Archiving Legacy Applications while Protecting the Data
Through a history of acquisitions, the company had many applications that were no longer in active use or required by the organization. However, the data held within these applications needed to be kept for legal reasons, and in some cases company teams needed access to this data. To maintain, support, and pay renewal licenses for these applications was cost-prohibitive, as a company representative, explains: “When we add it up, we pay millions to keep applications that no-one really uses anymore. The obvious thing would be to archive the data so that we can cancel the application licenses, but that’s easier said than done. I have a history of application archiving and I know how complex this process can be. This was confirmed when we started talking to some vendors about this. A large-scale and multi-million dollar consultancy engagement seemed to be the way to go.”
Enter InfoCorvus. This Micro Focus partner specializes in secure content management by understanding what data is stored, who has access to it, and what policies are most effective in managing it. “We understand the need to protect data and reduce costs in maintaining their host systems,” says Sampath Sreetharan, CEO with InfoCorvus. “We wanted to help the company create a standardized architecture to securely archive the data and retire the legacy application. Ultimately, we needed to design a process that they could manage in-house without ongoing consultancy charges. The key was flexibility, repeatability, and ease of use. All capabilities found in abundance with Micro Focus Structured Data Manager (SDM) and Micro Focus Content Manager, which we recommended to the company.”
Working Against Deadline to Avoid Costly License Renewal
The first large-scale data archiving project was with the HR solution Workday. With an annual cost of over $1 million, and a license renewal date looming within three months, there was an incentive for successful completion. Workday is a closed solution and so extracting the data was not easy. InfoCorvus delivered the HR domain expertise to identify the relevant data. While SDM has the capability to connect to multiple data sources using JDBC, it cannot natively connect to Workday. InfoCorvus assisted the company’s team to manually and programmatically extract the data. Once the data was extracted, the team was able to use the standardized process to archive the data using SDM.
A proof-of-concept demonstrated to the HR professionals that no data was compromised or lost in any way, ensuring they were confident in retiring Workday and moving the data to SDM, preventing a costly license renewal.
“After identifying the key requirements for data archiving and application retirement, we understood the bottlenecks and were able to address these effectively by automating manual tasks. We set up a process where the archived data is held in Content Manager, while a copy of the data is made available in SDM for reporting purposes,” comments Lenny Santiago, CTO, at InfoCorvus. “Within Content Manager the data is separated by application so that different retention dates can be applied to different data sets. This is designed to be simple and functional.” Following the successful Workday data archiving, the team turned its attention to a now redundant instance of Salesforce. Having learned from the Workday experience, InfoCorvus smoothed the data preparation process by automating some of the manual tasks by deploying a custom-built SDM extension. The main challenge for the team was dealing with the external documents that were attached to Salesforce records. “Before we deployed SDM, the only way to deal with attachments when archiving data was to upload them to a Sharepoint location which would then be linked to the archived record. We much prefer to keep everything in one place, and InfoCorvus developed a user-friendly SDM extension so that the complete Salesforce record, including any external documents, is now archived in SDM, with an additional data copy in Content Manager for legal safekeeping,” says the company spokesperson. SDM’s reporting capabilities also proved very useful. Many employees still need access to archived records, even though the original application has been retired. SDM reports are used to facilitate easy data access.
Data Preparation in a Day Instead of Two Weeks
SAP Concur is the next data archiving project: “Concur also contains attachments, and so we will reuse the SDM extension designed and built by InfoCorvus for this. We have also found that reusing the InfoCorvus SDM data preparation extension really helps us make the data archive-ready. When I first started this process, data preparation was manual and would easily take two weeks of my time. Automating the process through SDM, data preparation now takes a day; a productivity improvement of 90 percent; great considering we have at least another five major data archiving projects to go.”
The company representative concludes: “I have administered many applications, and the level of security InfoCorvus has introduced with SDM and Content Manager is a cut above anything I’ve seen in the past. The process is user-friendly, easy to manage, and flexible. We are saving millions in license renewal costs while protecting our valuable data.”