Office 365

How to Choose the Right Data Migration Software

So, the bad news is you have a legacy email archive that’s costing you a lot of money in renewal fees and is ...


So, the bad news is you have a legacy email archive that’s costing you a lot of money in renewal fees and is unreliable. It contains ancient storage that’s about to go out of support, and the few IT resources you have that know anything about it are spending an excessive amount of time (read: $) maintaining it. But the great news is you’ve lobbied management for the budget for data migration software into the cloud, and you have the green light to kick off the data migration project that will lead to decommissioning that outdated platform. But there are a few vendor solutions in the wild – how do you decide which one to go with?

We propose you consider these points while evaluating vendors:

Successful diverse young business team giving a victorious thumbs up to show their success and motivation, close up view of their raised hands

Vendor experience

Not measured in years in business but years of experience in data migration. For example, you can consider a vendor that sells a data migration product or a data migration tool, but if their legacy is selling mainframe real-time operating systems and migration is a tiny, largely ignored piece of their business, you might want to look elsewhere. As mentioned in our “Why Experience Matters in your Enterprise Transformation Project” blog, Cloudficient has deep migration experience from our CTO Peter Kozak being the lead architect of data migration software and technologies to Peter Parker, our CEO, who has 25+ years in the data migration space to our CRO, Adam Feher, who has well over 17 years working with customers making their business transformation to the cloud successful. And I’m leaving out a busload of pre-sales, development, and support folks with a combined 70+ years in the data migration field.

Vendor solution

We recommend a few items be kept in mind when evaluating the solution.

Flexibility: Ensure the solution can migrate data to a variety of sources. While moving legacy data to Office 365 often makes sense, sometimes it doesn’t. Moving that data to lower-cost secure storage on which retention policies can be set while providing Legal and other teams access is sometimes the less costly approach. For example, we work with numerous organizations for moving their email archives to Office 365. Still, many others prefer our Expireon technology for data migration to our S3Complete immutable storage for eDiscovery access and establishing retention policies for the eventual retirement of that data. As it’s been said many times, solving business problems should never employ a “one size fits” all approach.

You’ll also want to check if the solution can be configured to exactly match your project requirements while aligning to your business practices. The one thing you can safely bet on in the IT world is no two projects are the same. The Cloudficient ReMAD platform, on which all our data migration software and technologies reside, employs a workflow engine that follows pre-configured steps our delivery team constructs with our customers. Thus, for just those departments and users required by the organization, our customer’s data is moved in the exact order at the precise time.

End-user happiness: Determine if the solution can automatically, and at configured points in the migration process, update end-users with status on what’s happening with their data migration and how best to access it. Not that we need to remind you, but end-users hate surprises other than that free Thanksgiving turkey!

Migration velocity: Unless you have no deadlines or compelling reason to get the data moved sooner than later (really?), then you’ll want to choose a vendor that has the technology and services to get your project started ASAP. Getting it completed ASAP allows you to start saving money by decommissioning your legacy platform. Cloudficient’s ReMAD platform is deployed (in minutes, not days or months) as a set of decentralized microservices orchestrated by Kubernetes clusters in our Azure tenant that scale up to support data migration for any number of users – at extreme velocity!

True cost: Every vendor will present a quote for their license and delivery, but what about the on-prem resources you need to provide? Those can be quite costly and difficult to provision, especially if the vendor solution relies on your on-prem resources (servers, storage, databases, etc.) to scale versus their technology. As mentioned in my blog, “The Bottom Line”, it is important to understand what you need to provide to run the project at speed and calculate what that will cost your organization. As stated above, the Cloudficient ReMAD architecture scales automatically to meet any data movement demands, and our customers require little to no on-prem resources.

Services

Definitely (like really definitely!) ask who, exactly, will be performing the Services for your data migration project. Most vendors farm out project delivery to partners that are often resource-strapped and have limited (sometimes none!) experience working with the data migration software solutions or even on migration projects in general. Not cool.

Also, ideally, services should be paid on a fixed price / fixed cost basis. The last thing you want is a vendor that will move the goalposts during the delivery by issuing additional invoices based on “unforeseen events”. Also, not cool.

All Cloudficient Services are delivered by our dedicated staff and performed strictly on a fixed cost basis once the scope is agreed upon. That takes a lot of the upfront risk out of the equation. Very cool!

Proving the technology

Not sure I’d ever buy a car without first taking it out for a spin, and I’m guessing you feel the same. However, it’s amazing how many vendors will require organizations to issue Purchase Orders before deploying (or sometimes are unable to deploy) their solution. That’s a lot of risk, and we feel it’s totally unnecessary. At Cloudficient, we prove our technology and services by delivering a no cost, no commitment proof-of-concept for every project before any financial commitment is made. Again, eliminating risk is the endgame.

Financials

Some of this is discussed in my blog, “The Bottom Line, where I note virtually all vendors require payment, in full, upfront for license fees and will invoice services 100% upfront or on milestone completion. If that arrangement makes sense for our customers, we’re willing to oblige. However, we recognize that some customers may not be certain how much data migration they anticipate (Legal team – can you hear me?!). We also understand that budget constraints make it impossible to make a capital investment. Ask if the vendor offers a “pay as you go” OPEX model based on the amount of data migrated per month/quarter. None that we’re aware of will sign for that, whereas Cloudficient is happy to support that model.

Summary

Like any financial decision, we encourage organizations to evaluate as many options and vendor solutions as practical, keeping the above items in mind to support an informed decision. Cloudficient is committed to ensuring positive outcomes with every project by removing as much risk as possible.

With unmatched next generation data migration software technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on client needs and creating product offerings that match them. We provide affordable services that are scalable, fast and seamless.

If you would like to learn more about how to bring Cloudficiency to your migration project, visit our website, or contact us.

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