Blogger: Bill Pray
E-mail migration has been an episodic competency for the enterprise—only becoming important every few years when projects to upgrade or change e-mail platforms rose to the top of enterprise IT’s to-do list. When a major version of e-mail came out, enterprise IT would relearn how to migrate users and e-mail data, only to lose that competency over the next several years.
However, the arrival of software-as-a-service (SaaS) e-mail is changing this dynamic; rather than big bang migrations every several years, companies will continually migrate users and e-mail data as they fine-tune who stays on the SaaS version and who stays on the software version. Therefore, although e-mail migration has been around for years, what was once a project now needs to become a repeatable process.
This changes e-mail migration to dynamic e-mail migration:
Definition: Dynamic e-mail migration
The process to dynamically migrate users and users’ data to and from various e-mail environments (i.e., between software and SaaS e-mail solutions). The process can be for a single user, groups of users, and entire organizations of users.
2010 is already shaping up to be a battle for enterprise SaaS e-mail services between Cisco, Google, IBM, and Microsoft. These SaaS e-mail vendors have not yet readily enabled this dynamic migration process. While it is fairly easy (with tools from the vendors) to migrate users to their SaaS e-mail services, it is difficult to migrate from these same services. The vendors help you get the users on the island, but getting off is an adventure. Therefore, enterprises will need to rethink their current methods of e-mail migration projects in order to turn them into a useful process that will permit the enterprise to take full advantage of SaaS e-mail solutions.
Burton Group subscribers can read about dynamic e-mail migration in the recently release guidance document “E-mail Migration: How to Move with Agility.”