"It's a big project, and I need it done right now."

WDSGlobal, an international wireless device management company, needed a large project to happen on extremely short notice. While it may not be his target market, Paul Sterley was up to the task.

The challenge: Migrate from NT Server 4.0 and Exchange 5.5 to Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003 in an environment with 15+ servers and 500+ users in two physical sites connected via wide area network, while physically moving about a third of those users and most of the server infrastructure to a new physical site about 10 miles away.

The deadline for completion: 3 weeks.

Paul Sterley, as a principal consultant for an industry leading IT consultancy, along with a member of his prior employers management team met with Jon Weigel, the IT Manager, right away. They discussed the scope of work, basic implementation strategy, and some configuration choices that would later affect the entire global organization. These initial choices had to be made carefully, with the long view in mind.

With the overall plan of action laid out, Paul sprang into action. He set up a series of lab tests to verify that the chosen migration method would achieve the desired results, and to learn what the unexpected pitfalls might be.

With the lab testing done and results documented, the real migration began. Paul worked with the internal IT staff at WDSGlobal, performing the migration, delegating tasks, solving issues as they came up, and teaching the IT staff as they went.

The project was completed successfully, on schedule, with minimal interruption of services, for well below the cost that a project of this scope would usually incur.

Jon Weigel has this to say on the subject: "This was a very successful project. There were virtually no disruptions - and especially not to any revenue-generating business units. We were very pleased with the work and continue to see the advantages of moving forward with the migration."

WDSGlobal was so impressed with this performance that they asked Paul to migrate all of their international offices in South Africa, Australia, Singapore, and England over to the new domain. This additional project was completed with the same results - but that's another story.