Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc. (ELS) is the leading operator of manufactured home communities, RV resorts, and campgrounds in North America. The company owns and operates the highest quality portfolio of resort communities in the United States with controlling interest in more than 370 communities and resorts in 32 states and British Columbia.
ELS had successfully leveraged the Lotus Notes platform for messaging and lightweight applications. However, the maintenance costs, both from a monetary and human capital standpoint, were making Lotus Notes an increasingly expensive technology to maintain. Additionally, the physical infrastructure for Lotus Notes was experiencing outages, which was affecting ELS business operations. As a result, ELS sought to provide a higher level of reliability for messaging and collaboration services by leveraging a cloud-based solution.
To help ELS with their business objectives, Maven Wave first conducted a live pilot, in which several members of the organization were able to fully switch to Google Apps in place of Lotus Notes. The pilot was a success, which led to the decision to fully migrate the rest of the company to Google Apps. Maven Wave addressed the following technical challenges associated with the migration.
- Directory Infrastructure: Much of the user information within the ELS messaging platform was maintained within Lotus Notes. To help provide a more flexible framework, Maven Wave assisted ELS with the extraction and publishing of user information into Active Directory. Once complete, the Active Directory environment was integrated with Google Apps using the Google Apps Directory Sync.
- Data Migration: The Lotus Notes environment offered generous quotas for end user data storage. As a result, many users had 10 GB or more of email, which resulted in a large volume of data for migration. Maven Wave developed a plan to automate the migration of all data using the Google Apps Migration for Lotus Notes tool. The migration was performed in stages to minimize the production impact to Lotus Notes before launch.
Over 1,500 users were successfully migrated from Lotus Notes to Google Apps for Business and over 1TB of data was initially migrated prior to go-live, with additional migration performed after the launch. Training sessions were conducted and offered for all employees, including post-launch sessions to cover “Tips & Tricks” and “General Q&A” to ensure that employees were well supported.