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Fighting pain of moving messaging

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In the past, migrating a messaging platform was a daunting task. But, CHRIS HATHAWAY, Director at Soarsoft Africa says with Cloud computing and regular refresh cycles from major vendors like Microsoft, the process is becoming a lot easier and is gaining momentum.

The mere thought of a messaging platform migration has sent many operational managers and IT administrators running for the hills. Messaging is the lifeblood of the organisation and in the past, it impacted every corner of the business and was a highly risky and challenging initiative to ensure everyday business operations were unaffected. However, this notion has changed somewhat. With the advent of cloud computing and the regular version refresh cycles for vendors like Microsoft that embrace new collaboration methods and cloud based options, it is gathering a new momentum due to a unique combination of business and technology drivers.

In fact, organisations that run leading platforms like Microsoft’s Flagship Exchange solution, should no longer see migrations as a once-off event, but rather as a continuous process that is aligned with commercial, organisational and technology business needs.

Cloud and hybrid deployments are also driving the need for a shift in how migrations are performed, perceived and managed by organisations which are rethinking how email should be actualised in a public or private cloud. However, it is often only when the process is in motion that they realise that the most efficient or cost effective deployment model could be a “hybrid”” cloud deployment.

Hybrid deployments enable organisations to optimise where they host their user mailboxes. Often large numbers of users are external or remote “”desk-less”” resources and their mailboxes are more suitable for a cloud environment, whilst other users are best to be hosted on site. The key to a successful email migration is to manage it as a transformation cycle, applying best practice methodologies and proven technology, combined with a knowledgeable practised advisor.

Today, businesses must adopt an approach to email migration that will provide a repeatable formula for success via a single investment rather than viewing the process as a once-off event. With Binary Tree’s experience spanning 20 years, they have developed a SMART Exchange Migration strategy, which combines technology and guidance with the right formula for successfully managing the Microsoft Exchange transformation life cycle.

The SMART approach dictates the use of superior, proven technologies and partners to ensure that the migration is started with proper discussion and planning. This is followed by messaging, the most basic and critical component of an organisations’ infrastructure and together with a trusted advisor, companies are able to select the most suited platform and benchmarks for what constitutes a successful migration.

Therein lies the rub. There must be a thorough analysis of the messaging infrastructure to establish what is the most important to the business. This comprehensive collection will illustrate the complex and unique nature of the messaging environment, consisting of users, servers, policies, workflow and content.

The most important phase of Binary Tree’s SMART methodology is deciding on what to migrate where, when and how. This rationalisation comes from mapping the results of the comprehensive analysis of the business requirements and promotes the optimisation of the migration process.

By employing the SMART methodology, businesses are automatically transforming the way they approach future migrations. As messaging platforms continue to evolve and the technologies supporting them continue to shift, it will become more advantageous for companies to adopt the ability to continuously transform their infrastructures. Maintaining a competitive edge is at the centre of what makes companies leaders, and innovation is traditionally what drives the evolution of messaging platforms to deliver the capabilities that keep users happy, productive and mobile.

In closing, many view Exchange and other messaging platforms as a commodity that operate on their own with limited administration and do not need special attention, but this is not the case. The ultimate key to success of an on-going Messaging administration, transformation and evolution is a combination of complementary methodology and technology which enables an organisation to collect, analyse, rationalise and execute. This incorporates the collection of information that must be based on well-defined technical, organisational and financial rules to ensure that the execution is precise, and importantly a success.

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