Migrating off Lotus Notes and Domino was a large-scale project at O-I Glass, Inc., starting from 110 Domino servers and 10,000 databases
O-I Glass, Inc. (NYSE: OI), a Fortune 500 company, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of glass packaging products. Globally headquartered in Perrysburg, Ohio, the company has more than 27,500 employees at 78 plants in 23 countries worldwide and achieved revenues of $6.7 billion in 2019. For more information, visit o-i.com.
We spoke with Diane Jackson, the analyst/developer who worked on the Lotus Notes decommissioning project at O-I Glass.
Can you please tell us a bit about your approach to Lotus Notes application retirement? Was it a big bang or more of a gradual phase-out? How long did it take?
DJ: You need to eat an elephant one bite at a time. O-I glass is made in 23 countries around the world and has over 27,500 employees. Therefore, the deprecation of Domino or Lotus Notes applications has been a gradual approach.
Communication was key. We informed our users that the legacy Lotus Notes platform was going to be decommissioned. We requested the business to identify their active applications and denote whether a new solution and/or archive was needed.
Then, a custom Lotus Notes application was created to track the decommissioning effort. An agent populated the documents with all active applications’ attributes and ACL info. Additional fields capture details and various state and stage values. Agents were leveraged to track and set an application’s ACL to read or decommission state.
After four years, we now have less than 25 critical active applications that are being analyzed for a new platform.
“Seascape provided a web solution similar to the user’s experience in Lotus Notes. The Lotus Notes categorized views are transformed as is. The forms, embedded views, and doclinks are sustained.”— Diane Jackson
Could you tell us more about the scope and volume of your decommissioning project?
DJ: Sourav Chakraborty and I primarily managed the decommissioning project. There were initially 110 Domino servers with approximately 10,000 databases.
What platforms have you chosen as the Lotus Notes replacement?
DJ: Due to the architecture of Domino, many of the applications were regional designs. Applications needing a new solution were scoped for existing global platforms such as SAP, Windchill, Enablon, OpenText, etc. Additional modules and/or code work was required to prepare for the transition. If an existing global platform did not already exist, a ServiceNow custom solution was created for non-file centric solutions and SharePoint leveraging Microsoft Teams for file centric solutions.
Did you manage to accelerate your Notes migration by archiving all historical data?
DJ: In most cases, Lotus Notes data was not migrated to the new solution. Moreover, the new platform design and/or functional enhancements had evolved beyond the design of the Lotus Notes application. It was recommended that we close the historical data in the Lotus Notes applications and archive the data with Seascape for Notes.
Why did you choose SWING Seascape for Notes as the archiving solution?
DJ: Seascape provided a web solution similar to the user’s experience in Lotus Notes. The Lotus Notes categorized views are transformed as is. The forms, embedded views, and doclinks are sustained. These posed challenges with other archiving solutions or were not possible.
We contracted to have our applications archived by SWING Software since their consultants are knowledgeable Lotus Notes designers, which is very important when working with complex applications. Sometimes we needed to make adjustments in the applications prior to archiving. The consultants used our internal Lotus Notes tracker tool to update their progress with the applications being archived.
What do you like most about Seascape for Notes?
DJ: Historic Lotus Notes data is preserved, accessed and managed in a single file share repository. The Seascape for Notes archive web interface is very easy to use. The Lotus Notes forms are transformed to PDF files. Overall, the solution delivers an excellent user experience.
With more than 15 years of experience in data migration and compliance archiving, we will gladly share with you some of the best practices.