Global retail organisation benefits from migration to SharePoint Online

This retail organisation owns and operates designer factory outlets in ten countries across Europe, Canada and the UK. With over 3,000 stores from well-known premium and lifestyle brands, the group has over €4 billion in sales. Its business operations are supported by 500 staff.





  • Existing hybrid platform challenging to use and manage
  • User confusion and document duplication caused difficulty
  • Poor performance
  • Difficult to manage and support
  • Interim migration to Azure to improve infrastructure and supportability
  • Migration to SharePoint Online
  • Decommission of the legacy platform
  • Replace Nintex with Power Automate
  • Upgrade to modern sites and features
  • Removal of challenging and complex hybrid environment (twelve servers)
  • Reduced management and maintenance burden
  • Nintex licence replaced by native solutions
  • Data duplication, confusing content issues resolved
  • Modern SharePoint communications and hub sites enabled
  • Users pleased with improved functionality, speed, remote access and searchability

Project background

Key productivity operations are supported by various Microsoft solutions, including SharePoint and Office 365. SharePoint, in its on-premises form, has been widely used across the business since 2013. In 2018, the company decided to migrate to SharePoint Online to remove the infrastructure requirements, ease the administrative burden and gain new features.

The migration started as a contractor-managed internal project, but various issues meant the process was only partially completed. The resulting environment was an undesirable hybrid of the original on-premises and online platforms, with duplicated data and general disorder. This naturally caused unnecessary complexity, user confusion and hindered supportability.

Due to the problems with the project, the company asked Silversands to help complete the migration. Silversands has had a long relationship with this company and has successfully delivered several previous Microsoft engagements.

The solution

Taking a step back, we worked closely with departmental representatives and the IT team to understand the current state of both the on-premises and online platforms. This work led to the creation of a three-stage migration plan.

The first stage was to migrate the on-premises platform to Azure to resolve some infrastructural and supportability issues. The second stage was to complete the content migration from the legacy platform to SharePoint Online, using ShareGate.

As part of the migration, the opportunity was taken to modernise and optimise any solutions and processes in place. The existing Nintex workflow solution (which was up for licence renewal) was replaced by Microsoft Power Automate and Lists.

The final phase of the migration programme converted a number of departmental SharePoint sites from Classic to Modern, defined a new information architecture and implemented improved governance in areas such as versioning. The next phase of the modernisation will be to implement the new information architecture and additional governance controls.

The result

Over 200 sites and nearly a million items have been migrated to SharePoint Online, enabling the legacy on-premises platform to be decommissioned. This is a significant benefit to the IT team because it removes the onerous system admin tasks associated with looking after a SharePoint farm and reduces complexity & supportability issues caused by the mixed environment.

From the business and users’ point of view, many benefits have been realised. The modern SharePoint Online interface, better remote access, faster response and improved searching have created a very positive experience. Improving governance and information architecture in the next phase will enable the new platform to support the company’s future requirements more effectively.

New features provided by SharePoint Online, such as modern communications sites, teams sites, and ‘mega-menus’, have provided the opportunity to create more advanced, effective and appealing portals and solutions.

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