Companies looking to implement Office 365 can be coming from a variety of platforms and configurations – each has an impact on their migration strategy. Office 365 isn’t like an upgrade – it’s a wholesale move – yet companies need to duplicate much of their on-premises infrastructure in the cloud to ensure they maintain a productive work environment.
A real-world example of an Office 365 migration can look like this. A customer running Exchange 2007 solicited bids for migration to Office 365. Since there is no direct “hop” from Exchange 2007 to Exchange Online, the customer first needed an interim Exchange 2010 server to which they would migrate from Exchange 2007 and which would act as “bridge” to an initially hybrid installation of Office 365.
They could then gradually migrate users to Office 365 with the ultimate goal of eliminating the interim server, or if not, upgrading it to Exchange 2013. In addition, the customer would need:
Few IT organizations have the expertise or bandwidth to handle these requirements on their own – so experienced partners provide key capabilities and help organizations manage migrations at a reasonable cost and in an acceptable timeframe. They can quickly identify the best products, strategies, and techniques that will accommodate each customer’s unique situation.
Companies have standardized on Microsoft Outlook and many applications, from customer relationship management (CRM) products to invoicing and billing apps, tie-in to Outlook and the email system to one degree or another. Even simple auto-replies and email footers need to be recreated for Office 365.
With email-enabled applications, companies need to understand their current automated workflows that leverage email for routing and decision-making, and how those applications may change when users are on Office 365. Reconfigurations and in some cases upgrades are required to ensure workflows operate after migration.
Experienced Partners typically know which mainstream applications will work, which need upgrades, and which might require replacement. Their involvement early-on in the planning session is critical to ensure both the monetary and timeframe parameters are understood.
Companies were sold on the benefits of Office 365, not the hassles of migrating to the cloud. Experienced Partners can make all the difference here, ensuring migrations are smooth and that companies maintain continuity as they move from on-premises to cloud or hybrid environments.
Barracuda products can help in this regard as well. Barracuda offers on-premises and virtual products that are easily configurable to local and cloud environments, including Office 365. An email security gateway can remain a company’s first line of email defense whether they receive mail on-premises or in a cloud environment. An NG Firewall can be deployed in Azure and satisfy on-premises, hybrid, or cloud networks. And for companies looking to eliminate on-premises infrastructure, Barracuda offers Software-as-a-Service or SaaS solutions that work with Office 365 and can be managed directly or by a Barracuda partner.