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Alfresco cloud migration service moves content off premises

With new cloud migration services, Alfresco promises to move content from IBM, SharePoint, Documentum and other legacy ECM systems to its cloud platform in a matter of weeks.

A renewed Alfresco cloud migration service aims to move complex content data from older, on-premises repositories to the vendor's cloud-based Digital Business Platform.

The enterprise content management (ECM) and business process management vendor, headquartered in Boston, said the Alfresco Migration Service's structured five-week process mitigates the risk of moving from what it called "outdated legacy platforms."

Enterprises ready for cloud

ECM has been one of the last enterprise sectors to move to the cloud, in part because of persistent latency and security concerns that many enterprises still have about their large content storehouses.

But content management has reached an inflection point at which large enterprises are ready to migrate content to the cloud. With the Alfresco cloud migration system, unveiled July 16, the vendor has formalized its existing cloud migration process, said Alan Pelz-Sharpe, founder and principal at Deep Analysis in Groton, Mass.

"Putting a proper strategy, program and methodology around [cloud content migration] is what's new here," Pelz-Sharpe said. "There are tens of thousands of legacy ECM systems out there, and they don't do a very good job, but people sunk a lot of money into them.

"They're complex, and moving these things is difficult and the cost, risk and complexity is very off-putting for a lot of companies," he continued. "They want to move, but they're too scared to move."

Software and consulting

The Alfresco cloud migration service includes a new toolkit with dashboards, analytics and content service connectors, available now. The suite of tools is scalable with automated capabilities to enable discovery, auditing and validation of data from multiple repositories and can be integrated with third-party tools for additional data classification and categorization, the vendor said.

Putting a proper strategy, program and methodology around [cloud content migration] is what's new here.
Alan Pelz-SharpeFounder and principal, Deep Analysis

In addition to the software tools, Alfresco said it provides dedicated services by staff consultants experienced in planning and delivering multiple large-scale migrations from older content systems.

Alfresco said the five-week migration program is a "field-proven" process in which Alfresco manages migration, auditing and training for employees on the Alfresco cloud platform, or the option for enterprises to execute the migration themselves. The company lists Delta Dental, LexisNexis and Protective Insurance as enterprises that have used its cloud migration services.

"We have helped customers migrate in the past, but what we're looking at is how do we make this more repeatable," said Paul Hampton, senior director of product marketing at Alfresco. "We've learned from a number of these different projects where we migrated some very large deployments from on prem.

"What we're doing now is providing a 'cookie cutter' approach where we're taking our best practice and encapsulating it in both consulting and a tool set," Hampton added.

Targeting on-premises and cloud content

With the Alfresco cloud migration service, the vendor is pursuing customers with content stored on systems from rivals such as OpenText Documentum, Google Drive, IBM Content Manager and FileNet and Microsoft SharePoint.

In the race to the cloud, Alfresco is directly taking on one of its biggest competitors, OpenText, which just launched a new migration strategy to move its own on-premises customers to the cloud.

And in targeting Google Drive, a cloud product that some enterprises use for content management but is not a dedicated ECM, Alfresco expects to gain customers from other cloud repositories.

"A lot of people have just dumped files and they've used things like Google Drive as sort of quasi-backup cloud storage systems," Pelz-Sharpe said. "If you're Google, you'd say it's ideal. Most other people would say it's not."

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, while more and more enterprises are willing to make the jump to the cloud, many still are not, so it is difficult to predict what success the Alfresco cloud migration program might have, Pelz-Sharpe said.

"Many large ECM deployments remain on premises and will do so for many years to come," he said.

Most Alfresco customers run the content management system on AWS in a virtual private cloud environment. Pricing for migration is private but is fixed and varies by the size of the project, according to Alfresco.

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