HCL Announces IBM SmartCloud End of Life - What Are Your Next Steps?

IBM SmartCloud Transformation Considerations

With the recent acquisition by HCL of Notes and Domino from IBM, there was an anticipation that, perhaps, functionality and administration of SmartCloud Notes would see a gradual improvement.  However, shortly after finalizing the transaction, HCL announced end of support for many of the Cloud offerings, including SmartCloud Notes by July 2020.  HCL’s recommendation is for organizations on SmartCloud Notes to transition to either on-premises or hosted Notes e-mail platforms.  Of course, another reaction to this announcement might be a decision to transition to a different platform, such as Microsoft Office 365.

Regardless of the destination platform, the transition off SmartCloud Notes must be gradual and well-planned, especially for larger organizations.  Unless an organization can simply turn off SmartCloud Notes overnight or over a weekend and switch everyone to a new platform (which, realistically, can only happen for a relatively small company), there is a need for continued integration between old and new environments.  Integration may be as simple as basic mail forwarding or as complex as full interoperability of mail, calendars, directories, and mail-enabled applications.  Then, there is the actual transition of users and their mail and calendar content, including proper training and support.  Finally, don’t forget about mail-enabled applications, such as resources, shared mailboxes, and mail-in databases. 

Integration is where the previously mentioned offboarding becomes so critical and so challenging, and we have experienced it firsthand assisting numerous customers with their prior transitions off SmartCloud Notes.  

Without diving into too much detail, here are the key steps of the offboarding process:

  • Removal of the mail subscription from the user’s SmartCloud record
  • Replication of the SmartCloud mail file to another Domino Server
  • Removal of the SmartCloud mail file

Performing these steps for 1 or 2 users is tedious, but fairly straight forward.  Once the numbers go up, you need automation to maintain any order and to avoid administration chaos, lost mail, and angry end-users.  It takes a while before we were able to automate the entire process and make it functional and reliable.

In summary, if you are one of the SmartCloud Notes organizations, what does all this information mean?  The timeline to transition off SmartCloud Notes has been set by HCL, and it’s less than a year.  If you haven’t previously considered this transition, time has come for such consideration.  As is always the case in such situations, talking to someone who has been there and done that is a really good first step. 

Navigating these steps to offboard SmartCloud Notes is no small feat. So if you’re like many organizations, you might need a bit of help. Binary Tree is standing by to help with all or some of your transformation.  Contact us to get started.