by Pete Steere
As TDS continually improves its proprietary migration software, TransitionManager, we constantly strive to ensure our customers’ successful deployment of its powerful capabilities. The irony of being a trainer for a company offering migration software for use by IT managers is that as I develop content I am, in some ways, making my role obsolete.
While it’s true that the maintenance of educational material will always be necessary, creating user manuals and video libraries of content intended to allow users to become proficient on their own seems to contradict my role as an in-person software training instructor.
What will my role be if a new TransitionManager user can become an expert without my help?
Currently I travel the world training expert migration practitioners in TransitionManager implementation. The experience has allowed me to learn a great deal about current day data center and cloud migrations and gain valuable insight into how our software can continue to develop and evolve to meet market needs. I learn this from real world data center migration experts; some of whom realize the tool’s potential and are curious about how it will benefit them, some who critique the software at every chance they get, and some, arguably my favorite group, who poke and prod every feature unconcerned with the bigger picture.
This final group represents those who seem to be asking the question, “Is this data migration software intuitive, fun and, ultimately, easy to implement again and again and again?” Similar to a video game critic who asks the question (without regard to the background story, lore, and history of a game) “is this game fun to play?”
And to me, the answer is yes, TransitionManager is worth playing again, and for streamlining communication and coordination throughout any migration project, it’s a necessity.
Setting up a project in the environment, populating it with asset information, and quickly (within minutes for many data providers) being able to see an accurate representation of an entire company’s data center is thrilling. The ability to so rapidly arrive at the various manageable views of a data center infrastructure often surprises even those trainees who have been solutioning data center migrations for years.
Its ease of use enables conversations to be focused on the project and not the often-untrustworthy data; the data is accurate, now in one place, visible to appropriate parties, and consistently organized. The data is easy to talk about, update, trust, and maintain. We can, therefore, spend more time focusing on how to run a successful migration and less on the assets contained of the data center. That’s what automation tools are for.
And my job as a trainer is transferring this real-world knowledge to make TransitionManager implementation even better through software and methodological developments. Though in some ways I may be undermining my role as an in-person instructor, in other ways I am at the forefront of development, and that is an exciting place to be.