In January 2015, Orbis Medisch Zorgconcern merged with Atrium Medisch Centrum Parkstad and unveiled its new name Zuyderland Medisch Centrum (or Zuyderland Healthcare Center). The new center provides excellent healthcare services in the south of the Netherlands to 10 care centers, two hospices, a rehabilitation center, a mental healthcare center, as well as providing home care, domestic care and youth healthcare. Thanks to the merger, Zuyderland can now reach a bigger patient population, and Netmail was proud to be chosen as their trusted partner and solution provider.
Zuyderland Healthcare Center decided to migrate its 6000-user strong email system from an on-premise Novell GroupWise system to an on-premise Exchange 2016 environment. The migration also involved moving to a new Windows Active Directory Domain with new user accounts and a different naming convention. One of the major challenges that hospital faced was that the GroupWise system had been upgraded several times and therefore had a long history and a complex entangled rights structure which had to be migrated too.
Because of these complexities, the hospital looked at many solutions to find the perfect solution that would fit their particular requirements, including:
- GroupWise 8 migration
- File-based GroupWise Archive migration
- Rights migration
- Different source and destination structure for users
- Option to perform the migration using a "big bang" approach
The only solution the hospital could find that matched their needs was Netmail.
Because of the complexity and previous experiences with co-existence solutions from other providers, Zuyderland Healthcare decided to perform a "big bang" migration. From the healthcare center's point of view, a "big bang" approach was easier to explain to the hospital's end users who do not all have not fixed workstations and also avoids the complexity of entangled rights over multiple email systems. Working in conjunction with Netmail’s Professional Services team, the Zuyderland IT team set up the migration servers in a single day with predefined server templates. Together with the Netmail team, they created the migration and restore jobs to fit their migration scenario.
- Initial migration of all mailboxes up to a few days before migration
- A rights migration/translation
- A "delta" migration of the last email after cut-over
- Import of GroupWise archives
To be sure of the success of the migration, the healthcare center performed multiple User Acceptance Tests to test the migration strategy and to become familiar with the migration tool itself. During these tests, the center's IT team grew comfortable with the tool and with the migration strategy proposed by Netmail.
According to the hospital, "the Netmail Professional Services team were always a telephone call away for support; when required a short remote take-over session was enough to answer all of our questions."
The migration started on time and the hospital migrated the whole organization over a Saturday afternoon. After one hour, all mailboxes were operational and everyone had access to their new Outlook mailboxes populated with all email except for the final "delta" email. Final User Acceptance tests confirmed that the migration was a success.
During the latter half of the Saturday, the last emails were migrated. GroupWise Archives were migrated one week later.
Did everything work without any issues? According to the healthcare center, "the Netmail Migration tool did the job, with a few minor issues. For example, when users move their Sent Items into another folder. But we were notified in advance by the Netmail Professional Services team and the issue was resolved."
There was also an issue with migrating GroupWise Archives over 28GB which could not be easily handled by GroupWise. Overall the migration worked perfectly as designed though and the whole healthcare center is now happy and comfortable working with Outlook.
A complex migration at the Zuyderland Healthcare Center was successfully and seamlessly completed, thanks to Netmail.