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The best steps into the Cloud

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What is the best way to take a business into the Cloud? BERNARD KUR, head of product development at Global Micro, offers a useful guide to data migration.

So you have finally decided to migrate your business to the Cloud, more specifically a hosted exchange, if it makes business sense. You are in for a great journey, but there are a couple of things you should be aware of before you walk this path.

The transition to the Cloud for any business involves two overall phases:

Determining a need and

Implementing the solution

Nestled neatly between the two though, you will find the most critical step in the entire process, the data migration.

As it implies, the migration process takes your data from its current servers and migrates it to its new home in the Cloud. But for many network engineers, this has become somewhat of a sticking point. It is a daunting process, which can go horribly wrong if not properly managed. Inversely, with the correct processes and planning in place, the transition will be seamless and dare I say, ‚”easy.‚”

The importance of preparation and planning for a successful migration:

1. Ask questions and understand the process

Make sure you understand the process and what the scope of the migration entails. This will differ from business to business but the questions you ask will ensure that you are prepped every step of the way, so ask the right questions. A few examples include (but are not limited to) the following:

Will there be downtime? How will the migration affect my users? Will email be lost or do we have a backup and transfer strategy? What is the learning curve of the new Hosted Exchange? What are the costs to educate my users to bring them up to speed?

2. Plan, plan, and plan

With any business migration, it is of paramount importance that there is a plan that covers every aspect of your data migration. I cannot stress this enough. With proper planning and project management you will experience an easy transition without downtime. Ensure that your system engineers have an in-depth plan that covers your data migration.

3. Own the migration from administration to ensuring quality assurance

Once you have implemented the plan to ensure a thorough transition from the legacy system to the cloud and your migration is close to completion/ or even completed it is essential that you are fully prepared to take ownership of this service. Pivotal to this, is the importance of knowing how to use the Control Panel. Due to its intuitive design, your administrator is able to fully manage the service and day to day administration can even be handled by non-technical staff. With the account in production and the account administrator educated on administration, you are ready to experience Hosted Exchange’s productivity benefits and cost-savings.

Finally, always ensure that your Cloud advisor’s service is backed by 24×7 support and a Services Level Agreement (SLA.)

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