Meet Forsyte I.T. Solutions
Forsyte I.T. Solutions is a trusted Microsoft Gold partner delivering accessible and scalable cloud-based IT solutions and managed services through an experienced roster of solution experts, engineers, and project managers.
In the summer of 2019, Forsyte was approached by an internal IT team at a large community college on the East Coast. This institution, which served over 74,000 students annually through six physical campuses as well as online learning options, faced a big challenge: faculty and students were split between two Office 365 tenants, limiting the ability for the two groups to work collaboratively and take advantage of new solutions from Microsoft. Specifically, the team wanted to improve collaboration and scheduling within its learning environments, with aspirations of implementing Microsoft Bookings to ease scheduling and roster-building while also leveraging Teams as the flagship collaboration tool.
With the size and complexity of this project, the internal IT team turned to Forsyte, who in turn looked to BitTitan to help accomplish this migration effort.
Pre-Migration Planning and Testing
Forsyte began sizing up this consolidation effort that included 145,000 mailboxes, 3 terabytes of data stored in 12,000 OneDrive accounts, as well as 400 early adopters on Microsoft Teams.
Timing for a migration of this size was tricky. A two-week window between the end of summer sessions and the start of fall classes provided an opportunity to execute this project with minimal disruption to end-users. It also enabled the internal IT team to move forward with other projects blocked by separate Office 365 tenants.
MigrationWiz was the tool of choice for this scenario, able to migrate all the necessary workloads without extensive setup or installations. Forsyte handled pre-migration work within Azure to ensure the environment was ready before beginning standard testing for throughput and fidelity on a small number of mailboxes. With testing complete and end-user expectations set, the project kicked off.
Forsyte used a pre-stage approach for this project, where the majority of a student’s mailbox would be migrated in the background, leaving the most recent 30 days’ worth of email behind for the actual cutover. This format helps speed up that cutover and limit the possibility of downtime before students and faculty arrived back for fall classes.
Roughly 12,000 of the users also had data stored in OneDrive accounts in addition to 400 early Teams users. With MigrationWiz’s new capabilities to migrate Teams between Office 365 tenants, Forsyte was able to capture these other workloads and migrate alongside mailboxes through a single tool.
Due to the timeframe of this migration and the sheer number of mailboxes being cut over, throttling was a big concern with this project. BitTitan worked with Forsyte and the internal IT team to optimize throughput of those mailboxes and communicate expectations to faculty about the status of the project. The result was a complete transition to a single Office 365 tenant as fall classes got underway.
Collaboration is Key
For the internal IT team and Forsyte, the combination of tools, people, and expertise made this project a success.
“Using the MigrationWiz tool and its breadth plus Forsyte’s expertise to oversee the Azure environment and project management ensured all the students and their data securely made it over to the new tenant in a short amount of time,” said the internal IT project lead and infrastructure director for this institution. “It’s important to have good partners around you and we really relied on Forsyte’s expertise for this project.”
For Forsyte, the technology partnership was crucial, too.
"BitTitan really stepped up for this project. We looked at several other solutions, but when we scoped the size of the project and workloads, BitTitan brought us the best option for everything we wanted to do,” said Chuck McBride, Founder of Forsyte I.T. Solutions.
Following this project, Forsyte continues to engage with this institution now that all faculty and students are on the same tenant. These duties include ensuring their new environment is secure and the collaboration tools like Teams and Bookings – the main drivers of this migration project – can be used effectively to help students and faculty work together in pursuit of their educational goals.
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