The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) works to protect the vulnerable, promote strong and economically self-sufficient families, and advance personal and family recovery and resiliency.

PROBLEM

DCF was relying on legacy Lotus Notes Email software to send, receive and store its email.  The Department recognized the need to upgrade to a more modern and performant system.

SOLUTION

Cloud Navigator’s strategy followed best practices for a Lotus Notes migration to Exchange Online (O365). Because there is no Microsoft tool that migrates from Lotus Notes to Exchange Online, we utilized migration software from BitTitan called MigrationWiz. This migration tool extracts and converts messaging data from Lotus Notes format to Exchange format. We also utilized custom software from The LinchPin Group to facilitate migration of contacts stored on user’s workstations and to decrypt encrypted e-mail. PowerShell was also utilized to translate some of the settings from Lotus Notes into corresponding Exchange online settings.

Cloud Navigator implemented Microsoft Azure AD Sync technology for identity and group synchronization from DCF’s on-premise Microsoft Active Directory (AD) to the cloud based Office 365 directory (Windows Azure Active Directory), along with Microsoft ADFS federation service for secure credential authentication and redirection to DCF’s branded on-premise AD environment. This configuration allows for similar on-premise administration of mailbox users to DCF’s previous management processes. Through this architecture we migrated 800+ shared and resource mailboxes plus 11,000 user mailboxes to O365, comprising nearly a terabyte of data. All mailboxes were placed on “Litigation Hold” to prevent deletion of any email from the mailboxes. In conjunction with the email migration, we transitioned DCF from utilizing externally hosted Can-It spam filtering to the Exchange Online Protection (EOP) and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) technology within O365.

DCF was using several versions of Microsoft Office on their desktops. Our recommended approach was to upgrade to Office 2013 ahead of mailbox migration. This approach greatly reduces business interruption and end user client side issues, thereby enriching the end user’s experience with the new cloud based O365 suite.  DCF already had a licensed production deployment of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (SCCM) to perform desktop patching and application software package deployment. We performed initial discovery analysis to identify the various states of the DCF desktops and the requirements for each of the Office suite and Lync install packages. Development and testing of the multiple installation packages was completed by us in conjunction with DCF technical staff to provide necessary knowledge transfer.  We also recommended removal of previous versions of the Office suite. Leveraging SCCM 2007, Microsoft Click-to-Run, Office removal scripts, and Group Policy Objects (GPO) technology, Cloud Navigator achieved a “silent deployment” of Office 365 Pro Plus (Office 2013) to a combination of 2500+ desktops and laptops in just a few weeks.

RESULTS

Through solid communication planning and a sound technical roadmap DCF and Cloud Navigator were able to produce test, pilot, and deployment strategies to minimize the impact on business. DCF reported a support incident rate of less than .005% (<100 tickets) for the Office suite deployment.