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Up Migration Creek Without a Vendor

Cresa, based in the USA, is one of the world’s preeminent commercial real estate brokers, with over 1000 employees in 80+ offices spread across North America, Asia, the Pacific and EMEA. They provide a variety of real-estate-related services to an impressive client list, including big-name brands like Dell EMC and Walt Disney.

Migration Motivations

Like many modern enterprises, Cresa’s email migration was motivated by their desire to achieve a 100% cloud-based technology stance. They had already consolidated their on-premises Microsoft Exchange data using Dell EMC’s SourceOne, but wanted to transition onwards to Microsoft Office 365.

The vendor dilemma

Having chosen Daymark Solutions Inc. as their migration services partner, the team’s first challenge was to find a suitable vendor to supply the necessary migration solution. They needed some sophisticated technology to handle the complexities of SourceOne’s proprietary archives without losing vital detail and metadata on rehydration.

As it turned out, there were several vendors claiming to be able to do the job. Unfortunately for Cresa, some of those claims were more marketing-spin than truth.

As we did our due diligence, it turned out that a lot of people make a lot of promises, but when push comes to shove, their stuff doesn’t actually work – Gene Glekel, Cresa’s VP of Technology.

With their options rather narrower than expected, the team eventually settled on a vendor claiming to be a leader in intelligent information management and archiving for the Microsoft Cloud. The brand assured Cresa that their products could handle the transition from SourceOne to Office 365.

Confident that a business like this would never oversell their capabilities, Cresa asked Daymark to move ahead with the migration, using this solution.

Little did they know that their challenges had only just begun.

A last-minute let-down

“When it came time to choose a solution, we said, ‘We want to test this ability’,” recalls Gene Glekel, Cresa’s VP of Technology, describing a conversation with their software vendor about two months into the working relationship.

The startling response from the vendor was that the functionality in question would only be ready much later that year. To their significant disappointment and surprise, Cresa and Daymark discovered that the pivotal capabilities that had been discussed time and time again during the project planning phase were not only completely untested, they did not yet exist.

It was bad... Timelines were slipping and we had to abandon the entire body of testing that we’d done because these guys were full of baloney - Gene Glekel

TransVault and Daymark to the rescue

Daymark, who had been by Cresa’s side throughout the process, were equally appalled at the situation. Determined to find a vendor that could actually follow through on its promises (while being price-competitive and able to meet their client’s tight timelines), they recommended TransVault as a solution.

One of the things which makes us unique and able to pivot so quickly is that we’re vendor agnostic. We took a look at TransVault as an alternative, with Gene right along with us, and from a technical standpoint and sales perspective the expertise was just phenomenal compared to what we’d experienced with (the previous vendor) - Greg Hickey, Senior Account Executive at Daymark Solutions Inc

After connecting with the TransVault team and exploring the possibilities, both Cresa and Daymark were convinced that they’d found a perfect fit.

The further the project progressed, the deeper that conviction became.

A smooth-sailing migration

“The team was able to not only execute [the migration] with extreme precision, Joseph Whitmore [TransVault Director of Services] was also really great at guiding us and giving advice when he felt there was some nuance or functionality that we hadn’t considered,” says Glekel. “He wasn’t just there as a technical resource or project manager, he was there as a true value-add and a real partner.”

“Joseph is just what you want a consultant to be,” agrees Hickey. “He gives good suggestions, he’s really honest and upfront, and very knowledgeable. He won’t tell you what to do, but his expertise will lead you there.”

As for the overall migration – completed from start to finish in 3 months – both Glekel and Hickey are enthusiastically effusive.

“We lead with TransVault now…”, says Hickey, “…and it’s because of the people that we get to work with and the quality and capability of their software.”

“We hit the timelines, we got the data out, we never had to go back and say, ‘Oh man, we messed up, we need to reimport some data’,” says Glekel. “Everything is there, everything is smooth, the business has been operating in Office 365 for a while now, and there are no issues. How can you do better? It was truly extraordinary. Really impressive.

About Daymark Solutions Inc.

Daymark offers Professional and Managed Services designed to help companies resolve their most difficult technology challenges both in the data center and the cloud. With 600+ complex implementations completed, over 350 technical certifications, a long history of happy, satisfied customers, and a reputation for technical excellence, they have established themselves as a trusted IT partner throughout New England.

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