Why Not Consumer Reports for Exchange Migration Tools?

When you go shopping for a new car, kitchen appliance, or a flat-screen TV, it’s likely that you did your research ahead of time. And odds are that you read up on the best brands in Consumer Reports. Hey, it’s great information, and it’s inexpensive. Their tagline is “Expert Unbiased Product Ratings & Reviews.” They include all the specs for the products, customer reviews, and provide the details on features and functionality. Don’t ya wish we had that type of ratings report for specialty software tools available on the market?  


E2E Complete Cross-Forest Diagram
Sorry, for those products all you can find are marketing brochures available on the websites from the ISV that built them.
 
For those IT folks who are planning a mail migration from a legacy Exchange environment to a new Exchange 2010 forest, or your company just merged with another one, and you have to combine your two Exchange messaging environments together, who do you ask for guidance? You have to trust the experts in the IT world, which are usually consultants who get paid by the hour. So the old Latin phrase, “Caveat Emptor: let the buyer beware”, really applies in this scenario. And these types of projects happen all the time. Common business activities like acquisitions, mergers, and divestitures often require combining multiple forests, making several forests from one, or moving users and their data between forests. Moving mailbox data between servers isn’t the hard part of these projects, it’s managing the users. Keeping users online and able to work during the migration is paramount, and communicating clearly about what’s going to happen, when it will happen, and what users have to do is a very important requirement for a successful migration. But what are the best automated tools available to help streamline and simplify these projects?
 
I’ve been talking to the experts in the IT community over the past six months to get their opinion on what the most important categories are for choosing the best Exchange migration product. Here’s what I learned. In no particular order, these are the top three criteria when deciding on the best Exchange migration toolset to help you on your project.  
  • Easy to Install and Simple to Use/Troubleshoot (aka “5th Grade Simple”)
  • Provides FAST Migration Processing (aka “Speed Matters”)
  • Automates the Menial Administrative Tasks Required (aka “Wicked Smart”)
What you notice from these three categories is that they all reduce the duration of the migration project. That’s right, less time involved equates to less money spent! Go figure. That translates to the consulting services you might hire to help you, or to the internal IT resources that have to do the migration project on top of their day job. The quicker you can get the project finished the better. But it’s critically important to remember that migrations are ultimately about people: the whole reason behind performing migrations is to get users’ mail from one system to another so the users can keep doing their jobs. So having an automated tool that reduces the risk of user downtime is also an important consideration.Email Migration Software Report from Consumer Reports

So there are just a few tools on the market to choose from. Most of them are legacy tools that were designed and built back in the late 90’s to help customers migrate from Exchange 5.5. And they’re still around doing the same old processes to migrate mailboxes with their agent based processing. They are slow, complicated to install and run, and will drag on a migration project until the sun goes down, over and over for weeks/months. 

Enter onto the marketplace a new solution built with the latest Microsoft technologies to provide the fastest, smartest, and easiest migration possible. If you are planning an Exchange migration (intra-org, cross-forest, or to a Cloud-based provider like Office 365) then you should definitely give this tool a look. “Exchange 2 Exchange” (E2E Complete) provides administrators with a full-featured toolset that enables a managed migration approach and streamlines the transition to finish the project both Quickly and Painlessly.

To learn more about the differences between E2E Complete and the legacy tools, download our new white paper “A Comparison of Cross-Forest Exchange Migration Software” and take a look at our new video “Comparing Exchange Migration Software.”