I can’t say I’m surprised, nor that our team hadn’t been waiting for Tony Redmond’s real opinion on the “PST situation” to surface in the form of a post. However, we are surprised that it took his comments and tell it like it is approach, to really get the market churning on this. Contrary to popular belief, or several contrite email advertising campaigns, migrating to any platform is rarely easy. Nor is budgeting the costs of the overall migration project – there could be many hidden or unexpected costs associated with migrating that are completely dependent on your data.
Now take into account the complexity of email messages, number of user mailboxes, policy (or lack thereof) – throw into that the storage, archive or several backups you have to contend with… then add to this the risk of being sued while operating in the litigation-centric world of modern business. Gosh, it’s no wonder that it’s become common practice to source a partner that, not only you can trust to handle the many elements and considerations that go into it shifting to the Cloud, but who can also help you bury the compounding costs that were probably not considered a factor when you decided to take advantage of the benefits of Microsoft Office 365.
Look, we are full supporters, Microsoft ambassadors, yes we believe in the power of the Cloud. Nonetheless, we also sit in the thick of it – people forget we pioneered the archive migration space with our 100% channel sales approach. So we have to respond with our channel sales partners in mind. How much will it cost to move my archive? Um yes ladies and gentleman, Microsoft is not the first to charge for getting your data from point A to point B, C or D.
So what do we think about the Microsoft Office 365 Import Service, and Mr. Redmond’s push for more information? For us it’s really simple, like Tony, we stick to the facts and highlight what we know:
- The intentions behind cloud vendors using drive shipping for on-boarding customers are good: potentially better transfer times because you’re not hampered by a slow network, and no impact on SLAs for their other cloud clients.
- The reality is that the leg-work and potential for human-error involved in prepping and handling PSTs ‘at both ends of the pipe’ are HUGE. This is no doubt why Microsoft are perhaps toying with the idea of charging for this service (Mimecast has charged for this service from the outset).
- Manual PST upload techniques can also be slow – especially when there’s a backlog of SATAs on the shelf.
- The compliance assurances that direct migration gives are also tremendous, and when migrating compliance data (e.g. deleted data still on retention hold) Transvault are very precise about moving this into the correct Office 365 ‘compliance slots’.
- We at Transvault have worked hard on providing an on boarding approach that works hand-in-hand with Microsoft’s throttling (so as not to compromise its SLAs), as well as performing an end-to-end migration which is inordinately faster than using the import service.
- This goes well beyond the capabilities of the Is Archive TRUE/FALSE parameter that Microsoft has for directing PSTs into the primary mailbox or Online Archive.
In a world of constant change, and a culture lead by innovation, you have to work together to define a path that works for you, or more importantly that works for your data. Shifting platforms is rarely easy. Sometimes it takes time to fully understand the issues we may face, or to uncover the many different data storage scenarios or limitations you’re up against – even if you are a software giant like Microsoft. Microsoft Office 365, its new bottomless archive and its feature set all represent a tremendous opportunity and improvement for the collaborative and always connected workforce, so keep your eye on the price and select a partner who will help your data.