Summary

TransAlta, a privately-owned power company, is undergoing an enormous transition to renewable energy. This, in turn, drives change through all aspects of the business to be more competitive and use available resources to meet their transition needs. One area to drive efficiencies and cost savings is through the consolidation of IT applications and move to the cloud.

The TransAlta team worked with VersaFile to export and transform content and metadata from an SAP connected IBM Content Manager system to the Microsoft 365 cloud. While additional phases are still planned, already large portions of the organization have gained ease of use benefits and are efficiently collaborating across their global operations using the greater Microsoft 365 suite of applications.

Challenge

TransAlta has a number of sources of business content, including SharePoint, IBM Content Manager, SAP, and File Systems. One area of focus was IBM Content Manager, where numerous groups were using the system for day-to-day document management needs. Users found the system to be difficult to use and only for storage of fragmented types of content. Meanwhile, the organization found the overall platform expensive to sustain and they had difficulty finding readily available resources to support it. Not being a complete system for all content, the general corporate population used the system less and less and, as a result, it became more and more difficult for the organization to sustain the system.

TransAlta needed a single cloud-based solution, that was easy to use, and cost effective. The outcomes needed to satisfy user needs and save costs. In addition, because some of the content was directly connected with key line of business applications such as SAP and core drawing management tools such as AutoCAD and IBM Document Manager, it was important for TransAlta to find a flexible solution that would allow them to maintain those connections.

Strategy

TransAlta was already committing to the Microsoft 365 approach and applications. When it came time to consolidate content management systems, selecting SharePoint as part of the Office 365 suite was an easy and cost-effective decision.

The VersaFile team, using its legacy IBM skills and tools, helped TransAlta segment content and metadata in the current IBM system and ready it for migration. The type of content to be transitioned ranged from HR to Finance to Agreements and Commercial Contracts.

Carefully preparing the content was important because portions of the documents are linked to SAP’s Document Management System (DMS) and are tied to document control systems managing their CAD drawings for plant maintenance.

Next the team extracted the relevant content, versions, and metadata using VersaFile’s unique IBM ECM transformation and extraction tools and performed the necessary transitions to ready it for import to SharePoint. This included the following steps:

  • Data quality evaluation
  • Data cleansing approach and deduplication execution
  • Data mapping and prep for migration
  • Data validation and testing

The TransAlta team implemented the various solutions in Microsoft 365 and then completed the import of content and metadata into the system using internal tools.

Results

As a result of this effort, a large portion of TransAlta’s business records now reside in SharePoint. While the vast majority of users have a single solution to work with, the company now has a more cost-effective way to support their users within their enterprise support teams. Cost savings resulted from less software renewal subscriptions along with less cost for supporting outlier solutions not within the mainstream corporate standards.

VersaFile (RKO) has worked with TransAlta helping them manage their content management systems since 2014, including their ongoing initiatives to migrate content to SharePoint Online, their enterprise standard. “RKO has been a great partner to TransAlta over the years."

- Michael Ksenak

Supervisor, IT Collaboration Services
TransAlta