Send in the Cloud: Ensuring a Rich User Experience while Migrating to Office 365

To say that I was excited to read last week's announcementof the Microsoft Office 365 General Availability date of June 28, 2011 is an understatement. Even when the service was referred to as “BPOS-S 2010”, all of us here at Binary Treewere looking forward to this date. After all, we've been helping Domino customers migrate to BPOS-S since its inception, and Office 365 presents a dramatically new opportunity. Well, new in some respects, and fairly well established in others. It's this combination of novelty and maturity that I would like to share with the readers of this blog post.
 
I don't have to tell you (but I will anyway) that Office 365 represents the true Enterprise Cloud offering - the best of breed messaging environment designed from the ground up with full multi-tenant capabilities. But what about an Office 365 migration from legacy environments (both Exchange and others) with Lotus Domino being the most prominent? Has anything been done to improve the migration process? In a word, YES!!!Well,actually it's two words – “rich coexistence”. Sounds cryptic? Allow me to explain …

Microsoft Office 365 LogoOne of the greatest challenges in providing a seamless migration to BPOS-S for Domino customers was the inability to perform a free/busy lookup between Domino and BPOS-S. While you could send emails and schedule and update meetings, you simply could not see the availability of users on the other system. If it sounds like an insignificant issue to you, that's because you never had to face or listen to a frustrated user trying to schedule an important meeting for 5 or 10 participants without having any visibility to their availability.


You want real anger? Imagine dealing with an Executive Assistant trying to figure out how to schedule a conference call with several VIP's distributed among different offices. If you’re the person responsible for the migration, this type of situation will make you cringe and fear for your job. Well, fear no longer! Rich coexistence with Office 365 addresses this issue. The loop is now closed, the seamless migration is truly possible, and I am proud to say that Binary Tree helped make it happen. Now, when we are deploying our solution for a Domino to Office 365 migration, the coexistence component not only delivers the messaging and calendaring workflow, but it also enables full visibility of the free/busy status for both Domino and Office 365 users, no matter which system you use to initiate a request.

And, speaking of the migration from Domino to Office 365, we have become well known in the Microsoft community for the Remote Hosted Migrations (RHM). This service is still going strong and is still the most compelling alternatives for the migration from Domino to Exchange Online. We are being continuously asked by some of the most security-conscious customers whether this approach is truly secure, and the answer is an absolute and unqualifiedYES. The data centers that we utilize to store data in migration have passed the most stringent security inspections and received certifications (like SAS-70 Type II and PCI Compliance) that satisfy the most meticulous and conservative security officers in the world. The same applies to our migration process that guarantees an isolated and a dedicated environment for each customer, which is totally erased after the migration is complete. Finally, access to this environment is secured by the VPN with each authorized individual having his or her own ID. Add these precautions together and you see why we’re so confident about security.

Migrate from Notes to Exchange Online
So, how can I not feel excited and exhilarated by this combination of newly introduced and well-established components of the most seamless migration to Office 365? But we, here at Binary Tree, never stand still and admire our accomplishments. Soon we’ll be sharing with all of you more exciting news surrounding the migration to Office 365. Sound interesting? Well, stay tuned!
 
- Vadim