Challenges of migrating a company wiki to Confluence and why it is worth overcoming them (part 1)

If you take a closer look at the various company wiki systems available on the market and objectively evaluate them, you will likely come to the conclusion that Confluence by Atlassian is the best and most sophisticated solution out there. Often, such comparisons are made when a company already uses another wiki – a system that grew organically beyond a department, an open-source system introduced as a trial run, or consciously chose the Wikipedia system MediaWiki because it’s the most successful software of its kind.

If you decide in favor of a migration project and converting an existing platform to Confluence, there are often challenges along the way. In these two articles, we describe these challenges and why it’s worth the effort. First, what are the biggest challenges frequently encountered when switching to Confluence?

Existing users are used to the wiki

Of course, there are numerous successful, productive company wikis based on Fowiki, TWiki, MediaWiki, DrupalWiki, TikiWiki and other systems. Your experienced users are comfortable with the markup code and know the ins and outs of administration. Furthermore, comprehensive training material exists and the system is stable and offers high performance.

In a case like this, it won’t be easy to convince and motivate your company to convert: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But, is really nothing broken?

All systems have specific strengths

Every wiki system has its own special strengths. When it comes to options for content classification, MediaWiki is ahead of the competition. TikiWiki’s mobile integration was already good when Confluence still only had a half-baked solution. DrupalWiki has great native workflow functions that you would need to buy plugins for in Confluence.

In some cases, migrating to another system means losing a particularly good feature and having to find alternative processes for important use cases. Migrating always involves trade-offs

There are importers but no exporters

Most wikis make it easy for users to convert from other platforms, for example by importing existing content.

The situation looks different the other way around. No manufacturers or software communities roll out the red carpet to let customers convert to a competing system. This is why migrating is such a challenge.

Complex migration

Migrating existing content from one wiki system to another is especially difficult. It is a rather complex and complicated process. The first migration is never ideal and errors can only sometimes be fixed with the help of scripts and other import iterations.

Manual rework on wiki pages must always be expected to properly structure and format documents. Additionally, raw data must be prepared and operationalized for future use. The data must be sorted, classified hierarchically and labeled with key words. Only then can the wiki be rolled out so employees can use it productively.

Significant time and manpower might be necessary depending on the amount of content that needs to be migrated and prepared. In any case, developers need to be involved in order to regularly supervise the process and intervene when necessary. Furthermore, these developers should be certified Confluence experts that know how to handle problems such as memory overflow and breakdowns.

The legitimate question:

Why should you opt for a conversion to Confluence if your existing wiki runs well and is accepted and used productively by many of your experienced employees?

We will answer this question in the second part of the article.

We are your Confluence partner!

Do you have questions about Confluence and company wikis? Are you thinking about introducing a wiki? Do you want to optimize or update an existing system or migrate from another platform? We are an official German Atlassian partner with experience from hundreds of Confluence projects and will be happy to support you with all aspects of introducing a wiki.

By the way, if you purchase your Confluence license at //SEIBERT/MEDIA, we will grant you a 10% discount in the form of services. Please feel free to contact us with no obligation. You can find out more about Confluence as an enterprise wiki here . For more detailed information about our wiki services with example calculations, please refer to our wiki orientation offer in our information library.

Additional information

Enterprise Wikis: Advantages of Confluence compared to Foswiki and MediaWiki
The Navigation Menu Editor in LINCHPIN, the Social Intranet Suite based on Confluence

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