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Top tips from my slot on the MPN Podcast

8 May 2017 by Mike Weaver

In April I had the great opportunity to be a guest on the weekly Microsoft Partner Network Podcast (MPN Podcast). During the conversation with Rach Gupta we talked about two major topics, Customer Long Time Value and Merger, Acquisition & Divestures.The session is called ‘Supporting Customers Through Their Biggest Challenges with Mike Weaver’ and you can check it out here

The first topic is an interesting one for Quadrotech – particularly with our recent acquisition of Cogmotive. That’s because, for us, data migration used to be a ‘project’, it had a timeline and a completion date, and we were used to delivering a service that gets you from ‘A’ to (wherever you want to) ‘B’, quickly and effectively. Once our customers hit point B and the project was done, as long as everyone is happy, our services were no longer needed, and we both moved on.

We’ve had tons of happy customers over the years, but we’ve never been able to help or support them beyond the migration finish line.  Now we’ve added powerful, intelligent reporting and analytics applications from Cogmotive to our toolkit, this can finally change. Not only can we use our industry leading technology to facilitate the transition into a new environment, but we now have solutions that can help drive ongoing success and value from the services that you’ve adopted in Office 365.

The second topic, Merger, Acquisition & Divesture (M&A&D) may be a little surprising to some. For years, I worked in industry integration, or spinning off lines of business.  Moving users, and most importantly their data, could range from being a relatively minor re-shuffle, to a full-blown logistical nightmare.  It could include getting a plane ticket for a hard drive, shipping servers, meeting in parking lots, data replication, and any other creative ways you could think of, to help solve the business challenges you were faced with.

We have seen a massive surge in requests for help from our customers and partners on this topic.  The biggest challenge for many companies now is that both “sides” of the migration project are in Office 365.  For years, we’ve dodged this problem with at least one “side” being on on-premises systems. This is rapidly changing, due to the popularity and enterprise adoption of Office 365, meaning that more and more companies need to take on a full blown tenant to tenant migration.

For now, here are some important points from the podcast to note:

  • Unless you have experienced, and available staff that have done these kinds of projects before, make sure you bring in the right resources to help you! Focus on your business and your timeline, not just the mechanics! This decision will save time and money in the long run.
  • Migration is much more than just mail! A total solution will address the workflows you are using in Office 365.  Ensure you plan for it all.
  • ID management is a real pain, so plan for it carefully to make sure that you limit user impact. Remember – the no.1 help desk call for most organizations continues to be password resets!

I will end with what I think is the most important tip – make sure you address the emotional component of a M&A&D project!  Of course, this tip should apply to any work that we do which impacts our user community, but in my opinion nothing is more disruptive to a user than this kind of business event.  The data transfer is only a small part of their story. When your project is complete, and your users come through the door, they might be facing all kinds of challenges, opportunities and pressures in their new working environment. These employees will often find themselves in a new position, with a new supervisor, and new systems to learn. There are plenty to deal with, IT should not be an additional hassle on their day – it should enable productivity, not compromise it.

Give the podcast a listen, and if this is something your business is undertaking, feel free to contact us or head to live chat and we can setup a time to talk!

Want to know more about the migration solutions we offer, find out here.