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Tips for Moving from Lotus Notes to Outlook

In a world of rapidly developing technologies, it’s often prudent for a company to move large databases from older systems to new systems in order to ensure they do not become obsolete. This process is known as data migration. A common example of data migration involves moving Lotus Notes email files to Microsoft Outlook. However, converting Notes to Outlook manually is a difficult process; as a result, Microsoft has provided its users with the Exchange Server Migration Wizard. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of using the migration wizard, while also pointing out some of its limitations.

The benefits of Migration Wizard

When it comes to converting Notes Storage Format (NSF) files for Lotus Notes to Personal Storage Table (PST) files for Outlook, there are some processes that Exchange Server Migration Wizard can perform successfully. Some of these include:

  • Migrating embedded document links: That is to say, any document links embedded in messages can be converted to either RTF attachments, URL shortcuts or OLE attachments for Outlook.
  • Migrating group scheduling: The calendar and to-do list functions of Lotus Notes can be converted to Outlook with the migration wizard. Before you do this, however, you’ll need to either accept or decline any pending meeting requests.
  • Migrating emails: Emails are among the easier files to be moved with the migration wizard. It’s not just regular old emails, either; emails with attachments can generally be migrated without issues as well. However, an important point to remember is that any messages still in the Outbox — that is, ones that have been scheduled to send at a later date — will show up in Sent Items once they’ve appeared in Outlook.

The limitations of Migration Wizard

Despite these many migration processes that can be performed successfully, the biggest problem with data migration is that there are bound to be some road bumps along the way — ones that the Microsoft Exchange Server Migration Wizard may not be able to handle.

For example, Migration Wizard is not capable of handling encrypted messages or custom applications. Encrypted messages will be lost after the migration process is complete, because the wizard will be incapable of accessing the private key codes that are used to both encrypt and decrypt the files. If you’re game, you can attempt to convert custom applications with the Exchange Application Converter, but there are many variables to consider and you should not expect success every time.

Taking advantage of premium migration software

If you’re only looking to migrate some very basic files, you may be able to take advantage of Microsoft Exchange Server Migration Wizard. However, most companies or organisations have more complex needs than this, with a range of custom applications and encrypted messages to migrate. Data migration is notorious for throwing up hurdles and roadblocks and, as a result, you’ll need to use premium data migration software to ensure everything runs smoothly.

If you are interested in finding out more about converting NSF to PST, contact Kim Beros Consulting.

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