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Tips for a Successful Email Migration to the Cloud

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Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is becoming more and more commonplace and as it grows it is changing the way we do business.  More businesses are choosing to migrate their email to the cloud to take advantage of the countless benefits it offers, some of which include:

Cost Savings and Predictability

By no longer having to purchase and maintain the necessary IT hardware and software, companies are realizing cost savings from just having to pay a simple set monthly or annual fee. This also makes their costs more predictable and allows them to plan more effectively by better knowing where their resources will be in the future.

Lifting IT Burden

The burden of constantly purchasing, maintaining, and upgrading your hardware and software shifts your resources and your focus away from your core competency as a business. Why not focus on what you do best and let cloud server experts take that burden off of your shoulders by doing what they do best? By handing off IT responsibilities to a cloud provider you ensure that your systems are always up-to-date and backed up, without any continued effort on your side.

Increased Scalability

By moving their email to the cloud, companies can easily scale up or down as they please, without having to purchase new equipment or worry about the cost of maintaining unused hardware.  This affords companies with more time and resources to spend on their developing within their expertise.

Tips for a Successful Migration

Once you’ve decided to migrate your email to the cloud there are a few things you’ll need to consider to make your transfer as smooth as possible.

1. Know your Data

It is important to know which data you will be transferring and how you will be transferring it. Knowing what you want to transfer will help you to build an accurate project timeline.  Because of the unique nature of a customer’s business, the type and mix of mail items within mailboxes vary greatly.  For example, one 4-GB mailbox with 400 items, each with 10 megabytes (MB) of attachments, will migrate faster than one 4-GB mailbox with 100,000 smaller items.

You should also consider the device or service that hosts the data to be migrated. Many limitations might apply to the data source because of hardware specifications, end-user workload, and back-end maintenance tasks.  For example, Google Mail limits how much data can be extracted during a specific period of time where Exchange in Office 365 does not.  These are factors that need to be considered in your project timeline.

2. Know your Network

You also need to consider your network environment and any constraints it may have.  The amount of time it takes to migrate mailboxes is determined by the available and maximum capacity of your network.  You should consider these factors when planning your migration:

  • Identify your available network capacity and determine the maximum upload capacity.

  • Contact your ISP to confirm your allocated bandwidth and get details about restrictions, such as the total amount of data that can be transferred in a specific period of time.

  • Identify other loads on your network (for example, backup utilities and scheduled maintenance) that can affect your network capacity.

3. Know your End-Users

Whether you’re migrating to the cloud, or moving to a different office, it’s important to maintain the continuity of your business process as best you can.  To do this, you need to know whom you’re transferring, when you’re transferring them, and what they need to continue their current tasks.

  • How tech savvy are your employees? How much support will they need, if any?

  • Are their desktops/laptops up to date? Are there any necessary software downloads?

  • What are your end-users working on? If you’re doing a phased transfer the requirements

    of some departments may need to be considered before others.

You should always communicate your migration plan and schedule to all end-users who will be impacted.  The only thing worse than downtime is unexpected downtime.

With functions reaching from communication to scheduling contacts, email servers are one of the most essential pieces necessary to keep your business running smoothly.  By moving your email to the cloud, you are ensuring that these things are protected by dedicated experts. While cloud-based email migration can be very helpful and profitable for a business, it is quite different from other kinds of traditional email migration. It can be very worthwhile to enlist a third-party to help with this complex process.   

Ready to learn more about cloud email migration?  

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