The company now includes this email migration as part of its plan for transforming newly purchased companies into Mediq companies within 100 days. With experience, the IT staff has boiled down the likely scenarios to just four: exporting and importing .pst message files; interconnecting Exchange servers using the Quest migration tool; migrating Domino email; and all the rest including Linux platforms, he says.
Except for local client changes, Azaleos handles most of the migrations remotely or via consulting over the phone. Each new acquisition takes about six weeks, Witte says, depending on the size and number of email addresses. Most of this time is spent cleaning up and testing the local environments before synching the new company with the rest of Mediq, a process that is usually done over the weekend.
Setting up a locally managed system would have required extra personnel to manage and maintain it, Witte says, and the service eliminates that while giving Mediq the tools it needs. "Usually if you outsource you lose a certain amount of control and insight into your systems," he says. "We have the same rights as the system administrator."
Azaleos monitors continuously, handles updates and provides phone support in cases that would otherwise require calling on Microsoft, he says.
The project cost between half a million and three-quarters of a million euros (about $639,000 to $958,000). That's about the same cost as other options, but the others came with higher annual costs, Witte says. Going to a cloud provider would have been much more expensive because it would have required standardizing all the company's systems first, and in the end the company wouldn't have had physical control of its own data.
For example, now U.S. data is on U.S.-located servers and European data is on Europe-located servers, avoiding potential gray areas in regulations in those jurisdictions. Only user data and global address lists are exchanged, he says.
The company did hire Symantec/Message Labs to filter spam and malware, which reduces the volume of email reaching Mediq servers by 70%.
Mediq also uses Azaleos for Active Directory and BlackBerry management. Down the road, Mediq may employ SharePoint and Lync, and will consider using Azaleos to manage them if so, Witte says.
Tim Greene covers Microsoft for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Tim_Greene.
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