State Government Migrates Public Website to SharePoint, Saving Money and Keeping Pace with Business Demands

Located in the Northwest region of the United States, this state is home to nearly four million citizens. Close to 300,000 people work for the state, accounting for roughly 18 percent of the state’s employment.

Challenge

The official state website provides citizens one-stop access to all state resources in a single portal. The comprehensive web portal includes county and city pages, state agencies, and a state employment database. It also contains information on business, government, public safety and education.

As the current contract for hosting and managing the state website came to a close, the client recognized the opportunity to make financial savings and technical improvements within the budget cycle. Upgrading to a newer technology would allow the state to keep pace with evolving business demands, and citizens and government employees would benefit from up-to-date features and a better overall user experience.

Also important was the standardization of agency websites on a single solution with a common content management system (CMS). While governance had previously been implemented to standardize look and feel, enforcement was an issue with a small percentage of sites that opted for a different design. Despite the need to standardize, the client looked to give its agencies more flexibility regarding the presentation of web content on agency pages, all the while maintaining a sufficient amount of governance.

Solution Deployed

After completing a request for proposal process, the state chose Perficient to develop, host and manage the state government portal based on Perficient’s experience executing migrations from legacy platforms to SharePoint. It was recommended that the state standardize on Microsoft SharePoint 2010.

In partnership with the client, Perficient outlined an approach for the implementation of agency sites on the SharePoint 2010 platform. The state’s current legacy CMS was a combination of Autonomy TeamSite and custom development. Due to the complex nature and size of this migration, and the extensive coordination required, Perficient developed a unified migration strategy, providing both project management and tactical execution.

To deliver value quickly while minimizing impact on end users and content authors, Perficient leveraged automated processes, where applicable, to move content into the new environment. Perficient leveraged Kapow Software’s migration tool, Katalyst, to develop a consistent and reusable process capable of migrating information managed in the Autonomy WCM platform. Utilizing Katalyst, legacy content was systematically transformed, formatted and migrated to the new SharePoint environment. Perficient streamlined the migration process, automating the extraction and transformation of content, metadata, and taxonomy for the new SharePoint solution. Perficient was able to move content in one tenth of the time it would take to manually migrate, and at a reduced cost.

Within the legacy portal, a portion of agency sites were not on the Autonomy TeamSite platform, or used custom development. For these sites, automated content migration was not feasible. In order to migrate, the customizations and legacy content had to be manually refashioned and recreated in the new environment. To deliver value early and often, Perficient established three parallel work steams. The first encompassed initial platform development and configuration. The second work stream of custom application development utilized Perficient developers who specialize in Microsoft technologies. This involved rebuilding code to replicate certain functionality found within the legacy portal. The Perficient team integrated the new code into the SharePoint environment.

The third and final work stream was configuration of the pilot agency site migration and included configuring and testing the migration tool, Katalyst. The pilot group of agency sites was a small subset of total agency content to be migrated, with 20,000 pages and documents migrated from five state agencies. During the pilot, Perficient gained insight and feedback from agency personnel to help refine the process for the remaining migration groups. Once the pilot migration was complete, the rest of the agency sites were migrated.

To enable agency awareness and provide users with tools to manage the new WCM platform, Perficient developed training materials and organized training sessions throughout the transition. Two levels of classes were available: basic for content editors and advanced for administrators. Each class was comprised of both theory and hands-on training in a lab environment. For those unable to attend, the sessions were recorded and viewed at a later time.

Business Value Delivered

By the end of the process, the team had migrated more than 200,000 different resources such as forms, documents, specific agency pages and links into the new SharePoint web portal. The new portal is an example of accessible, effective government information and services. With a standard look and feel across the client’s government and agency websites, citizens can easily navigate from site to site.

  • Unifies sites onto a single, common platform and architecture
  • Total elapsed time from start to finish was minimized using migration tool, Kapow Katalyst
  • Emulates end-user look-and-feel and feature functions from previous website, replicated on the new SharePoint-based site
  • Modern, easy-to-use portal provides seamless access to all state government resources
  • Improved web content management content system streamlines content creation, editing and delivery, and empowers agency personnel to make changes on their own