Historical data accumulates quickly in HCL Notes applications. When the time comes to shut down HCL Notes Domino as part of the organization’s modernization strategy, this historical data must be extracted first, and only then can the platform be decommissioned.
swb AG is a German energy supplier that supplies the cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven with natural gas, district heating, drinking water, electricity, and disposal services. Its predecessor company Stadtwerke Bremen, which was converted in 1999, was one of the oldest public utilities in Germany. In 2016, swb AG achieved a turnover of €1,330.8 million with a total of 2,180 employees and made a profit of €92.6 million.
We4IT has more than 20 years of experience in operating and modernizing HCL Domino systems and is currently focusing on application migration. The We4IT headquarters is located in Bremen, but the field of activity extends to the entire DACH area. In total, We4IT GmbH has 25 employees, including two HCL ambassadors.
swb AG has been using Lotus Notes since 1998 and created many different types of Domino applications to support business processes over time.
As part of the organization’s modernization strategy, a decision was reached to migrate from Lotus Notes to other platforms. Notes email was moved to Microsoft 365, while the bespoke applications were mainly migrated to SAP and RoXtra.
Following the successful migration of active applications, swb AG was left with around 50 Lotus Notes databases that could not be migrated. The databases were used by all business areas in the company and stored years’ worth of business data.
This data now had to be archived in a non-Notes format for archiving and e-discovery purposes. The project was to be completed under a tight deadline and swb AG partnered with We4IT to find a suitable way to archive the databases.
We4IT has worked closely with swb AG during their Lotus Notes’ migration and developed a deep understanding of the customer’s business models. Based on that knowledge, a list of requirements was quickly drafted.
“By using Seascape for Notes, We4IT was able to design the PDF archives of our remaining Notes databases according to the individual wishes of our specialist departments, and the end users are reporting a 100% satisfaction with the generated archives.”— Marko Fischer, Team Lead Mail / Infrastructure, swb AG
Among the more important requirements were ease of use, ability to convert Lotus Notes forms with absolute conversion fidelity, maintaining of document links, and ability to have all of the content readily available for future search and e-discovery.
After looking at several different solutions, We4IT found that SWING Seascape for Notes was the only solution that ticked all of the boxes. Following a quick evaluation of the product, We4IT was able to create a proof-of-concept for the archiving job, and from there the database archiving project was initiated.
Marko Fischer, Team Lead Mail / Infrastructure at swb AG said: “We4IT has been our Domino service provider for many years, and when they recommended Seascape for Notes for our archiving project we were very enthusiastic about the wide range of archiving options offered by this solution. By using Seascape for Notes, We4IT was able to design the PDF archives of our remaining Notes databases according to the individual wishes of our specialist departments, and the end users are reporting a 100% satisfaction with the generated archives.“
Detlev Schümann, Team Lead / Project Manager at We4IT added: “We were impressed by the hassle-free archiving to PDF and linking attachments in the directory. We were able to archive large databases with thousands of documents in 2 to 3 hours. Also the support we received from SWING Software’s team during the data extraction was excellent. The team was very responsive and went over and beyond what was necessary to ensure that the exports were completed on time.”
We were impressed by the hassle-free archiving to PDF and linking attachments in the directory.— Detlev Schümann, Team Lead / Project Manager, We4IT
Upon the project completion, We4IT had archived more than 50 databases from two Domino servers, totaling approximately 100 GB worth of data. The archived data is stored in a network folder, where users can easily find the data they need by navigating the folder structure that was generated automatically during the export.
The project was completed well before the set deadline, after which the Domino servers hosting the applications were finally decommissioned.
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