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March 26, 2018

7 Questions to Discover Your Office 365 Migration Cost

Christopher Pierdominici

44% of companies experienced a migration failure in 2015, according to a global survey. These failures often occur due to a lack of the right expertise or bandwidth. So why spend your valuable IT time and energy learning a complicated process for a one-time migration, especially if it’s likely to be unsuccessful.

That’s why many companies consider employing a Managed Service Provider (MSP) to help.

And just as each business has different requirements for the cloud, not all MSPs approach Office 365 migrations the same way. That’s why it’s important to ask detailed questions when deciding which cloud partner best fits your needs. This will help mitigate unforeseen expenses, roadblocks, unnecessary frustration, and gray hairs along the way.

These 7 questions will help you discover the true cost of your migration:

#1 | Do unforeseen roadblocks lead to additional fees?

Email migration can be unpredictable at times. Managed Service Providers know this, and develop their pricing model accordingly. So it’s important to fully understand which cost approach each MSP utilizes.

For instance, if you’re a small company with little to no compliance restrictions, you probably want an estimate based on time and materials, as your email migration will likely be more straightforward. A larger enterprise in the business of insurance, finance or healthcare, will most likely save money with a migration performed at a fixed cost.

No matter your needs, you want a cloud partner that is up-front about the true cost of your migration, and transparent when obstacles inevitably do appear. Navisite has moved hundreds of thousands of mailboxes to the Office 365 environment, so our cost approach is predictable, even when your migration is not.

#2 | What is the migration timeline we can expect?

The timing of a large-scale migration often involves an intricate matrix of scheduling dependencies. Any number of factors can delay your timeline, resulting in financial impacts for your business. When considering MSPs, be sure to ask about their procedure for developing and updating the migration timeline, how they communicate about changes or unexpected challenges, and if they have a dedicated point of contact for the process.

An MSP that can properly plan your migration will help you forgo the costs associated with a delayed transition to Office 365. Minimizing delays means business users will have access to the enhanced collaboration features sooner, and teams will be able to capitalize on the increased productivity Office 365 provides.

Navisite employs a fully-documented migration process to ensure your emails, files, and applications are transferred efficiently and correctly. Our extensive Responsibility Assignment Matrix (AKA a RACI) keeps complex tasks organized and minimizes time between tasks. This drastically reduces the chance of your timeline being delayed. The RACI, coupled with our ITIL-based framework for process management, means you’ll always know where you are in the process of your migration to Office 365. Plus, you will have a dedicated Navisite expert managing your migration.

#3 | Will our compliance requirements affect the total cost?

Remaining compliant during and after the migration to Office 365 is crucial for many industries. For example, you may be required to migrate the mailboxes of past employees, whether they’re still in use or not. Even dormant mailboxes require additional licenses.

But worse than the costs associated with compliance is the expense of noncompliance. Look for a provider who is familiar with common regulations, and who can deliver a host of security measures when migrating and managing your email.

For example, when Navisite performs migrations, we use tools that support regulatory compliance standards for PII / PHI and HIPAA. Navisite also partners with Proofpoint to wrap your mailboxes with multiple layers of protection at no additional cost, providing zero-hour threat detection against spam, viruses, malware, ransomware, and graymail.

#4 | Will a cutover migration cost me less than a staged one?

The short answer is yes. Cutover migrations are faster – they can usually be completed in just a few business days – and therefore are less costly. However, not every company can perform one, and they often require organization-wide downtime, which can be significant depending on the size of your organization.

If you have more than 2,000 mailboxes, face strict compliance standards and/or have key business users who cannot afford downtime on their email or file sharing capabilities, you’ll want to ask your MSP about staged and hybrid migrations. These kinds of migrations can cause a disruption to business users, so it’s helpful to have someone in your corner who can help you plan ahead for outages and minimize any delays in access to data.

There are myriad paths to migrating your email, so take your time researching which will save you the most money and time. Navisite experts consult with you from the start to help you choose the migration method that works best for your company’s unique business requirements.

#5 | Will I need to hire more IT staff?

If your current IT team is familiar with private, public, and hybrid cloud environments, there’s a good chance they’re at least somewhat prepared to manage your Office 365, but will they have the time? With a brand new platform and end users that don’t necessarily know how to use Office 365 to its full potential, your IT will likely be distracted from strategic initiatives in order to keep your office running smoothly.

When Navisite manages your migration, we also supplement and support your IT organization with 460+ Microsoft-certified specialists. You can tap into our resources and experience to keep vital processes on track, freeing your IT to work on mission-critical and strategic functions.

#6 | What else can raise the cost of my Office 365 migration?

Every company is unique, which means each one has different factors that affect their overall migration cost. Moving public folders to the cloud? Be ready to purchase extra licenses—and if those folders hold more than 10GB of data, your costs will increase significantly. Are you currently using Exchange 2013 or earlier? Migrating smoothly to Office 365 requires the most recent Exchange platform. Did you recently acquire another company? You may be charged extra for multiple email domains.

What else? Setting up new profiles and security groups, 3rd party security, removal of Exchange, and post-migration support can add additional costs.

Look for an MSP that’s transparent about these costs, and works to mitigate them. Navisite does just that by including enhanced protection, accelerated support, proactive monitoring, and a financially-backed 99.999% uptime SLA guarantee, powered by Proofpoint Essentials as part of our Elite 5-Star Managed Services. Our goal is to make your migration as fast and easy as possible, while keeping costs down, so you can get to the business that inspires you and accelerate your migration to Office 365.

#7 | Can a Managed Service Provider actually save me money?

In addition to managing your timeline to reduce delays, mitigating ancillary costs, and adding value to your Office 365 environment, many MSPs reduce your migration cost through special offers and supplementary services.

For example, while Microsoft offers exemplary support, it can often take more time than companies can afford to get a support technician on the line. That’s why many MSPs offer their own support lines. Navisite goes one step further, by offering 15-minute urgent support, plus rapid escalation to Microsoft support on your behalf, when necessary.

Aside from these savings, Navisite also helps you protect your Office 365 investment. We proactively monitor your mailboxes with an eye on uptime and latency to identify and address outages rapidly, we fortify your email with multiple layers of security, and we’ll manage your environment, policies, security, global settings, and compliance.

Want to learn more about the true cost of migrating to Office 365? Call one of our experts to learn how Navisite can ensure your migration to Office 365 is cost effective. 1.866.362.7871

We’ll answer all of your questions, and help you accelerate your migration to the cloud.

About Christopher Pierdominici

Chris Pierdominici is a senior product marketing professional with more than 20 years of experience leveraging a passion for and deep understanding of the intricacies of technology to distill out companies key value propositions into messaging, content and go-to-market positioning, as part of designing product/solution marketing strategy and implementing tactics that have consistently helped numerous enterprise technology companies drive multimillion dollar product line growth and increased market recognition. His experience spans internal product marketing roles with companies like Power-One and RISI, to running his own marketing consulting firm working with a wide range of hardware, SaaS and traditional software companies of all sizes, as well as marketing agency expertise working with companies as diverse as Dell, Juniper, IBM and many others. In his spare time, Chris is an avid mountain biker, hiker and mountaineer, and former wilderness guide. He lives in New Hampshire with his adopted yellow Labrador Retriever, Bella. Connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.

Christopher Pierdominici  
- March 23, 2018