Bits & Bytes

Google Migrations: Go With the EDU Expert

06/08/2021
Phil Herold
Toolbox amidst colorful balls on a purple background.-3d renderi

Email and office productivity suite migrations are high-stakes projects that are strategic to the customer organization. We cover some of the reasons at a macro level in two other articles. MSP Alert: The Rise in Tenant-to-Tenant Migrations for Microsoft 365 looks at the sheer number of migration opportunities. Sizing Up Your Opportunities: Tenant-to-Tenant Migrations for MSPs delves into the business drivers behind these projects. Some of these engagements can be quite large.

While students and faculty are at home, it’s a good time for system upgrades that will enhance collaboration, access, and security. Many colleges, universities, and school systems are planning winter break migrations to move or consolidate tenants and even adopt new collaboration platforms.

If you’re using Google Workspace, MigrationWiz is the tool you need for migrating a wide variety of workloads: Mailboxes, documents, archives, and even collaboration platforms. You can take advantage of low education pricing to move from one Google instance to another, or from Google Workspace to Microsoft Teams. MigrationWiz handles all these workloads:

  • Gmail and Vault, including inbox, folders/labels, email, muted emails, contacts, calendars, and calendar notifications.
  • Drive, including files, folders, permissions, document history, comments, and more.
  • Shared Drives, including documents, permissions, versions, and metadata.

Great education pricing is one thing, but when you’re planning a migration, you should never skimp on experience, capabilities, and security. That’s why BitTitan has been the choice of educational institutions for more than 13 years.

Experienced experts are here to help

BitTitan has migrated thousands of students, faculty, and staff at hundreds of educational institutions all around the globe. While MigrationWiz is known for being intuitive and easy to use, you never have to go it alone, especially if your project is more complex. Our world-class Customer Success team are dedicated migration experts who can help you plan your project.

In fact, now is the perfect time to call so we can connect you with team members who have extensive experience in educational environments – including implementing complex Google Workspace migrations.

Fast, easy, and flexible

Educational institutions choose MigrationWiz because it’s fully automated and 100% SaaS. In fact, if you were expecting to sprint around campus in order to complete your migration, you may have to get your exercise some other way. With MigrationWiz you simply initiate your migration from one centralized dashboard, then use DeploymentPro – which is included – to automate Outlook configuration.

Don’t be fooled, though. Easy doesn’t mean basic. MigrationWiz is highly customizable with advanced options that give you full control over your migration. You’re always in charge of timing, testing, setup, and execution. You can also use project sharing to involve team members across departments for greater visibility and collaboration throughout the migration.

Top security with Azure datacenters

Security is top priority for every migration project, especially in educational settings. You’re responsible for protecting personal information from students and faculty, as well as proprietary documents and research. You must be able to ensure every bit of data is safe throughout the migration process. With MigrationWiz you get the extra security of Azure datacenters. And, your data is always encrypted and never stored.

With BitTitan by your side, you can get a lot done over winter break. So when faculty, staff, and students return, they might not even notice because they’ll be able to get started with the new semester without any disruptions.

Now’s the time to plan your migration

If you’re ready to implement a migration, there’s still time to put a plan in place. Contact us today to find out about education pricing for MigrationWiz and to learn how we can help make your migration a success.

However, the greater the number of users and the bigger the mailboxes and data stores, the higher risk there is for customer downtime or a migration that accomplishes less than 100% fidelity.

Microsoft and Google provide tools for migrating users to their office productivity suites, and they are certainly better than doing the entire migration manually. They also come with an irresistible price point: free. But for an MSP that has staked its reputation on successfully migrating a high-profile client, it’s wise to look past the price. Consider the full business case for passing on these free first-party solutions in favor of a a more-robust and full-featured third-party tool.

Evaluation Guide

Migration speed. The ability to move a large number of users and high volume of data is critical when the plan is to cut over all users in a weekend and get the customer back to business as usual on Monday. The first-party tools can handle smaller, simple migrations up to a few hundred users. Third-party tools are optimized for speed, can migrate several hundred users concurrently, and leverage the elasticity of the cloud to scale and support user counts in the thousands.

Range of migrated items. The first-party tools can handle the basic components of a mailbox, including mail items, calendars and contacts. Third-party tools often go beyond the basics by handling files, folders and in some cases, collaboration solution configurations, settings and data.

Configurability and control over the migration. Careful planning and smart configuration are the key to any successful migration. The first-party tools can handle a narrow set of “plain vanilla” projects, and require lengthy and cumbersome manual configuration. You’ll often find that the profit margin you expected to gain from using a free tool is quickly eaten away with costs like additional support or engineering labor to work around the tool’s shortcomings. Third-party tools offer a much higher degree of fine-grained control. Advanced features such as date range filtering, recipient mapping, configurable error thresholds and automated end-user notifications support different migration strategies, and are accessible through a GUI. Advanced PowerShell users, however, can script repetitive tasks through an SDK for handling large enterprise engagements. Through their architecture, third-party tools can also help reduce the amount  bandwidth required during the cutover, allowing larger projects to be completed in shorter time windows.

Visibility throughout the project. Despite the most careful pre-planning, migrations rarely go exactly as planned. First-party tools may not provide the same level of live, granular reporting that the third-party solutions offer. The latter can log every item migrated and give detailed information about error messages, migration speeds and overall project status. Understanding where errors occur allows IT to troubleshoot and guide migrations along, which is especially important for high user-count or compliance-critical environments.

Support availability and costs. First-party tools tend to be lighter on documentation and training materials, and support tickets are handled alongside all of their other customers. That’s not what you need when you require help with a time-sensitive migration project. Third party providers that specialize in migrations have built the entire business around these engagements, so the documentation is more-thorough and 24/7 dedicated support services for all aspects of the project are built into the licensing cost. To gain a sense for the depth of knowledge and resources that come with the third-party tools and how they lead to more-successful migrations, read Tenant to Tenant Migrations: A Best-Practices Primer for MSPs.

The Value of Real-World Testing

The bottom line recommendation for making the decision is this: Execute a pilot migration with a subset of users to test whether the first-party tool is up to the unique challenges presented by an individual migration project. The first-party tool might be perfectly adequate. But often, the free price comes with hidden or unplanned costs that aren’t apparent until the project is underway.

The third-party option might not only cost less in the bigger picture. More importantly, a robust, feature-rich third-party tool takes out the lion’s share of the risk that’s inherent with a large, customer-critical migration.

Related Posts

  • MigrationWiz – Workloads Datasheet
    Accessible anytime from anywhere, MigrationWiz provides a single, centralized interface to streamline everything from simple mailbox moves to complex enterprise-scale migration projects that include all your workloads.

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