Vadim’s Law of Interoperability Physics

When migrating to the Cloud, you really can have it all—speed of migration, a gradual transition, and workflow preservation.

Part I of our Interoperability blog post series focused on messaging as a critical corporate asset and why it is neither appropriate nor advisable to move everything to the cloud in a cloud-based migration. Part II is focused on the transition itself and how to achieve transparent interoperability.

Interloperability PhysicsI think we can all agree that the ultimate goal of interoperability is workflow preservation—maintaining user productivity, including the use of shared content. That’s why most migrations rely on a phased, or gradual transition. Not only do we need to consider those components that will remain on-premises, but we also have to ensure interoperability throughout the transition.

Let’s face it; users everywhere have high interoperability expectations—defined as transparent communication regardless of migration status. The best way to address this is to employ a phased, or gradual approach. Understand that gradual does not mean slow—we’re still talking about a velocity migration. Even moving 10,000 users per week in a 50,000-mailbox enterprise, takes 5 weeks, rather than days or hours, to complete.

Is it possible to have instantaneous migration? Transition is almost always gradual, except for smaller companies that could potentially move instantaneously. The definition of small can refer to scope, breadth, or depth of infrastructure—not just number of users.  Before you can answer “yes”, you must truly consider all implications of uprooting and moving your entire organization in a single moment.  Only when you have considered how to mitigate all risks and possible loss of user and organizational productivity, can you truly answer the question.

Sometimes velocity is infrastructure dependent. For example, you may need to refresh your entire workstation footprint, i.e., deploy a new version of Microsoft Outlook or even a workstation operating system, as a necessary step for migration to the cloud.

What exactly is Vadim’s law of interoperability physics? While you can have entities in multiple directories, they must ultimately point to a single mailbox per user. Therefore, the ratio of user-to-mailbox is always 1:1. Asking users to use multiple mailboxes (in legacy and new environments) presents a burden that most users will not tolerate.  Therefore, the primary mission of interoperability is to allow users to maintain a single mailbox, regardless of the transition state, yet make it possible to perform all operations that comprise their regular routine.

Bottom Line: Transparent interoperability is the goal of every migration and includes the ability to:

  • Find users in the email directory
  • Exchange email with internal/external usersregardless of transition state
  • Schedule, modify, re-schedule, or cancel meetings
  • View availability of other users
  • Access shared content