At the end of June, I bade a fond farewell to the Client-who-must-not-be named after just over two years, and have just started a new contract, helping a very large customer indeed migrate thousands of Exchange users to Lotus Notes. 

You may be surprised at the migration direction, but without being allowed to comment on the customer, its all good.

One thing that I've found surprising in this new role is the maturity and stability - and even basic operation - of some of the migration tools available. The one that this customer has chosen is undoubably the best in the market, but it still has a lot of 'moving parts' for my comfort. You could not, for instance, make this part of an L1/L2 support function. Driving this tooling requires a great deal of co-ordination and expertise. I have no doubt that the customer in question will and can make this work. 

But surely, perhaps for other customers, there could be a simpler method of driving this? A method that doesn't require a huge manpower and management effort. And so in this particular job, my mind keeps straying to building a new style of migration tool - a 'business as usual' tool which allows run-of-the-mill Domino admins to easily and quickly move users between different mail systems. 

After all every large customer will - as part of normal aquisition and disposal business lifecycle - end up with clusters of users on 'another' mail system. And there will always be a desire to move between different mail systems. 


Of course, its not in the interests of the mail providers themselves to provide adequate tooling. They like 'lock in'. But given our huge expertise in federated directory managment, you may assume that a new style of mail, contact and calendar migration tooling might pop up in the future.