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Office 365 – a sheep in wolf’s clothing

The channel might have feared Office 365 but it could be an opportunity claims Aidan Simister, regional director at Lepide Software

Many will find it hard to digest the thought of Office 365 as anything other than a revenue sapping enemy to the channel

The halcyon days of  fixing exchange servers as a valuable revenue stream are dying away and whether we like it or not people will move to 365 and it's not going anywhere.

More than a million subscribers are signing up each month for it and four out of five Fortune 500 companies are already using it as the march of Office 365 has been driven by mass cloud adoption.

But now is not the time to throw the toys out of the collective pram. Now is the time to accept the changing landscape and make sure you engage with the process as there's certainly a place for us.

The fact is, moving to 365 is not quite as easy as everyone thought it was going to be and migration can involve navigating some pretty cloudy waters to say the least. 

Office 365 has been billed as the last great data migration that businesses will ever have to make but as with all large implementations it will still offer issues and obstacles along the way. 

Indeed,there has been downtime reports for admin access, AD authentication and  archive access etc that can Impact entire organisations.

And last year Gartner research vice president Guy Creese outlined the myriad issues in a talk titled "The Hidden Gotchas of Office 365".

A lot of time and effort is involved even if you have a relatively simple IT environment and the more complex it gets the bumpier the ride is.

So the more the channel can embrace the cloud the more chance they have of evolving and growing their business in my opinion. This means the channel needs to identify vendors who deliver solutions that help organisations migrate to  Office 365.

When it comes to 365 migrations what matters is getting there, getting there fast and getting there with minimum disruptions to users and business. And the tools are out there to make this happen and satisfy this criteria.

For instance, my company’s migrating tool provides features such as a pre-migration analyzer which allows the user to plan their Office 365 migration by knowing in advance total migration time, speed of migration and when load sharing agents will be free.

Overall the software gives you a single console to do complete migration, speed and ease comes naturally with it, and there is that crucial element in certainty in everything you do. A migration safety net of assurance.

So with the  right tools, the right partners can grow their business significantly as we can save 95% of the time required for a customer  to do it manually – and that is a pitch that any prospect would find hard to ignore.

IT partners can take the migraine out of migration and come out on top but the more partners resist the cloud the more they will be left behind with only themselves to blame.

Days of tin and kit are dying out, but you don't have to go with them.

This was last published in December 2015

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