SharePoint Migrations just got easier with Microsoft SMAT

Microsoft recently released an innovative new tool that allows us to transport all our creations, content, information, and assets from old platforms such as SharePoint Server 2013 to either SharePoint or OneDrive in Office 365. This tool greatly negates the growing pains associated with moving your personal or company’s information assets to a new server or medium and streamlining the entire process into a much-needed simpler form.

SMAT (SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool) allows you to move local files such as from your internal file shares, as well as from a myriad of sources from SharePoint 2013. When selecting a tool to migrate, SMAT ensures the destination that you requested the file to be migrated to is authenticated, providing the necessary layer of security and privacy, and minimizes the risk of mistakes to be made. The file is then scanned, packaged, and uploaded. This is done universally through every source to be migrated.

The most important step when migrating a file, is authenticating and authorizing its provided destination. The following forms of authorization are supported: NTLM, Kerberos, Forms, ADFS, Multi-factor authentication, SAML based claims, and Client certificate authentication. Microsoft also provides this statement regarding the mediums of authorization; “If multiple authentication methods including NTLM or Kerberos, are enabled in the on-premises SharePoint Web Application, NTLM and Kerberos authentication are not supported by the SharePoint Migration Tool. Please use a secondary form of authentication or convert the Web Application to use NTLM and/or Kerberos authentication only.”

After you selected the file for migration, and after you have authorized the file’s destination, a scan will commence. The scan is vital for checking the file for potential corruptions, and verifies you have access to both the source as well as the destination. The file is then packaged with a manifest, where it then is uploaded to Azure with the said manifest. Each file is encrypted and secured with Microsoft’s advanced security procedures and includes a lock and key system that only the authorizer can obtain. All files that are packaged are inaccessible to Microsoft and is deleted from their servers after the passing of a set time, ensuring the safety and privacy required for your files.

SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool will finally easily transport our projects and creations to the updated software in an easy and seamless way that is safely secure and with professional help will make a difference.  Small simple migrations this might work, but it is recommended you consult with a professional before taking on a big migration. SMAT can help simplify the entire migration process and allows our organizations to update and adapt with Microsoft’s software, providing a foundation for further collaboration and consolidation that comes with our creations.

To date this is the best we’ve got from Microsoft, but honestly there are a variety of powerful tools that should be considered when doing a migration.

Are you considering Migration?  Join me for the upcoming free migration webinar this Thursday.

Register Now

Webinar Title: Migrate to Office 365 and SharePoint Online or OneDrive or Upgrade to SharePoint 2019?

Guest Speaker: Joel Oleson, Microsoft RD, Office Server & Services MVP

Decisions, decisions, decisions! You’re not alone if you’re running SharePoint 2010, 2013, 2016 and wondering… Is it time to upgrade to 2019 or should I take the plunge and migrate to Office 365. In this session we’ll dive into the decision matrix of the benefits of both SharePoint 2019 and Office 365 SharePoint Online. First we’ll cover the benefits of both, then help you understand the key differences and help you better understand the business value. The session will focus on user experience, technical features, and business value with the goal of helping customers be able to make a clear distinction or decision between one or the other or both… looking at hybrid SharePoint 2019 and Office 365.

Date/Time: May 16, 10:00-11:00AM PDT, 1:00-2:00PM EDT

More details at:

Have you seen the SharePoint migration infographic?

SharePoint Migration Infographic

Read more about or download the SMAT SharePoint and Assessment Tool:

Introducing the SharePoint Migration Tool | Microsoft Docs

Download SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool from Official …


SharePoint Upgrade or Migrate?

Migrate to Office 365 or Upgrade to SharePoint 2019?

One of the biggest questions people have been asking with the release of SharePoint 2019 is what should I do now. There are still approximately 30-40% of SharePoint customers who are in either a partial cloud with hybrid scenario or are fully on premises running a variety of legacy SharePoint 2010, 2013, 2016 or earlier. Many customers have been toying with the idea of migrating to Office 365 and a significant portion who are on premises and plan to stay on premises have been asking… so tell me what the most compelling reasons are to upgrade or migrate? Can you give me a top 10 on each? Wouldn’t it be great if we had an infographic that had both in the same place so you could decide? Sure! Why not both and a webinar to discuss it!

Download the Upgrade or Migrate SharePoint Infographic from slideshare in PDF or download the png format of Migrate to SharePoint Online or Upgrade to SharePoint 2019 infographic

This infographic is shared creative commons share alike. Feel free to include it in your presentations inside or outside your company or feel free to blog about it and share it in social media.

Why Migrate to Office 365 or Upgrade to SharePoint 2019 – There are a dozen great reasons to upgrade to SharePoint 2019 if you are running any older legacy versions of SharePoint. The number of reasons go up if you’re running SharePoint 2013 or 2010 or heaven forbid 2007 or 2003. As an example the browser compatibility gets a huge boost between 2010 and 2013 and even better with 2016, but 2019 is the most significant upgrade since 2010 to 2013. While SharePoint 2013 to 2016 wasn’t very significant the upgrade from SharePoint 2016 to SharePoint 2019 is much more significant due to a lot of investments in on premises OneDrive, hybrid integration with Flow, Forms, PowerBI, Power Apps. Those looking to reduce or remove their dependency on legacy InfoPath and SharePoint Designer will be much more happy with SharePoint 2019 due to this new integration. Those customers who are using some SharePoint Online and some on premises will find a significant upgrade to the UX in SharePoint 2019 with the modern UX updates.

Join us for the upcoming Webinar where we’ll walk through the details of Migrating to Office 365 or upgrading to SharePoint 2019!

Register Now

Webinar Title: Migrate to Office 365 or Upgrade to SharePoint?

Decisions, decisions, decisions! You’re not alone if you’re running SharePoint 2010, 2013, 2016 and wondering… Is it time to upgrade to 2019 or should I take the plunge and migrate to Office 365. In this session we’ll dive into the decision matrix of the benefits of both SharePoint 2019 and Office 365 SharePoint Online. First we’ll cover the benefits of both, then help you understand the key differences and help you better understand the business value. The session will focus on user experience, technical features, and business value with the goal of helping customers be able to make a clear distinction or decision between one or the other or both… looking at hybrid SharePoint 2019 and Office 365.

Date/Time: May 16, 10:00-11:00AM PDT, 1:00-2:00PM EDT

More details at:

Upgrade SharePoint 2016

Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to SharePoint 2016 Infographic

“The most reliable, scalable, secure and high-performing SharePoint Server release ever”

The Future of SharePoint got everyone’s heads spinning, but I’ve seen tons of new energy in the community. Companies everywhere are looking for ways to help justify upgrade or migration to the new platform that is poised to be the platform that nails it. (At least it may be time to give it another shot, right?) Microsoft calls SharePoint 2016 release “the most reliable, scalable, secure and high-performing SharePoint Server release ever”

Is that enough?  There’s more. I think many businesses want the details in an easy to consume easy to share format that makes it easy for management to make a clear decision on a winning platform designed for the future. Following the Future of SharePoint event, I gathered my list of reasons to upgrade and updated it with a few of the new additional reasons to upgrade and I think we have something that is worth sharing.

You have unlimited permission to share this with infographic with your management, share it on your blog, share it in your social media circles. We want to get the community up on SharePoint 2016 and I think this list of reasons will help!

You can download the Infographic as a sharable PDF document or as a PNG image.

Download, Share and View

Search-First Approach to SharePoint 2013/2016 Migration Infographic

I’m working on a strategy paper on the Search-First approach to migrating or upgrading SharePoint.  I see three big phases to this approach.  The first is building out the brand new ultimate farm, the SharePoint farm that provides enterprise search.  Many may decide that this first state should also provides profiles and also may provide the new OneDrive to also get people started with SharePoint.  Those who previously deployed my sites, may wait for phase 2 for that.  I’ll be providing more detail in the paper on these phases and a few recommendations on the strategy.  Love to get feedback from those who have approached the upgrade and migration in this manner.

Those that are planning an upgrade SharePoint on prem should consider a search-first migration.  The Search-First approach to migration assumes you want to get started, and you are willing to invest in separate infrastructure for SharePoint 2013 Search and leave your existing farm alone for some period of time with the idea of indexing that content with the new farm.  This approach allows organizations to benefit from the improved functionality and user experience while requiring relatively low effort. Microsoft has dramatically improved search in SharePoint 2013 in three key areas: User Experience, Relevancy Tuning and Infrastructure. I’m working on a paper that will highlight these enhancements while illustrating the benefits of a search-first approach. In our experience, a good deployment of search can help with adoption of other structured and unstructured collaborative or portal based workloads by providing discovery, findability and refinement for content most important to the enterprise. This article begins with an introduction to the new features and improved look and feel along with other search relevance, and infrastructure flexibility enhancements that demonstrate the support for Search-First approach to migration.

Organizations that are overwhelmed by the thought of migrating the substantial content they house in SharePoint 2016, 2013, 2010 or SharePoint 2007 farms will be encouraged by a Search-First approach. This strategy does not require any changes to the existing infrastructure and provides a mechanism for content to remain in current repository while the technology and search engine for the enterprise takes a leap forward. After understanding the improvements in UI and UX, relevancy and infrastructure it’s easy to see why customers would be looking to implement a Search-First approach to deploying or migrating to SharePoint 2013.

The Search-First Approach to SharePoint 2013 Migration and Upgrade Infographic

Search First Approacht o SharePoint Migration and Upgrade


Feel free to share this SharePoint Search First strategy to upgrade infographic in your blogs or in social media.

More to come later!



Additional Reading and References on Search and Search-First:

Search-first migration from FAST Search Server for SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint Server 2013

TechNet: What’s New in SharePoint 2013 Search

TechNet: Administer Search in SharePoint 2013 What’s New in SharePoint 2013 User Experience?

What’s New in Search in SharePoint 2013?

Essential Guide to Enterprise Search in SharePoint 2013


Social Compliance

10 Strategy Considerations for SharePoint 2013 Upgrade You’re likely to Miss

My session at SharePoint Conference is on Social Intranet strategy on Thursday at noon SPC 291 (Lando 4204-4306) at #SPC14.  In the process, Shane Young was reaching out asking for best practices and considerations around upgrade.  I put together this list as I was thinking about all the things people are likely to miss in their upgrade and deployment plans.  To some this list may seem like things to get you distracted, but ultimately I think you need a wholistic strategy and answers to many of these things, even if the answer is… our plan is to wait until after upgrade.  While the upgrade itself is pretty similar between a SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 with a few exceptions (mostly the services).  I have found that SharePoint 2013 upgrades about communication and planning.  The actual upgrade is really pretty simple technically.

1. SharePoint and Yammer Analytics are very weak and disappointing (worse than in 2010). Have a Plan. – They are worse than they were in 2010.  Make sure you are well aware of your plan for web analytics.  SharePoint 2013 Analytics A Big Step Backward.  Also I would encourage you to look at ViewDo Labs analytics solution for Yammer that has an option for SharePoint relay to see a combined view.  While I’m not as big on the SharePoint relay service, I am a big fan of the simple reports in the ViewPoint app for Yammer (Product Analysis: ViewDo Labs ViewPoint – Enterprise Social Analytics) which can help with monitoring and reporting.  Cardiolog and WebTrends have put together analytics solutions for SharePoint. [Disclosure I do Evangelism for ViewDo Labs and I’ve done a review on Cardiolog, but I think the part about SharePoint and Yammer analytics both as lacking are pretty obvious.]  Step 1 in touching your new design, plan to incorporate your analytics solution into your masterpage if you want awesome reporting.  I know in a past life, it was our deep integration in our new masterpages with Omniture that finally got the business interested in what was really going on with the Intranet.  As we rolled out the master pages and global navigation bar we called the feature bar across 100% of all of the SharePoint sites was a huge win for transparency into what was being used and how.  We also finally got great global rollups on how people were searching and where they were navigating.  Don’t discount analytics in your deployments of ESN, Social Intranets, or global SharePoint rollouts.  You’ll need that data to answer where you should go next.  10 Yammer User Tips to Get Started

2. SharePoint Social is BIG in SharePoint 2013 have a plan – I encourage people to use the upgrade as an opportunity to pull in Yammer integration.  I think it’s a mistake to roll out the SharePoint social features without ensuring you’re committed to 2 years at least if you get your users using it.  It’s not fun for users to use SharePoint 2013 social features and then be told to go use yammer some 6 months or 1 year down the road.  I’m totally cool with SharePoint social being a feed or being committed to it, but don’t go half way.  I do support SharePoint 2013 social with yammer as an activity feed, but I simply find that the SharePoint feed is yet another place to post your microblog.  Why confuse the users?  Yammer is SharePoint and 5 Additional SharePoint Roadmap Insights for SharePoint 2014 and Beyond… Here are a few information architectural considerations Social Architecture for Yammer, Office 365 and SharePoint 2013 also a good time to freshen up on limits that support consolidation SharePoint Outer Limits: SharePoint 2013 & Office 365 File Library List Limits.  Also consider the Newsgator social if you aren’t doing yammer NewsGator Reveals New Social Case Studies

3. Communities – Communities are a new site template that can definitely confuse users if they already have Yammer groups.  There are ways of turning off that template.  As cool as it is the community features in SharePoint 2013 were cool, but half baked.  As a result I tell people either be serious about SharePoint social or turn it off.  Some have embraced these new templates with reputation.  I was reassured they would be supported going forward, but I remain skeptical about their future improvement.  Is this the new blog that never get’s updated?

4. Architectural changes – First while many are simply going it’s all about the cloud, many are faced with hybrid considerations, or afraid of what’s next.  SharePoint is NOT Dead and even on-prem is alive and well! Search is a major consideration in hybrid or on premises topologies and architecture.  It’s more plastic and easier to scale out.  Fast is baked into everything in SharePoint 2013.  The Distributed cache service is a PAIN.  It’s the new profile service in terms of getting it configured right.  Search is very important, it needs to be crazy fast.  Most should review requirements on search which may require additional hardware.  Microsoft is recommending many customers to consolidate their farms so they can beef up search/indexing/crawling infrastructure.

5. Responsive Design – Responsive Web Design has changed the industry.  Anyone who doesn’t educate themselves and SERIOUSLY investigate building a 2013 masterpage built to leverage the HTML5 and CSS improvements is shooting themselves in the foot.  A major consideration in any design refresh.  Don’t spend too much time on “Channels” in SharePoint 2013.  How Quickly Can Responsive Web Design Make a Difference to Mobile Usage?  Are You Designed To Take Advantage of Mobile? SharePoint and Enterprise Mobile – Transformational Yet Most Struggle and Don’t Know What To Do…

6. Mobile Support – There’s all the mobile apps for SharePoint, but those don’t work so well if the infrastructure isn’t setup and tested to support the mobile apps.  You should seriously have a test and evaluation and security plan for firewall testing, remote user testing and mobile support for either MS mobile apps or one of the vendor solutions that add even more security considerations like mobile, Colligo, or Mobile Entrée or the many others that are way better than the simple apps MS provides (that are all new for SP 2013!).

7. Browser support – Older versions of Internet Explorer become non supported/not tested.  IE 8 stops being supported on Office 365 for example in April of 2014.  The improved browser support in SharePoint 2013 is worth shouting from the roof tops as to one of the big reasons why the business should get excited about the upgrade, let alone the multi file upload drag and drop capabilities from mac to chrome to safari and  beyond.  Here are some great references Seriously Time to Revisit Your Enterprise Browser StandardsSharePoint 2010 to 2013 Browser Comparison Report Card, Office 365 will No longer support Internet Explorer 8 after April 2014.  If you’re looking for other things to tell the business for “Why upgrade” here’s a decent list: SharePoint 2013 Top 10 New Features

8. OneDrive for Business – Step 1. Admit you can’t do OneDrive better than MS for as cheap as they can.  If you disagree with this statement, you’ve got some serious work to do in your planning for rolling out 10GB-100GB Drives for your users.  I will tell you right now, this is the best toe in the water, personal extranet that you can buy from Microsoft.  More reasons why at #SPC14 watch my blog for more info on the announcements, and I do mean announcements that will be happening this next week. 5 Reasons OneDrive for Business on (SkyDrive Pro) Office 365 is Better Than Yours

9. Office Web Apps – New server requirement means topology considerations.  There is some considerations around licensing (read only is free).  If you’re going to do read/write then you need licenses.

10. Dev App Model – One of the most significant impacts is this question of to support custom server solutions or to not.  I believe upgrade time is a great time to evaluate what was used effectively and to consolidate and separate.  Remove dependencies that are no longer needed. (This is an operating procedure that requires great skill… don’t take removing solutions lightly.)  If you can remove all of the custom server solutions then you should be asking why you are not in the cloud.  If you have many server solutions, you should question the pace and the value going into SP 2013 with so much custom and consider pushing the app model.  As well, consider how Azure will fit into future development plans to reduce server footprint.  From now on you should seriously consider keeping server footprint light and restricted to third parties that you really trust.