by Andy Doyle

Challenge

An international retailer had a problem: the company headquarters was moving, and they weren’t taking the data center with them. The retailer planned to move its data center to a colocation facility for efficiency and cost savings, but in order to get there, their Infrastructure and Application teams had to work together. A lack of communication and an infrastructure-centric approach had created barriers to success. Sensing significant risk to the business, senior leadership turned to longtime strategic partner Point B for help.

Finding the real issue: Relationships

Effective, low-risk migrations have two things in common: tightly integrated application and infrastructure teams and strong communications—two factors that weren’t in place in the retailer’s approach. The age-old divide between the Infrastructure and Application teams was present, and before the migration could occur, they had to start collaborating with one another.

Point B took a methodical approach, understanding the perspectives of individuals and then bringing the teams together to collaborate on solutions.

The approach worked. “Once Point B introduced a structured, collaborative, application-centric approach, we began to realize the gaps that legacy applications induced in our plan,” says the Infrastructure Director. “Point B helped us understand that we had to study both applications and infrastructure to be successful. We had to work together, or we’d fail.”

Moving the dial on migration

After establishing an application-driven process, we held structured workshops to analyze each enterprise application, including functionality, integration points, business criticality, outage restrictions, and solution approaches.

Our working sessions helped the client identify business impacts and move groups, perform risk assessments, and settle on a migration methodology. We worked with the client to assign applications migration risk levels, and set up a situation room to communicate the latest migration waves. Work groups maintained playbooks with detailed scope definitions, approaches, technology relationships and execution plans.

Finally, we kept senior executives informed of the migration status with easily consumable, business-focused metrics. “Point B got my teams talking and collaborating,” says the executive sponsor. “Now we have weekly syncs where I can see the progress.”

Tracking progress to completion

As a result of Point B’s work, the retailer successfully transformed a high-risk migration into a series of low-risk, well managed transitions and transformed their culture at the same time. "Point B delivered value with a structured approach and demonstrated expertise. They left my team better off than when we started,” the executive says.