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When communication is a pillar of your business, migrating to another communication system and then maintaining it once it’s installed can be equally critical. But executing such a move with a small budget and little in-house expertise adds a new set of challenges.

Smith, Gambrell & Russell LLP learned this firsthand last year when the 185-attorney law firm set out to migrate from Novell Inc.’s GroupWise messaging platform to Microsoft Corp.’s Exchange.

Several factors motivated SGR to migrate, including the greater number of third-party options afforded with a Microsoft platform and SGR’s desire to integrate its messaging system with other internal systems, such as document management, records management and archiving records.

“Messaging is my critical app,” said Chris McDaniel, CIO of SGR, in Atlanta. “If messaging has a problem, it’s all hands on deck. You’d think document management would be the biggest problem, but it’s not. It’s messaging.”

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