How to Synchronize Directories on Day One of Your MergerOctober 2, 2019
Getting ready for 'Day One' of a merger or acquisition is a unique challenge. There’s often a lot of complexity to think through—and not a lot of time to do it. So the top IT priority for Day One should be to set systems up so the organizations can start working together. In this post, we focus on setting up a unified directory.
Why a unified GAL matters
Unifying directories is a key first step in any merger. It’s a small thing that can have a big impact on the overall success of the first few weeks and months of the merger.
If your users can’t find each other, it’s harder for them to send emails and invites. No one wants to revert to the good old days of having to track down an email address and then manually type it in. Not only does this take longer, it also often leads to typos and missed deliveries. Basically, it’s an unnecessary frustration at a time when emotions might already be heightened.
So a key goal for IT on Day One is to create a unified global address list (GAL). This lets users find each other across applications like email, conferencing, instant messaging, and other collaboration apps like Skype for Business, Teams, and Office 365 Groups. Like so:
But synching directories can be a challenge
Setting up a unified GAL is easier said than done. That’s because it goes well beyond a one-time sync. You also need to keep directories in sync over time as things change. (Like when you add, delete, or edit groups or users.) And no matter which email platform the different organizations are on—whether it’s on-premises or in the cloud—you have to continuously and consistently sync information across all directories.
Let’s take a common scenario as an example. Most of our clients use Active Directory to manage identity. But that’s often where the common ground ends. Many of our merging clients find themselves bringing together a mix of messaging systems. One organization might be on Microsoft Exchange on-premises. Another might have already migrated to Office 365. So your solution needs to sync across different on-premises and cloud environments.
One way to do this is using the free Active Directory Connect from Microsoft. But this requires you to create new objects and sync directions, which is where many people can get stuck. If your objects have already been synced from on-premises, you can no longer manipulate them directly in Office 365. Which means you need to go through the added hassle of manipulating objects on-premises and have Active Directory Connect sync those objects up to your Office 365 tenant.
It can be done. But it’s painful.
Now, there’s a better way
We at Binary Tree are always looking for ways to streamline mergers and acquisitions. These drive many of the migrations we work on, for clients in industries around the world. That’s why we just launched Power365® Directory Sync, our most recent software as a service.
Power365 Directory Sync is a cloud-based app that helps you unify your business under a shared directory. It lets you set up an ongoing sync between Active Directory on-premises or in the Microsoft cloud—even between the most complex workflows. And it syncs all mail-enabled objects, including users, contacts, mail groups, distribution lists, databases, shared mailboxes, rooms, and resources. All so your users can stay in step and connected during your merger.
With this solution, you can:
- Customize sync settings to meet your unique needs
- Define custom parameters of what to sync by user, group, and more
- Elegantly handle account deletions, group membership changes, and more
- Set the sync to run at custom times and intervals
- Do a dry run to see if everything syncs as expected
Contact us to learn more about our solutions. For more about Power365 Directory Sync, see the brochure. Or get more 'Day One' tips in our M&A White Paper: A Guide for Unifying User Collaboration on Day One of a Merger.