Making the most of your move to Office 365
Moving to a cloud based solution such as Microsoft Office 365 is an easy decision to make, but successful migration depends on meticulous planning – and integration with a unified email management system delivered from the cloud helps to maximise your investment.
Your organisation’s needs
In these hard-bitten times, organisations are increasingly required to get more for less – to identify and implement new technologies while reducing overheads. It is easier said than done but, when it comes to email management, a transition to cloud-based solution means this challenge is not insurmountable.
Microsoft’s Office 365 gives businesses a cost-efficient alternative to on-premise email infrastructure, and enables organisations to move to the cloud without losing Microsoft’s familiar applications and interfaces. It offers a simplified, streamlined infrastructure along with improved scalability and lower total cost of ownership. It does not, however, entirely remove the need for effective email management.
It is impossible to overstate the importance and value attached to a reliable, robust and secure email service. Research suggests around 60% of people now spend half their working day on email, creating vast and ever-growing repositories of critical information, while around 86% of end users rely on email as a search tool. In short, email and email management have become central to organisations’ daily operational needs.
Indeed, the management of such a fundamental and vital business asset demands a holistic approach. First and foremost your network must be rigorously protected against the constantly-evolving threat of viruses, spam and malware, but data leakage prevention and regulatory compliance is also a necessity.
Email management challenges
In-house email management can place a heavy and expensive burden on IT departments, which are expected to provide uninterrupted service in a demanding, ever-changing and increasingly austere environment. Ancillary services such as email archiving, anti-spam, anti-virus and policy management are labour intensive and can consume significant resources – and such a fractured, disparate set of systems only increases the risk of outages and data leakage.
The challenge is to find an email management system which streamlines the processes into one, manageable and efficient solution, providing greater reliability and stabilising costs.
For many, the answer lies in the cloud.
While the decision to move to a cloud-based email solution like Office 365 may be straightforward, the transition itself can be more problematic and, as with any major change to an organisation’s infrastructure, technical challenges abound. The holistic planning involved in moving from a traditional in-house infrastructure is a major undertaking, and it is imperative that both the long-term and the day-to-day needs of business are fulfilled.
Critical data must be moved securely to the new platform, while the migration must not hinder the constant flow of business communications. Regulatory compliance and litigation readiness must be ensured, and once implemented users need to be able to easily access and retrieve old and new email data. And this must all be achieved within budget.
The cloud-based solution
The key to any major migration is meticulous preparation and one option is to move all email data to a unified email management solution in the cloud prior to migration, simplifying the process and guaranteeing 100% uptime throughout. With all data stored safely and securely in the cloud, there is no longer any need to transfer email data as part of any server upgrade, so you’re always migration-ready.
In this way, deploying a cloud-based email management solution prior to moving to Office 365 greatly negates the risk of downtime and data loss during migration. Some solutions are designed to enhance the Office 365 experience, adding further layers of security, scalability and functionality, including a self-service email archive, while a 100% service availability SLA guarantees continuous service even in the event of planned or unplanned outages during or post migration.
Mimecast’s Unified Email Management for Microsoft Office 365 delivers all of the above – a centrally-managed cloud-based service that provides enhanced archiving, continuity and eDiscovery capabilities. Mimecast integrates with Office 365 seamlessly, and is able to store email messages for up to 10 years – including user deleted messages. Together, Mimecast and Office 365 provide a viable solution to myriad migration challenges, helping to mitigate risk, stabilise and reduce costs, and ultimately ensure an automated, seamless migration.