Rochester Public Schools migrates to Microsoft Office 365

CAPAX EAS Email Archive Migration

Located in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, Rochester Public Schools spans a radius of 218 square miles across South-Eastern Minnesota, consisting of, 17 Elementary Schools, 4 Middle Schools, 3 High Schools and 1 Alternative Learning Center.

This high performing education group contains over 18,100 students, has 80 different spoken languages, and can boast an 85% high school graduation rate.

Customer
Rochester Public Schools
Partner
Enabling Technologies
Source
CAPAX EAS
Target
Microsoft Office 365
Data Size
6TBs
Users
±4000
Solution
Managed Migration Services

When asked if I knew anybody that could help with CAPEX EAS, I spoke to their engineers and explained the best solution is to go with Transvault

Robert Queener Presales Engineer Enabling Technologies

How to solve a problem like EAS

After successfully migrating their mailboxes to Microsoft Office 365, the network team at Rochester decided it was time to turn their attention to the subject of their email archives and do something about their problematic Enterprise Archive Solution (EAS).

In a sector where compliance and data privacy are crucial, largely due to the fact the data held can be highly sensitive, such as the IDs of 18,100 students, the last thing the network team wants to be dealing with is a “shaky” and time-consuming server, that’s been hated by the Exchange admins for 8 years.

Roger Allen, Network Analyst at Rochester Public Schools stated, “It was a full-time job just trying to keep the email archive alive. We couldn’t afford to spend that amount of time trying to keep the server up and use it for eDiscovery” continued Roger.

Roger decided to reach out for advice to Robert Queener, Presales Engineer at Enabling Technologies, who successfully managed and delivered the aforementioned mailbox migration to Microsoft Office 365. Robert said, “When Roger contacted me to ask if I knew anybody that could help with their problem, I spoke to their engineers and explained the best solution is to go with Transvault”.

“Our Exchange Admins have absolutely hated the EAS archive for 8 years.”Roger Allen, Network Analyst at Rochester Public Schools

EAS Experience Required

To say Transvault has experience with EAS could be considered an understatement. Since building the first email archive migration solution in 2006, Transvault has fulfilled almost 300 successful EAS projects and migrated over 2PBs of EAS data.

With that in mind and his desired solution vendor selected, Robert reached out to Transvault to initiate the migration discussion. Once connected with the Transvault team, Robert was convinced that utilizing Transvault’s Managed Migration Services (MMS) was an A+ solution for his customer’s project.

Summer Assignment

Migrate 4,000 Users to Microsoft Office 365

With the introduction of MMS, this brought the vast experience and knowledge of Transvault’s Director of Services, Joseph Whitmore to the project team.

After an initial discovery call between Joseph and the teams at Enabling and Rochester, a plan was quickly hatched whilst ensuring the migration would comply with the school’s current data policy and the handling of the sensitive data itself

With the project plan in place, the migration commenced. During a MMS migration and in-fact all migrations, support and communication is key to ensure a streamlined and error free process.

As project manager, Robert highlighted Joseph’s thorough communication through-out the migration project, “Joseph sent out very regular reports and presented key data charts on calls, this makes it easy for me to understand from a project management standpoint about how the project was progressing”.

The migration plan was as follows:

  • Migrate active users 3 years and back to M365, thus giving users instant access to their archive data from within their mailbox.
  • Inactive users 3 years and back would be moved to PST and placed on a shared drive for eDiscovery purposes.
  • Anyone outside of the policy (further than 3 years back) would be sent to PST and added to a shared drive, where the data will be placed on tape and left to age off.
  • The Rochester team decided against migrating their journal data to the cloud, as this was close to aging off, instead opting for this to be migrated to form a giant PST file.
  • To adhere to and leverage Microsoft Office 365 Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies and best practices, to ensure protection against any potential legal matters post migration.

Forever Flexible, Constantly Compliant Migrations

Change of plan

The general goal for most customers with regards to their migration project is to get the data from ‘Point A’ to ‘Point B’ as quickly as possible. Now, most solution providers can work in this lineal fashion and plan the migration accordingly, but what separates the good from the great in terms of providers, is when the scope of the project changes, in this case… mid-migration.

As mentioned previously, the initial plan was to only migrate active and inactive user data from 3 years back to comply with Rochester’s data policy. However, Roger decided he wanted to extract all the data out of CAPAX EAS to keep for historical purposes but was worried about the impact this would have on the current migration.

After a conversation with Joseph, where the new requirement was proposed and all queries answered, Joseph was then able to reconfigure the Transvault Migrator server to extract the rest of the data out of the EAS archive.

We’re absolutely happy with the final result and this was not our standard experience with vendors. At no point did I feel like we’re going to have a ‘here we go again’ moment’. All in all, it was totally awesome!

Roger Allen Network Analyst Rochester Public Schools

Final Grade = A+

From start to finish, Enabling Technologies and Transvault were able to complete the migration project in just over two months.

“We’re absolutely happy with the final result, and this was not our standard experience with vendors. At no point throughout the migration did I feel like we’re going to have a ‘here we go again’ moment’. All in all, it was totally awesome” concluded Roger.

In terms of results, Roger stated that the migration to Microsoft Office 365 has saved up to 10% of the individual time who is responsible for the maintenance of the server over the course of the year, mainly due to removing time spent troubleshooting archive problems as the server are behaving as they should.

Roger also estimates a time saving of 5% on eDiscovery capabilities, with the main beneficiaries being the senior members of the organization supplying information to the legal team.

Report Card Comments

The team reflect on the project as a whole…

About Enabling Technologies

Enabling Technologies is the leading Systems integrator of Microsoft 365 and Azure solutions. Enabling has 29 years of messaging and real-time communications experience and over 1900 deployments of Microsoft Teams/Skype for Business, Azure, Office 365, including the Microsoft Security tools. Enabling’s tried-and-true processes have helped customers minimize risk, maximize existing investments, and optimize the end-user Intelligent Communications experience.

Enabling takes an all-inclusive approach to projects, mastering the technical components while also optimizing the people and process side to technology rollouts. We specialize in secure Cloud solutions, including Microsoft 365 and hybrid migrations. Having Enabling design, implement, and proactively monitor your Microsoft 365 and Azure Security tools is the first step to changing the way your workforce thinks about communications, for the better. Enabling Technologies’ staff is comprised of seasoned, certified IT professionals who work with a range of next-generation technologies and can recommend and implement the “right solution” for our customers.

As validation, Enabling Technologies, a five-time recipient of the Microsoft Partner of the Year award, has provided professional services and solutions to organizations of various sizes from such diverse industries as education, government, legal, financial, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and medical.

Learn more about Enabling Technologies: https://www.enablingtechcorp.com

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