A common problem for mobile work forces is the location of their users’ data. As cloud technologies have allowed users extreme flexibility, the data users have must also centralize so they can work effectively in a secure, modern, and mobile environment.
For this organization, PST files were a major barrier to their Operating System Upgrade and OneDrive migration project. The users were moving all of their data into the Office 365 product suite, however to complete this strategy, PST files also needed to migrate into the users’ mailboxes.
In addition, the firm was implementing a new e-discovery process with the move and needed all email to be available in Exchange Online. This would allow the firm to be compliant with the various regulations that impacted them worldwide. The organization operates in dozens of countries across North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.
The Office 365 tenant was located in North America. Uploading data from some of these regions was extremely time consuming with various bandwidth restrictions and network topology complexity. In addition, end-user interaction needed to be in the local language for the user.
• Need to centralize offline data.
• Dozens of Countries.
• Prompts in multiple languages.
• PST elimination and migration to Office 365.
• Quadrotech PST Flight Deck.
• Quadrotech Managed Migration service.
• Achieved centralization objectives.
• Successful phased migration of data with required bandwidth restrictions.
• Chain of custody maintained throughout.
Any enterprise that has historically used Microsoft Exchange Client or Outlook typically has many thousands of offline PSTs scattered throughout its infrastructure – on desktops, laptops, removable disks and shared network drives. These PSTs are accessed constantly by local users and may contain highly sensitive data of which the organization is unaware. The relative security vulnerabilities and easy portability of PSTs means their eradication has become a critical concern. `The volume of the PST data was quite high, with many users in regions far from the target tenant. To make matters more complex, the bandwidth to some sites was quite limited. Users also spoke multiple languages, requiring any interaction to be changed to the user ‘s local language.
The client’s highest priority was to migrate and eradicate all the PSTs before a user needed to upgrade their computer to Windows 10. All of this had to be done in a controlled manner, without impacting the other network traffic. As with all offline migrations, there were many more PST files in circulation than there were official ‘users’. This is because there are often multiple PSTs on multiple repositories belonging to a single owner, as well as orphaned PSTs abandoned when users leave the business. Some individual PST files can be excessively large, occupying several GB.
Mike Weaver, Product Owner of PST Flight Deck Explains “One of the reasons PST Flight Deck was selected by this client was the ability to operate in a hub and spoke model and control user bandwidth. These two critical features allowed for us to centralize data regionally and then move it to the North America tenant on a rolling & on-going basis. This not only protected the network infrastructure but also gave a faster user experience. The other challenge was minimizing the impact to users and ensuring any communications were in the user’s local language. ”
“User profiles allowed us to give custom experiences to each user,” says Weaver. “By using the information in Active Directory, we were able to assign Language Options and Bandwidth restrictions to each user.This combined moving of files while they are open and read-only, allows for a transparent user experience.”
Thomas Madsen, CEO of Quadrotech notes “Organizations considering similar migrations simply need to ensure they provision appropriate resources and project management at the outset, our Managed Migration service removes this headache. We know how our product can and should perform, and this meant we were able to pinpoint likely problems within the client’s infrastructure so they could be addressed as quickly as possible.” A migration of this type and on this scale is so much more than a technical project. We’d encourage anyone embarking on it to consider the impact on all parts of the organization and to inform and manage the expectations of anyone who will come into contact with it.” The end result? The client was able to centralize all of their data in Office 365 for their users. The end state not only supported the data centralization goals but also achieved the goals of the legal and compliance teams, all while increasing user satisfaction.