File Conversion Best Practices
There is no one right approach and an enterprise needs to balance all the options with the business needs and overall deployment strategy. Through experience, ConverterTechnology has identified file conversion process best practices. Planning is the key to success.
The following are the basic approaches to the upgrade process:
|Approach ||Description ||Advantages ||Challenges |
|Big Bang ||Upgrade all desktops, and remediate and convert all files at once ||No Compatibility Mode |
Links all updated at once
|Deployment window |
Help Desk Window
|Phased Approach ||Upgrade desktops, and remediate files in phases. Phases can be geographic or business related. |
After the last phase is complete, convert all files.
|Deployment Window |
Help Desk window spread out. Training spread out
|Deployment Window |
Help Desk window spread out
Training spread out
At a high level the aspects of the planning need to include the following critical areas:
Taking an inventory of the network and identifying "Business Critical*" files defines the files to convert and migrate. This is the first and most critical part of the entire project.
*"Business Critical" can be defined many ways. Determining the potential status of a file is to look at the "last modified date" on a file and set time limits associated with the file's last use (for example, for a file to be in-scope it must have been modified at least once in the past 14 months). An alternative is to define business critical as those files that have an assigned Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) from a disaster recovery perspective. We recommend looking at a variety of factors in the context of other knowledge about the business that we collect through an information gathering process with project stakeholders.
Defining the scope
Upon completion of the file discovery, a determination can now be made to define the scope of the number of business critical files and the types and severity of errors likely encountered.
Copying the files to a lab
A collection of the files identified can now be copied to a lab environment where the files can be staged for the next step. This is an obvious advantage as opposed to updating the files in a production environment. Note: ConverterTechnology can make recommendations as to the appropriate size of a lab environment based on the collection data.
Scanning and converting
Scanning - Identifies which files are likely to be problematic and how difficult they will be to repair. Converting updates and repairs files so they are compatible with new environment.
Fixing “problem” files as needed
In the lab environment, files that did not remediate in the initial scan and convert process can be validated and verified through testing and manual remediation where necessary.
In the lab environment, testing the files requires checking that the remediation of the files accomplished the desired result where the files function as intended.
Re-deploying files to the production
After remediation, the files may be re-deployed or activated in the production environment.
Once the files are re-deployed, the new version of Office is ready for use.