with a forward-looking technology strategy that needs to support several business goals:

    • Innovation – As the dominant provider of enterprise software, Microsoft continues to upgrade functionality in products like SharePoint, Office and Dynamics. Contrast this with IBM’s attempts to keep Notes relevant in the changing landscape of information management software.
    • Agility – Enterprise-wide adoption often starts out small, with an application catching on in one department and steadily gaining popularity in others. While Notes was designed for success at the work group level only, Microsoft technologies fully support this kind of evolution, from Access through SharePoint to a .NET app, for example.
    • Recruiting and retaining talent – The technology on a company’s desktop represents an important differentiator. Which would you rather tell a prospective employee during an interview: “We run on SharePoint,” or “We’re a Notes shop?” You and they both know that their career and résumé will benefit more from riding a technology wave than from treading water. SharePoint also supports mobile better than Notes does, appealing more to job candidates looking for flexibility in how, when and where they do their job.

    Mergers and acquisitions

    With Microsoft’s dominance in the enterprise, companies expect to see its software running on the desktops and servers of other companies. When the goal of a merger or acquisition is to reduce costs, the ease of consolidating on Microsoft products is a no-brainer. What company would be pleased to tell its IT group that it was absorbing a Lotus Notes implementation as part of a merger?

    Next steps

    Is a migration from IBM Lotus Notes to SharePoint in your future? You’ll probably find that legacy users and legacy applications are the two biggest hurdles to overcome. Despite some inertia around learning a new interface, most users embrace the productivity gains in short order. And even a large application portfolio can be migrated from Notes to SharePoint with the right tools.

    Have a look at our recent blog post, “Learn what @DellSoftware customers have to say about Dell Lotus Notes migration solutions” and read our entire paper, “Business Benefits of Transitioning from Lotus Notes to SharePoint” for ways to get the conversation started in your organization.

    But really, what do you think about SharePoint, Notes and migration? Let me know in the comments below.

  • 5 Business Benefits of Migrating from IBM Lotus Notes to #SharePoint – Part 1 of 2

    “Mobile is just a fad.”

    “Cloud is too risky. We’re staying pure-play client-server.”

    “To align IT with business, we’re going to migrate from SharePoint to IBM Notes.”

    We don’t usually give career advice on this blog, but I’d say that if you’re hearing any of those pronouncements around your company lately, you should probably start looking for another job. Especially that last one. You’d have to look long and hard to find many organizations pivoting toward Notes – from anything, really.

    Companies are, however, migrating from Notes to SharePoint for several business reasons, and Jean-Pierre Siebel and Randy Rempel have outlined those reasons in a paper called “Business Benefits of Transitioning from Lotus Notes to SharePoint.” In this post we’ll summarize the first three arguments in the paper:

    1. Business transformation
    2. Cost reduction
    3. Capability enhancement

    Next time, we will cover the last two arguments in the paper.

    1. Business transformation

    Business transformation is a lot like root canal: you know you’ll be better off afterwards, but you’d always rather have it in your past than in your future. KPMG found that 60 percent of 910 U.S.-based multinationals surveyed had started or completed at least one major transformation initiative, with 30 percent citing “coping with change in technology” as the top reason ("Business Transformation and the Corporate Agenda," KPMG, 2013). Many of the customers we talk to point out that technology transitions such as the one from Notes to SharePoint also represent an opportunity to transform their business and become more agile and productive.

    In fact, technology now nurtures transformation instead of hampering it. Back when business units like HR, Accounting and Sales were locked into separate vendors or Notes applications for their software direction, the organization stood little chance of transforming as a whole. Now, consolidating on a computing platform is easier because of the almost universal family of Microsoft enterprise applications like SharePoint.

    2. Cost reduction

    Saving money is a good reason to migrate, and the Notes-to-SharePoint migration offers lower costs in two areas:

    • Reducing user training – Because most users are already familiar with Microsoft products, they require little training to take advantage of SharePoint’s features. This is not the case with Notes and the applications built on top of it. In fact, many organizations must provide additional training in Notes beyond what they provide for Microsoft Office.
    • Improving productivity – Even with training, many users never achieve the level of productivity with Notes that they achieve with SharePoint. The consistent look and feel of Microsoft applications enhances productivity, but that consistency does not apply to Notes, which requires users to adjust as they move between the platforms on the same PC. When users must continually ask themselves whether they’re in the Notes world or the Microsoft world, it detracts from their productivity. Within the Notes world, the variations allowed in the user interface can cause yet more confusion, with inconsistent placement of buttons, labels and navigation. Across an enterprise, the additional training and seconds of slowdown add up to real costs.

    3. Capability enhancement

    As more organizations recognize that SharePoint represents the future and Notes represents the past, the functionality gap between them becomes wider and deeper, particularly in three areas:

    • Search – The ability to find information in Notes suited the needs and expectations of enterprise users a decade ago. Now, users inside and outside the enterprise take for granted search functions such as intuitiveness, relevance and ratings, which SharePoint includes. When information is only as valuable as the ability to find it, search is of primary concern to smart organizations contemplating migration.
    • Integration between applications – Given the dominance of Microsoft Office in the enterprise, the tight integration between Office applications and SharePoint is a strong argument in favor of migration. In real-world use cases such as multiple users collaborating on a Microsoft Word document or Excel spreadsheet, SharePoint-to-Office integration far outstrips Notes-to-Office integration.
    • Workflows – Successful business processes rely heavily on automated workflows like task assignments, reviews and approvals. Without its own workflow engine, Notes is poorly equipped to propel these processes, but SharePoint’s workflow engine is built upon a service provided by the operating system. The engine is readily available to developers, who can easily integrate workflows across products.

    Next steps

    Watch for our follow-up post shortly. Meanwhile, you can read the entire paper, “Business Benefits of Transitioning from Lotus Notes to SharePoint.”

    Or, if you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and begin planning your own transition, have a look at Randy Rempel's post, “Grouping Notes Databases into Migration Categories for Migration Planning”. Or you can download a trial of Migrator for Notes to SharePoint and use the free discovery tool to perform inventory and assessment on your Notes databases. 

    What do you think about IBM Notes, SharePoint and migration? Let us know in the comments below.

    Good luck!

  • Thursday, August 21 Tech Demo: How to Manage Windows Server Permissions from a Single Console

    Your organization keeps data on numerous servers: Windows file servers, NAS/SAN devices, SQL Server, Exchange and SharePoint.

    Unfortunately, permissions are stored directly on each resource, making it nearly impossible to manage access control consistently and effectively.

    On Thursday, August 21, see a better way, one that is simpler and more secure. In this 20-minute tech demo, you’ll see how Security Explorer makes it easy to:

    • Maximize productivity by using a standardized platform for managing permissions.
    • Enhance security by finding and fixing security deficiencies on the spot.
    • Meet security compliance requirements with management and reporting capabilities.
    • Uncover security weaknesses by searching on “who has access to what” across the enterprise.

  • Introducing the Notes to #SharePoint Migration "Appceleration" Service

    We speak with customers and partners involved in Notes to SharePoint migrations almost daily. One common challenge we see across all projects is that organizations that focus on migrating the most complex Notes applications first often struggle to get the project started. The majority of standard databases and applications are simple and easy to move with the right resources, but are left untouched while rationalization of complex applications delays the project.

    Does this sound familiar?

    In addition, users will often delay SharePoint adoption until their existing content has been migrated. But as the heavenly voice from the "Field of Dreams" movie might say, "Move their content to SharePoint and they will come." This enables users to become productive in the new SharePoint environment before the project is completed.

    Dell's new Appceleration Service helps jump start your migration by transitioning standard Notes application templates such as discussions, document libraries, team rooms, etc., to SharePoint quickly and affordably. The Appceleration Service comes at a fixed price per database, enabling you to better plan your budget and also eliminate excessive estimates that can quickly stall a project. 

    The migration service is performed remotely by a team of experts using Notes Migrator for SharePoint to migrate IBM Notes, QuickPlace/Quickr and Domino.Doc applications to SharePoint 2010/2013, Office 365® and other hosted SharePoint environments, with high data fidelity, minimal downtime and fewer development resources than you thought possible. Dell Quick Apps for SharePoint Starter Edition is also included at no extra charge to enable the rapid rebuilding of standard Notes applications that are user-friendly, code-free and easily supported, maintained and upgraded to ensure their long-term impact and return on investment.

    Benefits include:

    • Jumpstart stalled migration projects with a cost-effective, fixed-price solution to accelerate the assessment phase
    • Mitigate risk by migrating simple applications without data loss
    • Move standard applications to SharePoint without custom code to ensure their supportability
    • Retain Notes’ traditional functionality and look and feel
    • Increase SharePoint adoption by enabling users to immediately use their applications in the new environment
    • Lower maintenance costs by quickly eliminating Notes infrastructure

    With the Dell Notes Appceleration service, you can free up your IT resources to focus on high-priority custom applications.

    How to get started?

    Customers: To learn more about this fixed-price offering, contact a Dell expert on our web site. Just ask about the "Notes to SharePoint Appceleration Service". 

    Dell Partners/Consultants: We'd love to work with you on developing your own program just like this. Contact us on our web site and let's work together!

  • New case study - @CoatsPLC migrated 7,500 users in 5 months from Notes to #Office365 @DellSoftware

    Check out our new Notes migration case study!

    To enable effective collaboration in its global business, Coats needed to migrate 7,500 users in 70 countries from IBM Notes to Microsoft Office 365. The migration had to be complete in just five months, without disrupting the business. Coats engaged InfraScience to help with the migration, who chose Dell Notes Migrator for Exchange and Coexistence Manager for Notes. The migration was completed on time with virtually zero impact on users, delivering solid return on investment.

    In summary, here were a few of the business benefits Coats achieved with the help from InfraScience and Dell Software. 

    • Migrated 7,500 users across 70 countries simultaneously from IBM Notes to Office 365
    • Ensured the migration was completed within a tight deadline of five months and without disruption to the business
    • Provided business continuity by enabling seamless coexistence during the migration
    • Reduced costs significantly by automating migration processes
    • Made the most of available bandwidth to efficiently migrate mailboxes up to 30 gigabytes in size

    Again, you can read the new case study here:

    If you're more of a visual learner, we also have a video case study on this Coats migration project. 

    (Note: if you cannot view the embedded video, please click here to watch:

  • [New 7-minute YouTube Video]: Simplifying Windows Server Permissions Management @DellSoftware

    Do you ever wish there was a faster/simpler way to manage permissions across your Windows server environment?

    Common complaints using native tools include:

    • The inefficiency of using different tools to manage access for Windows Server, NAS/SAN filers, Exchange, SharePoint and SQL Server
    • The complexity of mastering multiple interfaces
    • No easy way to search for or gain visibility into who has access to whatespecially with nested/inherited permissions
    • No way to back up, compare, clone or restore user and group permissions
    • No easy way to report on permissions or export access controls to a spreadsheet for analysis
    • No quick way to make bulk or targeted permission changes across multiple servers

    You deserve a better way to streamline permissions management, all from a single, easy-to-use console.

    Watch this 7-minute YouTube video as Alexey Korotich, product manager, explains how Dell Software can help.

  • Register for Thursday's 20-Minute QuickCast: Conquer Your Top 4 #ActiveDirectory Management Challenges @DellSoftware

    Managing the security and uptime of a Windows network requires you to master your Active Directory — the brain and heart of your network — with maximum efficiency.

    To effectively manage Active Directory, you have to overcome four key challenges:

    1. Security
    2. Auditing
    3. Recovery
    4. Group Policy

    Attend this 20-minute webcast and see how the all-new Active Administrator 7.0 enhances security, improves IT efficiency and maintains business continuity. You'll see how to overcome these common Active Directory challenges:

    • Assess and delegate security, apply tighter security policies and prevent over-privileged users
    • Audit changes made to Active Directory with advanced reporting, alerting and event filtering
    • Keep a version history of all Group Policy Object (GPO) changes and edit GPOs offline
    • Maintain all objects in Active Directory, from Group Policies to passwords and permissions

    See for yourself why the new Active Administrator 7.0 is the most powerful and complete Active Directory management solution available today!

  • New Release - Coexistence Manager for Notes 3.6 Now Available

    We're thrilled to announce the release of Coexistence Manager for Notes 3.6. 

    Coexistence Manager for Notes ensures seamless collaboration between IBM Notes and Exchange in order to maintain business productivity throughout the coexistence period. You’ll be able to ensure the accuracy of your email and calendar data, including recurring meetings and active mail in order to mitigate the risk of lost or delayed operations. The tool also lets you sync Notes and Exchange directories (users, groups and resources) to preserve user collaboration while also enabling free/busy queries between platforms.

    In addition to rebranding to Dell standards, this release also includes:

    • Domino 9.0.1 and Notes 9.0.1 support
    • Exchange 2013 SP1 and 2010 SP3 support
    • Windows Server 2012 R2 support
    • Directory Connector dry run—Test the Directory Connector to identify potential issues, and fine-tune its configuration as necessary before the live run

    A copy of the Release Notes is attached to this blog post. 

    Download version 3.6 here. 

  • Everything you need to know to manage, audit and secure your #ActiveDirectory, #WindowsServer and #SQLServer Enterprise, in one powerful reporting solution @DellSoftware

    Need to achieve and prove IT compliance and security?

    Migrate Windows Server or AD?

    Report on the configuration/security of AD, Windows file servers or SQL Server?


    Manual approaches are time-consuming and prone to human error. In this new tech demo, see an automated solution with scheduled and on-demand reporting that helps you answer questions like:

    • Who can do what in Active Directory?
    • Who has administrative access to Windows servers and workstations?
    • Who has access to what printers, shares, folders, files and SQL databases?
    • How are my servers configured?
    • How does the configuration of my servers change over time?
    • What local users and groups exist on every server, and what is the membership of each group?

    Take a proactive approach with Enterprise Reporter to easily identify and report on who has access to what files, folders and shares, and on what servers. The solution is highly scalable, secure and customizable to support large and complex Windows environments with multiple groups of report consumers.

    No time for video? Download the tech brief here.