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  • Email continues to be the most important business communication tool
  • Survey reveals high fidelity, and minimal data loss and downtime are crucial to successful email migration projects
  • Dell Software offers best practices and tools to help companies prepare for and complete successful email migrations that ensure business continuity, both on-premises and in the cloud

Email remains a critical business operations tool for organizations of all sizes, but the need for enhanced functionality is driving corporate email migrations, both to the cloud and to Exchange 2013 or other newer versions of Exchange on-premises. However, a survey commissioned by Dell Software and conducted by Dimensional Research shows that while email collaboration is viewed as critical to business operations, a fear of data loss or corruption keeps many respondents from migrating to cloud email. Results of “The State of Corporate Email,” a survey of more than 200 IT professionals with responsibility for administration, implementation, or architecture of corporate email systems at companies with more than 1000 employees, reveals the following key findings:

  • 81 percent of respondents say email is more important for employee communication than other collaboration tools
  • On-premises email collaboration is still prevalent, with 86 percent of respondents still hosting email locally, some in combination with cloud email
  • Cloud email adoption is growing, with 46 percent of responding organizations using a SaaS or cloud-based email solution
  • Of those respondents not currently using a cloud-based solution, 43 percent are evaluating cloud options
  • Of those who have not migrated to cloud-based email, 59 percent of respondents say concerns surrounding data loss are keeping them out of the cloud, and cite the need for high data fidelity and minimal downtime as key elements for a successful migration.

Dell Software recognizes that most email migrations are managed by in-house resources that need the right tools and strategies to execute a smooth migration process ensuring zero data loss in transit. Extensive pre-migration planning is essential, and the following best practices will help ensure that operations are maintained and the organization suffers minimal impact during the migration:

  • Prepare the three most important preparatory steps to take before undertaking an email migration are:
    • Define your source and target. Where are you migrating from? What does your target environment look like? No matter the source and target platform, understanding the scope of the project will help determine the best migration path, and the necessary tools to make the migration successful. Consider whether the migration will require a full coexistence solution to enable users to remain productive throughout the course of the migration, or whether a quick cut-over migration will suffice. The path to the target environment depends greatly on the source platform, and the type of migration needed.
    • Complete a full assessment of your organization. IT must understand the environment and how it works. Be sure to review the Exchange architecture ─ including how many servers there are, where they are deployed, and their usage trends and capacity ─ to accurately plan for servers in the target Exchange environment. Knowing what should be moved and when will help IT design the target platform and shorten the time it takes to migrate, saving time and money and ensuring the migration will have zero impact on operations.
    • Prepare everyone and everything. Before the migration begins, create a migration project plan that formalizes milestones and documents such critical steps in the process as executing a pilot, contingency and recovery planning, archiving old data, communicating the change internally to users and management, reviewing email retention policies, and training for users on the new platform.
  • Consider the cloud some organizations may find the time is right to shift to Exchange Online to reduce costs and simplify management. There are many benefits to moving messaging and collaboration to the cloud, including pay-as-you-go licensing, automated upgrades and patches, and the ability to provide a prominent percentage of uptime. When considering this type of migration, however, remember the same challenges posed by a traditional migration will exist. Putting messaging and collaboration platforms in the cloud introduces a new set of challenges when preparing for the migration of data and ongoing management. There are unique security concerns caused by the simple fact that important applications and functions now exist in the cloud.
  • Remember to plan for management and compliance it is just as important to have a plan for effectively managing the new Exchange environment as it is to have a plan for the migration itself. Management needs are often overlooked until after the migration is complete, and organizations find that native tools are limited in functionality. A management plan should include solutions that help monitor performance, ensure availability, recover data, implement automation, provide advanced reporting, enforce email retention policies, simplify administration, and maintain compliance and security. Organizations that have management solutions in place to automate time-consuming and labor-intensive manual tasks will realize business value faster, and save money because automation reduces the need for dedicated resources.
  • Take care of your PST problem because they are rarely accessed and unknown to data backups and legal data retention teams, PST files often get left behind during a migration. To make sure this doesn’t happen, deploy a solution that will search for all PST files located on user desktops, determine who owns the files, and then migrate those PST files directly into the primary or archive mailbox in Exchange or Office 365.
  • Choose the right partner due to the importance and complexity of an Exchange migration, enterprise IT professionals should consider working with an experienced and trusted partner. Most administrators don’t execute migrations regularly, and having a partner bring expertise and knowledge from previous projects can help ensure success.

Dell Software Solutions Offer Built-in Flexibility for Maintaining Internal and External Communications during Email Migrations
With a rich history in Exchange migration and management, Dell Software has the experience to ensure a successful migration to Office 365.

  • Dell™ Migration Manager for Exchange mitigates the risk of migrating, consolidating or restructuring an Exchange environment, ensuring zero impact on users while also requiring fewer resources. Migration Manager for Exchange enables direct migrations from legacy versions of Exchange to Exchange 2013 in one step and without interim environments or swing servers.
  • Dell™ OnDemand Migration for Email enables administrators to securely migrate users and data to Office 365, on-premises Exchange or hosted Exchange email platforms without installing or maintaining migration software
  • Dell™ Notes Migrator for Exchange provides fast, accurate migration, and mitigates the risk of data loss when transitioning from IBM Lotus Notes to Exchange or Office 365
  • Dell™ Coexistence Manager for Notes affords seamless collaboration between IBM® Lotus Notes® and Microsoft® Exchange, maintaining business productivity throughout the coexistence period
  • Dell™ GroupWise Migrator for Exchange simplifies and accelerates the transition process and mitigates the risk of data loss when migrating from Novell GroupWise to Exchange or Office 365.
  • Dell™ Coexistence Manager for GroupWise provides interoperability between GroupWise and Exchange over the course of the migration
  • The new Dell™ Migration Manager for PSTs quickly and reliably identifies, filters and migrates PST files to primary or archive mailboxes in Exchange 2010/2013 and Office 365.
  • Dell™ solutions for Microsoft Exchange help to properly prepare for an upcoming Exchange migration project, and manage the new environment once the migration is complete.

Supporting Quote

Michael Tweddle, senior director, product management, Dell Software
“Email is still the lifeblood of communication within an organization, which means you simply can’t afford downtime or data loss during a migration. Our email migration solutions make the migration process simpler and safer, mitigating the risk of data loss and ensuring there is no impact on users during the migration.”

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