Coca-Cola Australia ditching Lotus Notes and adopting Microsoft BPOS

Coca-Cola Amatil is a drinks distribution company, which distributes drinks all across the Asia Pacific region and employs about 15,000 people, of which nearly 9,000 have company email and 695 are BlackBerry users. To support that, Amatil had 69 Lotus Notes Servers storing approximately 1 TB of email data. But if you divide that up by 9,000 employees, each employee only has 165.6Mb in their mailbox, which is extraordinarily small, especially considering BPOS has 25GB storage per user- they're either already archiving or have had users locally archive to NSF's- not good when approximately 80% of corporate IP is stored in email...

Now it is not entirely surprising, that a Notes customer is switching to BPOS. It's estimated that 90% of the circa 2 million users on BPOS were former Notes users. If you were thinking about migrating to Exchange from Notes, it basically makes no sense to go on-premise if you haven't already got an investment in Exchange skills in-house, with the costs of acquiring BPOS relatively low. What shocked me about this story was the amount of data they've transitioned and how difficult that made it...

It hasn't been completely smooth sailing for the transition. Meek said the decision to move all the email history in order to minimise the disruption for employees created additional challenges.

Yet the quote "the decision to move all the email history... created additional challenges" suggests they are not archiving- or at least not using one users can access quickly and easily, which meant an absolutely smooth migration was essential, otherwise users would be without their data and communication.

"There was significant effort in reconciling Lotus Notes," he said, explaining that in some instances, employees found they were getting someone else's email.

Yet the smooth migration that was planned wasn't always the reality- and there were some diruptions to users. Despite the headline of "move to BPOS within two weeks"- they've actually taken nearly four months to migrate just two thirds of their user base. But if you think about it- moving nearly 1TB from working email servers, restricted to just three nights a week over the internet link of the 69 branch offices spread out all over Asia is probably the main cause.

So how could this situation be avoided?

  1. Invest in archiving to replicate the data held in the working email system.
  2. While you're at it, start a user stored email investigation - really get to grips with how much data is lying around your organisation - and get that into your archive too. Most people are genuinely shocked about how much there is!
  3. Once your archive accurately reflects your email history, think about migrating cleanly over to a new system moving just your users and relying on the archive for everything else.

It would be much more realistic to do a migration in two weeks if you've achieved step #3!