“I call my guys Dragon Slayers. Every day they have to go out and deal with some new problem they’ve never encountered before.” That’s Alan Crowetz, CEO of InfoStream, talking about the value his team brings to every customer engagement.
InfoStream has been providing IT services to small and medium-sized businesses in South Florida for more than 28 years. Their customer list includes professional services like CPAs, lawyers, and engineers. They also provide IT services to malls, municipalities, and non-profits. One of their long-time non-profit customers is the ARC of Palm Beach County.
The ARC of Palm Beach County is a large organization supporting people of all ages with developmental disabilities and their families. One day, Alan got the call to help the ARC merge with not one, but two, equally large non-profits. The project had to be done fast, and it needed to be kept top secret.
“The three organizations wanted to be sure they could manage the announcement of their merger,” said Alan. “That meant not telling employees or disclosing anything to the public until they were ready. They didn’t want people worrying about their jobs, or donors confused about where and how to give. This made project discovery a challenge. Luckily MigrationWiz works with so many different email platforms and databases. We were confident we had the right tool to get the job done.”
Taking stock of the challenges and complexities
When the ARC of Palm Beach County decided to merge with Palm Beach Habilitation and Seagull Services, they made immediate plans to combine operations. This meant merging email, databases, and other systems across a number of physical sites located around South Florida. Any project of this size and scope comes with complexities.
Each organization was using a different email system and one of them had accumulated an enormous archive of deactivated accounts from former employees. The InfoStream team also discovered that one of the organizations relied heavily on a complicated OneDrive setup that included desktop sharing. Another concern was a handful of legacy applications on a remote server that were no longer supported, but still in use. Each of these situations called for extra care in order to deliver a smooth migration.
“On top of it all, they decided to move employees’ offices around to different buildings throughout Palm Beach County. I swear they were trying to test us,” said Alan.
From the beginning of the project, Alan’s team wanted to be certain MigrationWiz would be able to handle all the complexities of these migrations. They knew exactly who to call.
The people behind MigrationWiz
The InfoStream project team started by listing out all the questions that came up during their discovery phase. Then they dug into the BitTitan Knowledge Base where they found extensive documentation that answered many of their questions. Not surprisingly, their Knowledge Base exploration sparked additional questions that they hadn’t previously considered.
The next step was for the team to reach out to BitTitan and schedule a call. Not only did they get personal guidance for how to make the mergers a success, BitTitan offered to set up a demo using a sample of real data. They also had people on hand to go over documentation and answer any additional questions.
“When you’re nervous and under pressure, with a giant project and a short timeframe, it makes all the difference to have somebody who will truly work with you,” said Alan. “BitTitan helped us understand what to expect, warned us about the pitfalls, and showed us how to avoid them. You could knock me over with a feather how smooth it all went.”
They surprised even themselves
The merger of the ARC of Palm Beach County, Palm Beach Habilitation, and Seagull Services couldn’t stay secret forever. But by the time the official announcement was made, InfoStream had fleshed out their plan and they were ready to execute. As with any major re-organization, employees had their worries. They worried about losing data, and about losing access to critical applications like timesheets and payroll. The project team identified key employees and gave them the designation of VIP.
“The VIPs are the people critical to keeping operations up and running in an organization,” said Alan. “A good example is the person in charge of payroll. Everyone wants to get paid, so this person gets extra attention throughout the migration.”
In the end, Alan’s Dragon Slayers succeeded in flawlessly moving three very complicated organizations. The migration was nearly transparent to users, and they were able to get right to work on their new platform as soon as they logged in on Monday morning.
“This project worked out better than our best-case scenario,” said Alan. “If you had told me it would be done in a month, I would have said, ‘no way’ – maybe six months. But we did it.”
If you’d like to learn more about how MigrationWiz handles migrations regardless of size and complexity, contact us today.