What’s Next For IBM Smart Cloud Customers?

Connections Cloud

HCL finally did the webinar today on what IBM Smart Cloud customers will have to do to migrate before the service is shut down in July 2020. Read the important points here.

Read all about IBM Smart Cloud shutting down in July 2020 here.

HCL finally did the webinar on what IBM Smart Cloud customers should do to move away from that service, before it shuts down in July 2020.

Migration choices

As a customer, you have three choices for migrating:

  • Migrate on premise
  • Migrate to public cloud
  • Migrate to a managed service partner cloud

Managed Service Partner

It was the third option most people were concerned about. Who would they be? HCL had the following criteria:

  • Active MSA
  • Minimum 1 HCL Master among their employees
  • Validated HCL Digital Software product portfolio experience
  • Global Data Center Ability
  • Ability to provide Level 1 and 2 support
  • Ability to provide 24/7 support, scheduled maintenance excepted
  • Minimum 5 years of experience hosting and operating HCL/IBM products
  • Agreed to host multi tenant Connections & Notes/Verse private cloud

These partners have now been announced:

  • Prominic.net
  • ISW
  • Belsoft Group

There will be two other partners announced soon.

SmartCloud Notes

There are two types of SmartCloud Notes customers:

  • Hybrid – Uses both on-prem and cloud mail services
  • Service only – Cloud mail services only

Possible destinations:

  • Private cloud
  • On-premises
  • 3rd party cloud

For the hybrid customers, the migration approach will be to use the existing replication tools to migrate to new destinations. For those who have cloud mail services only, you will have to wait for more details from HCL on how you should do this.

If you are a hybrid customer, you have the following three approaches on how to do it:

  1. Migrate to MSP (partner cloud): Customer or BP use replication to move into the new cloud
  2. Migrate on-premises or a private cloud: Customer or BP use replication to move customer’s mail
  3. Migrate to 3rd party solution: Customer or BP extract mail to 3rd party

IBM Connections Cloud

This is much more challenging than moving mail. We are talking about files, wikis, communities, forums etc. You have three approaches here as well:

  1. Customers migrating to Managed Service Partner’s (MSP) cloud
    1. IBM uses DB Extract tool and scripts to provide customer’s data files to partner
    2. Partner uses import scripts to inject customer’s data into partner cloud
  2. Customers migrating to on-prem or private cloud
    1. Partners use the public APIs to extract customer’s data and the chosen partner’s tool too inject customer’s data to new destination
  3. Customers migrating to 3rd party solution
    1. Partners use the public APIs to extract customer’s data and move data to new location

There was a question about whether these tools and scripts would be available for the customers, but they won’t be. Only partners and IBM have will have access to those.

Next steps

  • Get started today, so reach out to the MSP you want to use (or wait until the final ones are announced in the near future)
  • If you have any questions regarding your existing iBM Smart Cloud contract, please contact IBM at SaaSHCL@us.bim.com
  • For all other questions regarding HCL’s Solutions Cloud Strategy, visit www.cwpcollaboration.com

Questions answered

Who will pay for the migration?

The MSPs will migrate your data. For Connections, IBM will export, and then the MSP will do the import. Speak to your MSP about cost.

Do any of the MSPs have a location in Europe?

Yes, they do.

Do we pay HCL or the MSPs for hosting?

It’s the MSP who holds the contract with the customer. You have to go directly to them for pricing

When the data is migrated, will the end users continue working as if nothing has happened?

Yes. HCL’s strategy is to have a seamless migration for hybrid users, so that they will receive their email has normal

What if I want to know more?

They will post an FAQ here in the coming two days

My conclusions

It was about time that HCL and IBM coughed up at least some solutions. However, the migration solution for moving Connections is depending on your HCL business partner having the tools to do it. If they don’t, you are a bit stuck and have to figure out the API yourself. Or invest in yet another third party tool or business partner to do the job for you.

And why no mention of Office 365? There are those who would want to move at least their files there, while maybe staying on Connections for the other elements of a social intranet (yes, there are those who do that), so I think a solution for that should be presented too.



2 thoughts on “What’s Next For IBM Smart Cloud Customers?”

  1. Good job Hogne,
    If HCL is to prevent several of its customers from moving to Microsoft’s solutions, they must sharpen sharply!
    HCL / IBM must provide a true description of how they together can migrate customer solutions at IBM to HCL / MSP’s / On-prem without cost and risk, and where GDPR is met.
    The uncertainty created by this summer’s announcement about IBM’s closure of its service, must be eliminated. This can only happen by IBM / HCL jointly explaining how this would be solved.
    Most decision makers are not IT specialists and will be uncertain about the changes. Many executives will feel that ‘Microsoft has a solution that covers everything’ and thus HCL’s acquisition is unsuccessful. Richard must take hold now! Maybe the presentation on December 4 can give a clear answer, but I’m not sure. I find that there is a greater focus on ‘technology’ than customer safety and needs.

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