New Approach to Exchange Mailbox Migrations

Binary Tree would like to welcome Kris Honkola as our guest blogger. Kris is an Engagement Manager for VMC Consulting. As a global technology consulting company, VMC provides flexible and scalable solutions and services, with best practices, proven methodologies and world-class resources. Visit VMC at both the Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange Connections conferences to find out how we can help you with SharePoint and Exchange solutions.

Working with Binary Tree, the VMC Consulting services group has designed a new approach to more quickly and efficiently transition customers from their old Exchange environments to the latest Microsoft Exchange 2010 platform.  This new solution offering helps our customers control the cost of the migration, and provides a more effective process to manage the project. 
VMC Consulting has been successfully planning, organizing, directing and executing large Exchange upgrades for several years. We had created best practices for our migration clients, but were continuously seeking improvements that would provide increased value to our customers. VMC Consulting

We have a culture of reinventing our best practices every 12 to 18 months. We asked ourselves four key questions: 
  • How can we make it more cost effective for our customers?  
  • How can we improve the Exchange mail migration process?  
  • How can we reduce the technical, people, process, material and cost risks associated with executing enterprise level migrations?  
  • How can we scale better to do more migration projects simultaneously? 
Our best practice SWOT analysis identified that:
  • Our people are highly experienced and successful engineers, consultants and architects.
  • Our processes are best-of-breed and continuously optimized.
  • Our risk, project and communication management excelled.
  • Our Clients were pleased with our migrations projects. 
  • Our automation technology was strong, but not best-of-breed.
The result led us to investigate world class automation and management tools versus our own in house solutions.  We performed an exhaustive evaluation of the tools and companies in today’s marketplace.
We found that the best-of-breed company and tool today was Binary Tree’sExchange migration tool (E2E Complete), which provides a revolutionary approach to the whole migration management process.  Because it’s a web-based tool (written in Microsoft Silverlight) the E2E Complete software will allow our teams to easily manage the migration projects remotely.
VMC Consulting incorporated Binary Tree’s E2E Complete software into our end-to-end Exchange Migration Practice. This evolution has allowed us to provide the following benefits to our clients:
  • Reduce and control the cost of the migration lifecycle. 
  • Decrease the time to complete the migration.
  • Improve process efficiencies for mailbox migrations.
  • Improve the end-user experience for customers by implementing detailed communications and re-scheduling capabilities to the process. 
VMC has created a Centralized Migration Group to remotely manage the scheduling, communications, coordination, tracking and reporting for customers transitioning to Exchange 2010. The Centralized Migration Group utilizes proven templates and methods to ensure a successful migration.  This new method of Exchange migrations provided us with much of the process improvement for which we were searching.  
This new process essentially runs the mailbox migrations remotely, which frees up our Exchange experts to do architecture and infrastructure deployment work which they do best.  With this, our Exchange engineers are focused on the higher value upgrade planning, rather than moving mailboxes at a customer site.  The result to the customer is to reduce the overall cost by rightsizing activities and skill sets to appropriate resources.  Centralized Control for the IT Transition Team
The result to VMC is that scaling becomes much easier, with more experienced consultants providing the more project-critical services during planning and launch, and  the Central Migration Group managing the more time consuming activities, like user communications, migration group scheduling, tracking and reporting.  
We upgrade our customer’s current messaging environments to Exchange 2010, and support cross-forest migrations, both on-premises and to the Office 365 cloud.  It has been very easy for us to extend our offerings from standard upgrades to cloud migration offerings since we only have one tool and one process. By using the Binary TreeE2E Complete software to manage the migration project, we can provide customers with expertise from a consistent and repeatable process based on proven methods.
We can now serve more customers and keep our most experienced consultants engaged in higher value work.  The Binary Tree software also provides our Centralized Migration Group a way to manage the mailbox moves as quickly as possible and fully coordinate and report status to our customers remotely.  By not having to be physically on-site after the planning and infrastructure deployment, we can reduce the total cost of an Exchange migration to our customers. That makes using E2E Complete a win for us, and a win for our customers.