Microsoft is planning to offer free migrations to Office 365 starting in September. As a customer, it’s important to understand what the offer does (and doesn’t) mean for you.
What is included?
The offer is available only to those customers purchasing 150+ seats of Office 365. There is currently no free migration available for customers purchasing less the 150 seats. This offer is valid through March 31, 2015.
Microsoft will migrate mailboxes from Exchange 2003 and newer versions, as well as Lotus Domino 7.0.3+ and IMAP-accessible email, such as Gmail. The migrations will be done on a 24/5 basis with predefined migration time slots per migration day.
Why do I need a partner if Microsoft is migrating my mail?
Customers are responsible for the migration of client side data, including .PST files, local Outlook settings, and local contacts – and importantly, post migration support.
The email migration services are cutover only (big bang) and do not include staged or hybrid configurations. For the various versions of on-premise Exchange, Microsoft will migrate emails, mailbox rules and contacts, tasks and calendars, among other things. But Microsoft won't migrate public folders, archive data or emails of 25 MB or larger.
Customers that have complex needs, such as staged migrations, weekend migrations, e-Discovery and archiving considerations, complex Active Directory environments, and SharePoint data should consider working with a partner to avoid unforeseen potholes in their migrations.
What else can a partner do for me?
As a partner, it is our job to understand what funding is available to support your migration. Often, there is unadvertised proof of concept or deployment funding available to you. Only a qualified deployment partner can access this funding on your behalf. Right now, there are several key funding programs available to you that can only be “tapped” by a certified deployment partner.
Most importantly, it is a partner’s job to be your company’s advocate with Microsoft. Our goal is always to make sure you experience a painless migration – our reputation depends on it.
Everyone knows, email is one of the most business critical applications for any business. Be sure to work with a partner to decide if the “free” migration is right for you. A good partner will help you make the right choice for your business based upon a deeper understanding of your environment.