Written by Pete Fritz – Solution Architect, Unily
Follow the story of one global business who transitioned over 33,000 files, documents and sites from Jive to Office 365 and Unily. Why did they make the move? How did they do it? And has it been a success?
Jive Software is justifiably proud of its intranet product. Since 2001, Jive Software has built a collaboration platform that was well known for its support for social interaction, and in 2015 was able to report its first GAAP operating profit. In May 2017, Jive Software ‘went Private’ as it was bought by Aurea, and its future as a collaboration platform in the fast-moving enterprise collaboration services market has been cast in a haze of uncertainty.
Jive’s product is a web based collaboration software as a service product that allows Enterprises to build internal and external facing Intranets and Collaboration portals. Jive content owners can easily build ‘Space’ and ‘Group’ collaboration websites in which to publish content. Content web-parts can be arranged on a limited set of pages using Jive ‘tiles’. Users can upload files and videos to start a discussion or create many types of content from a set of content types like Posts, Videos, Events, and Questions, among others. All content in Jive can be commented on, liked and other wise engaged with by users – this is Jive’s biggest selling point.
But Jive does have elements which are a challenge for customers:
- After acquisition by little-known CRM provider, Aurea, it is uncertain if the SaaS product will continue to be invested in at the same level, or whether it will be relegated to a smaller role as part of Aurea’s CRM Suite.
- Customers with documents stored in Office 365 or SharePoint across their digital workplace are unable to surface these within Jive, unless they’re moved directly to the platform, resulting in siloed information and duplication of content.
- User experience has been a challenge, with the platform based on older, somewhat proprietary web technologies that make it hard to build beautiful, dynamic sites that can be changed quickly to reflect internal needs. Customization is therefore expensive and time consuming.
Last year, one of America’s biggest and oldest companies reached out to BrightStarr and Unily with a problem. They were planning on bringing many more employees into the business, and their existing Jive intranet was going to be unsustainable and hard to govern. In parallel, the business was in the midst of a large migration to Office 365, and integrating new tools into their Jive intranet would be time-consuming, complex and expensive. Could BrightStarr’s Unily Hub product be the solution to this problem?
The answer was a resounding yes.
Working with the business as well as Microsoft and ThreeWill, a Jive to Office 365 migration provider, we quickly built out a migration roadmap to migrate their Jive intranet content to Unily and Office 365 in 6 months by the end of 2017.
We call this ‘JUMP’: The Jive to Unily Migration Platform. This platform is made up of three main components (maybe we should call it JUMPPP?), The Platform, The Partner, The Process. These three components come together to ensure that we approach any migration from both a technical and business perspective, resulting in maximum intranet uptake for the business.
The JUMP Platform is based on Unily’s highly extensible content management system, hosted in Azure, that allows us to simply configure the underlying Unily content types and properties to support the Jive content types.
In this example, the business needed to migrate a huge range of content types from Jive to Unily. Some of these examples included:
- Any content on Jive Places that had content newer than 18 months (including almost 4,000 Jive Places, 115,000 content items, almost 100,000 comments and 33,000 files) to Unily Sites, with templates tailored to requirements to minimize work for the business.
- Migrating Jive Documents, Posts, Videos, Events, Photos, Discussions and questions to Unily Stories.
- Migrating all Jive social content and comments to Yammer groups, one group for each migrated place, so users can continue content-centric conversations post-migration.
- Migrating all binary files including PDFs and Office 365 files to SharePoint Online Sites, one for each migrated Place, enabling documents to be surfaced across the new intranet via search and document rollup widgets.
- Migrating all employees’ personal documents to OneDrive for Business sites and professional information to Unily profiles, synced with Azure AD.
- Migrating essential security setups and creating new permissions within Unily to ensure structured governance and compliance post launch.
As well as these content types, new Sites and Widgets were created within Unily to ensure a smooth transition and on-going adoption. These included new training sites designed to inform and educate users on the new intranet and customer content policy. Also, we shared our OOTB PowerBI report dashboard with the customer and a Unily Analytics Mart connection to enable the customer to build compelling reports using their own warehouse and reporting infrastructure and tooling.
The next component of JUMP is our migration Partner and fellow Microsoft Gold Partner, ThreeWill. We worked with the outstanding team from ThreeWill to build out a set of tools to migrate content from Jive into three platforms: SharePoint, Yammer and Unily, with Unily as the central site that has linkages to the other two platforms embedded in its site.
This tooling supported and simplified the migration process allowing us to:
- Inventory the Jive platform to identify and download sites and content to migrate.
- Post notifications on current intranet of migration status and lock down Jive Places so they can’t be edited while they are being migrated.
- Provision SharePoint and Unily Sites and related Yammer Groups.
- Migrate content to the respective platforms with appropriate permissions – Unily has all the content, SharePoint received documents, and Yammer manages all of the comments and messages associated with Content.
- Convert HTML content to fit with Unily’s styles, including images and videos.
- Apply Unily branding to SharePoint Sites to ensure a unified header and footer with integrated navigation and styling.
- Output reports about the migration process to keep everyone in the loop.
A hugely important part of the JUMP program, the technical migration was supported by a Process to support change management. This is designed to help the business get employees excited and engaged with the move to a new platform, which can be a significant undertaking. From experience gained with our health insurance customer, these are our top tips for a successful Jive to Unily migration:
- Prioritize. To ensure a successful migration, prioritizing the scope of the migration and choosing the most essential content to initially migrate is essential. Always make sure content looks better and more engaging on the new platform, helping employees understand how it will make their lives easier. Above all, focus on the content owners first, these are the people who will be required to change the most, and have most to gain from the platform. You want to generate a ‘Pull’ where people are clamoring to get on the platform, and not a ‘Push’ where they are forced on it against their desire. This means you should spend some good time upfront to understand what features are most important to focus on, and most importantly, get continuous feedback from people, and respond to feedback quickly with measurable value.
- Proof of Concepts. Every migration project is about learning. It’s a challenge to know what to expect, and technology environments and content transformation rules are unique with each customer. Proof of concepts allow for the customer and the vendors to experiment with approaches and gain valuable feedback, whether it is the technical approach, or the change management process.
- Pilot. Make sure you have a good initial Pilot of users who are ready to be the edge adopters and champions for the change. These could be your internal marketing folks and your IT team; typically, these are the folks driving the change. These folks are both the most forgiving and the most pointed in feedback.
- Plan and Iterate. Build an iterative release plan of migration waves, rather than opting for a big bang. Build out waves of change that focus on landing the most important capabilities first, which could be moving essential internal communications content and leaving documents for a future phase. Migrating an active intranet is like changing the wheels on a car when it is still moving; you need to orchestrate and plan your move in a coordinated way!
What were the results for our healthcare customer?
With the migration almost complete, the business has been able to reflect on the progress so far, taking time to gather valuable feedback from employees. As with any large-scale migration, the process has not been challenge-free but the end result is an intranet that matches the digital roadmap of the organization, while allowing for a streamlined communications and engagement strategy.
Here’s some of the feedback we’ve received from employees:
Content Owner: “I really love how I can add as many pages as I need in my site, and targeted for mobile or for desktop.”
Intranet Admin: “We like the centralized content management, it gives us better control and visibility into the content, and less worry about the wild west of the past”
Training Manager: “You guys need to slow down with new widget delivery, I can’t keep up with my training documentation!”
Intranet User: “I really like that the navigation and search is available anywhere I go, whether it’s Unily’s intranet sites or SharePoint sites, I always can link to apps and other sites and search for content no matter where I am.”
Performance Team: “Unily is about twice as fast as Jive to load on Chrome. Overall much more responsive.”
Project Sponsor/User: “Just look at how awesome that page looks on mobile!”
IT Operations: “I’m glad we only have to manage AD group membership and not have to update groups in each platform. I’m also glad we have all of our documents in a secure searchable platform that supports DLP and document retention.
The business is really excited about their new Unily intranet. They get Office 365 and its rich collaboration and integration features as well as Unily with its award winning content management platform and intranet design, and much, much more flexibility to respond quickly to changing business needs. In the next phase of the project, they plan to restructure and consolidate their intranet to better take advantage of Unily and Office 365 flexible governance and navigation features. They also plan to continue building on their site provisioning workflow, built with BrightStarr’s help.
From BrightStarr’s perspective, this customer really helped us hone the migration process down to an art form. JUMP will accelerate customers off of Jive to a new modern intranet based on Unily and Office 365, faster and more smoothly than ever possible before.
About the Author: After eighteen years in IT and development roles, Pete Fritz has a broad range of qualifications. His role requires translating his client’s business strategy and requirements into end-to-end digital information technology solutions, which may sound complicated, but it’s second nature to Pete.
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