Dangerous Gap in “App-Like Files” During Microsoft Office Migration

“App-Like Files” Lack Clear Ownership, Put Business-Critical Documents at Risk

NASHUA, NH, February 22, 2011 – Most enterprises have no clear protocol for migrating “app-like files” – complex Excel and Access documents created in various business units to perform critical functions. While IT departments are often vaguely aware of these files, they usually lack a clear plan for their migration. Additionally, these are the files that don’t typically migrate well.

Business leaders are often lulled into a false sense of security before, during and after a migration, assuming that their files are working correctly and that their staff will know how to find – and fix – any problems that might arise. Very few companies develop a migration prevention and recovery plan that outlines problem resolution, project ownership and a communication structure between employees and their IT department.

Managers should realize that post-migration problems are likely and unless they proactively run a scan and discovery program to identify – and fix – broken files, there will be significant errors in their business-critical documents, according to migration experts ConverterTechnology (www.convertertechnology.com). This can lead to significant risk, potential business disruption and expense for the company.

“After a migration, the majority of files will work fine, but a small percentage won’t. Therein lies the problem. No one is talking about that small percentage of broken files – which are often the most business-critical documents,” said Shawn Allaway, President of ConverterTechnology.  “One broken link can cause major damage, especially for large organizations managing complex data.”

“For example, ConverterTechnology helped a global entertainment organization identify and remediate just over 5% of their two million at-risk Office files.  Someone has to fix the files that don’t upgrade cleanly and this usually falls back to the business units, not IT. Therefore, resources are needed to repair these files manually,” Allaway continued.  “Since we’re talking about fixing more than 100,000 files manually, you can imagine the costs the company would incur – in terms of both time and money.  ConverterTechnology’s OfficeConverter saved the company more than a million dollars, and fixed the files in a fraction of the time it would have taken them to do it by hand.”

“As record numbers of companies migrate this year, they must consider their business-critical files, but this is often the gap in their plan,” Allaway explained.  “IT departments don’t realize which files are business-critical because they didn’t develop the applications, and business staff may not realize their most important files are working incorrectly.  When app-like files break, it can cause serious problems.”

“We see these issues every day.  Employees erroneously assume that if the files open, everything’s working correctly.  However, broken objects are often hidden in your most mission-critical documents, linking to outdated information, and resulting in significant errors, decreased productivity, compliance violations and even ruined reputations,” Allaway continued.

When companies do find problems with their files, they need to recover quickly with a fast, effective response.  Usually, they rely on a fix-on-fail strategy, which is time-consuming and inefficient.  ConverterTechnology’s new Click2Fix tool provides a more effective workflow process and communication structure, leading to faster, more productive solutions.

“The issue of ownership compounds the problem.  Most companies don’t have a migration protocol in place to handle the app-like files and no one takes responsibility for the issues that inevitably arise,” Allaway added.

ConverterTechnology is the only company to provide a comprehensive, automated Microsoft Windows and Office migration solution that manages, tracks and reports on the entire process.  The company’s innovative suite of tools brings tremendous value to the migration process, including planning, workflow, discovering critical Office files, identifying compatibility issues and automating remediation.

ConverterTechnology has worked with industry leaders, including Fortune 500 companies, global financial and pharmaceutical corporations and the world’s most renowned theme park.