Enterprise Content ManagementInformation Technology

Microsoft’s Internal Cloud Migration

IMG_0214One of the key factors to successful products is the concept of Dog-fooding; being your number 1 client and consumer of your product. Companies that use their own products tend to identify and correct problem areas quickly.

Microsoft is a great example of this. Before they started pushing everyone else to Cloud-based SharePoint, they planned out their own migration.

In March of this year, they published a white-paper that discussed their migration strategy.

They faced the same challenges we’ve seen from other SharePoint users:

  • Having too many sites: There were far too many sites for us to consider them individually. First, we identified and shut-down sites that were not being used. Then we used a combination of automation and site-owner engagement to migrate sites that employees were actively using and wanted to keep.
  • Trusting the cloud: Like any customer would be, at first we were cautious about moving to the cloud—so we kept our highly secured data on-premises. But once we saw that our migration efforts were working and that we had the expected security controls in place, we began moving all sites to the cloud regardless of their security level. We held a few sites back for regional compliance controls and complexity reasons. Today, we put our most secure sites in the cloud—even sensitive product and financial information.
  • Moving highly customized sites: SharePoint enables companies to build highly customized internal communication portals and business solutions and, like many customers, Microsoft divisions and groups took full advantage of this by building dozens of multi-layered sites to communicate with employees. Moving these sites with their widely varying customizations intact and functional was a major challenge.