Meet Wunderman Thompson
Wunderman Thompson is a global creative, data, and technology agency with over 20,000 employees in 90 markets around the world. Formed through the merger of J. Walter Thompson and Wunderman in 2018, Wunderman Thompson is a division of the WPP communications network and is uniquely positioned to rethink business, culture and brand experiences for a wide range of customers, owning delivery from end-to-end.
The Challenge: Consolidating the Conglomerate
Following the high-profile merger in 2018 of J. Walter Thompson (JWT) and Wunderman, the newly formed Wunderman Thompson was an amalgamation of multiple organizations maintaining separate cloud and on-prem environments.
In the fall of 2019, parent company WPP sought to move all organizations in their network to a single Microsoft 365 tenant. The largest tenant under the Wunderman Thompson brand remained JWT, consisting of nearly 15,000 users and data across the core applications in Microsoft 365: Exchange Online, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams. For a project of this size, Wunderman Thompson turned to the migration experts at Nero Blanco.
“Oftentimes when we engage with partners, everything is good at the start. But somewhere along the line we hear ‘woah, we had no idea’ when they see the true scale and structure of our organization,” said Steve Bumba, Director of Applications and Solutions for Wunderman Thompson. “What we got with Nero Blanco was a flexible partner who understood our reality and helped us plan around the nuances of this project, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with us from discovery to cutover.”
Planning and Executing with BitTitan
Having worked together on several tenant-to-tenant projects in the past, Nero Blanco engaged with the BitTitan team to handle all 15,000 mailboxes totaling 161 terabytes of data in addition to nearly 12,000 OneDrive accounts containing another 350 terabytes. Following the assessment of the source environment, the teams agreed on a 9-week pre-stage approach, whereby the majority of user data would be migrated before a final cutover on a single weekend.
A project of this size introduced several challenges, including proper identity and network bandwidth management as well as validation that all data and users had indeed migrated. To push the limits of the MigrationWiz solution and deliver more visibility into this project, the Nero Blanco and BitTitan teams turned to PowerShell scripts.
“There was a high level of integration between Nero Blanco and BitTitan with respect to scripting. We knew even with an army of hands it would be impossible to deliver on this project with simply software,” said Fabrice Barbier, Customer Success Manager at Nero Blanco. “BitTitan took a big step in helping validate scripting to make sure everything was reconciled and monitor live status – who and what was moved where.”
This customized approach fit right in at Wunderman Thompson.
“We’ve never been the organization that accepts how a product works out of the box,” said Steve. “We’re a solutions team – we’re looking to get to the end-game in the most efficient, logical way. Even as a smaller partner, Nero Blanco took it a step at a time and overcame the biggest challenges to this project.”
Through careful planning and execution, the collective team was able to successfully migrate all users and data, finalize the cutover on a single weekend, and address minimal end-user issues on Monday morning.
Driving Collaboration in Today's Work Environment
For the Wunderman Thompson team, this migration happened at the perfect time and enabled them to take advantage of new collaboration applications like Microsoft Teams.
“Looking at the reality of what we’ve run into this year with a lot of our people working remotely, I can’t imagine what that experience would be like on separate tenants,” said Steve. “Getting into a single tenant makes us work better together, from video conferencing to global events to simple day-to-day collaboration.”
With a unified workforce, Wunderman Thompson can push forward on its path as a global creative and communications powerhouse.