Easing the Public Folder Migration Pain

Public folders have long presented an obstacle during Exchange migration projects. Many enterprises that I have worked with have struggled for years to effectively manage all the unstructured public folder data that resides within an Exchange environment. The upside of public folders is that they were adopted as a widely adopted collaboration feature to share information throughout the enterprise.

Binary Tree’s Exchange Pro software solution not only helps to ease the typical administrative headaches associated with public folder implementations, but also helps migration projects transition this data with unparalleled scale and velocity. Exchange Pro Public Folders offers automated workload distribution model. This provides the ability to use multiple migration workstations to handle public folder migration tasks. Customers can add additional public folder migration workers in order to meet their desired velocity.
Many on-premises Exchange customers continue to shift messaging workloads directly to Office 365. One of the surprising limitations that come up during the design phase that on-premises Exchange accounts that are inactive cannot be migrated to Exchange Online and will therefore either need to be reassigned to an active user account, archived or deleted. Public-folder migration is difficult due to architectural differences between the on-premises and online versions.

Another surprise that on-premises Exchange customers face is that once a mailbox is moved to Exchange Online, there are a limited number of mail clients that can be used to access legacy on-premises public folders. These limitations have left many in enterprise IT with users of Outlook on the web (OWA) and Outlook for Mac scratching their head.
Microsoft spent a lot of development time to help on-premises organizations transition to public folders within Office 365. Evidence of this is the work that has been completed to help scale the number of public folders that Exchange Online can support. But as we have seen, SharePoint, Groups and Teams have dominated the content collaboration space within Office 365.
So, what is the current on-premises Exchange public folder customer to do when considering a move to Office 365?
Enter Exchange Pro. Our platform is able to address migration gaps by leveraging MAPI as the migration protocol. Yes, Exchange Pro can successfully migrate Exchange public folders to Office 365, including into Groups.
Another great feature of the Exchange Pro platform is the ability to configure bi-directional public folder synchronization. This feature allows you to configure a bi-directional synchronization job between your Exchange public folders and Office 365. This means that end users with mailboxes in Office 365 that are leveraging mail clients that cannot access legacy on-premises public folders can instead utilize a copy of the public folders that is contained within Office 365. The ability to keep the on-premises public folders and Office 365 public folders in sync means that you gain additional freedom to migrate mailboxes to the cloud.
I just love when complex customer problems are solved by great software solutions. Please review our On-Demand webinar if you would like to see how Exchange Pro squarely addresses public folder migration challenges, or contact us to discuss your migration needs.