Company Mergers. Creating a Smooth Transition.

We outline some of the challenges and complexities of combining disparate IT infrastructures.

Every organisation has a unique IT set-up. When two or more companies combine, the merger of disparate IT infrastructures throws up many complex challenges that have to be properly analysed before the planned merger can go ahead.

Here is a real-life example for two businesses with infrastructures or services contained within the Cloud, which highlights some of the inherent complexity within mergers or acquisitions. We will show one of the potential routes we employ in helping organisations go through this.

I am using Office 365, but have now merged with another business – I now need to consolidate

Within the current IT landscape and emerging adoption of Cloud applications, it is inevitable that a business may either decide to change Cloud vendors, or will move between tenants during an acquisition or merger.

Unfortunately, when a business is in this situation, there are many inadequacies with the standard tools, which most will be unwilling to accept as the current technical approach is weak. In addition to the logistical challenge of transferring data, it is in areas such as coexistence and end-user business process continuity where the greatest challenges can arise and need close attention.

Which are the areas I need to consider, and what are the constraints?

In this merger scenario, the following are key fundamental limitations with a transition between two Office 365 tenants:

– No direct mailbox transition is possible
– Reliance on having a hybrid configuration in place
– Mailboxes must be offboarded and then re-onboarded, resulting in a very inefficient process
– Reliance on the on-premise infrastructure for storage and exporting of mailboxes
– No coexistence is provided
– No mail routing, calendaring
– Assumes a cutover migration will be adopted in all scenarios
– Limitations of the native import tools
– Manual process is time-consuming and prone to error
– Delegations between Managers and their secretary’s will be lost

In addition to the messaging related aspects, there are also other considerations when moving between tenants, such as Metadata and URLs associated with SharePoint or OneDrive, which are intrinsically linked to the tenant. These are areas, which again, are a weakness in terms of transitioning one to the other.

What is the best solution to help me with a complex company IT merger?

Silversands has extensive experience in this very niche area of IT support. Although our highly qualified consultants often deal with this level of complexity, we can in some situation apply additional tools to make the transition smoother. In this situation we have selected a third-party product from Cloudiway to assist in providing a more streamlined and seamless experience to a business and its end-users. The chosen product is aimed at providing the following functionality:

– Coexistence during migration (Global address list between tenants, Calendaring, mail routing)
– Direct mailbox migration between tenants
– Retention of mailbox delegations
– Supports of both ‘staged’ and ‘cutover’ migration types
– Migration to and from different Cloud/on-premises platforms, namely Exchange, Google, Amazon, Zimbra, Notes
– Migration of SharePoint content, Metadata, URLs, Permissions, Libraries and Webparts
– Migration of OneDrive content and Metadata

Additionally, and since any transition is an incredibly complex undertaking within most businesses, Silversands is able to provide end-to-end professional services in relation to the entire transition, ensuring that a successful project is delivered. This is then always backed up with software development when appropriate and with post deployment support.

Useful Links. Cloudiway. 

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