Coats Turns to Dell for Notes-to-Office 365 Migration

3/26/2014
Coats plc, an industrial thread and consumer textile crafts business, leveraged Dell Software's Notes migration solutions to complete a fast, seamless global migration of 7,500 users from IBM Notes to Office 365, in only five months and without disrupting the company's day-to-day business activities.

Working with Microsoft and InfraScience, a member of Dell's PartnerDirect program, Coats used Dell's Notes Migrator for Exchange and Coexistence Manager for Notes to provide a seamless, cost-effective migration experience.

Coats, which operates in more than 70 countries, offers products and services for the apparel and footwear industries; develops technical products in new areas such as aramids, tracer threads and fiber optics; and is the No. 1 global player in the textiles crafts market. Coats used IBM Notes as its messaging environment for 15 years, but, as the company globalized, the Notes environment no longer met all its communication needs.

The expense of maintaining legacy technology combined with the compatibility challenges associated with IBM Notes integration with emerging platforms - notably mobile technologies - was a key driver in Coats seeking to upgrade its messaging platform. The objective for Coats was to enable easy and cost-effective communication and collaboration across both desktop and mobile devices, regardless of geographical location.

After choosing the secure collaboration capabilities of Office 365, Coats selected  Dell partner InfraScience to manage the complex migration of 7,500 users across 70 countries - with mailboxes of up to 30 gigabytes in size - on a tight deadline of five months. Rather than migrating users in one country at a time, Dell's Notes Migration solution set allowed Coats to migrate users from multiple countries – some with low bandwidth – simultaneously and without disruption to the business while vastly cutting migration costs by automating much of the process.

Migration from IBM Notes to Office 365 on schedule, with little impact on users
Dell's Notes Migrator for Exchange's ability to scale for Coats' project size and complexity while transferring email, personal address books, calendars, and archives ensured a fast, accurate migration that completed on time, and minimized the risk of data loss. The solution's ability to migrate multiple mailboxes simultaneously, using flexible groups of users from different geographical locations was a key component to keeping the migration on schedule.

While the migration was in progress, Dell's Coexistence Manager for Notes ensured users could continue to collaborate - send and receive emails, use meeting rooms, access shared resources, schedule recurring meetings - regardless of their migration status.

Even with some mailboxes of up to 30 gigabytes in size, Coats' 7,500 users were migrated on schedule without disruption. The solutions reduced the cost of the project significantly by automating migration processes and delivering a solid return on investment.

ZeroIMPACT migrations mitigate risks and eliminate impact on end users
Notes Migrator for Exchange and Coexistence Manager for Notes are part of Dell Software's portfolio of ZeroIMPACT migration and consolidation solutions that efficiently move and restructure user accounts, data and systems without impacting users or business productivity. End users remain productive, with full access to mailboxes, calendars and public folders throughout the migration. This seamless coexistence eliminates the need for migration tasks after business hours, reducing administrator workload.

"When you're a global company operating in over 150 locations worldwide, moving to a new global technology platform is a complex task. We required solutions that would help meet our very tight project timescales and avoid any interruption to our business operations," said Richard Cammish, CIO, Coats. "The geographic distribution of our employees, compounded by low Internet bandwidth in some of the countries in which we operate added to the size of the challenge we faced.

"We are very pleased that working with Dell, InfraScience and Microsoft in a highly collaborative spirit, we were able to migrate users from multiple countries at the same time, meeting our objective of on-time project completion without disruption," he added.
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