Derrick Wlodarz of FireLogic recently posted a review of Office 365 based on the Wave 15 release of the platform. This article updates a previous bake-off in which Derrick compared Google Apps to the Wave 14 release. The results, this time around, are much more favorable for Microsoft than the previous iteration.
While the article is an interesting read and one worth perusing for those facing a decision on Office 365, there are some particularly relevant points in the migration and coexistence domain worth mentioning:
- Derrick has some nice things to say about the new version of OWA included with Wave 15, but also mentions the difficulty in setting up shared calendar access. This is additional validation that leveraging migration solutions that automatically preserve ACLs, delegation, and proxy rights during the data migration is essential to a smooth transition.
- On the topic of the Exchange Admin Center, the article mentions the "relatively useless built-in migration capabilities for email moves". Derrick's contention primarily focuses on certificate requirements, but there are many other advantages in leveraging purpose-built solutions for the migration.
- There is also discussion on the enhanced archiving capabilities and unlimited storage available with some Office 365 plans. For anyone migrating to Office 365, this is the perfect location for any local archives in the current environment. I highly recommend evaluating the Silent Mode capabilities of Self-Service Desktop Migrator for this purpose.
- The article closes with "Tips for a Successful Migration" and there are a couple points worth highlighting:
- Some organizations find value in a hybrid or staged migration scenario and the article specifically mentions keeping users in a local Exchange or GroupWise environment. If you find yourself in this scenario, it is important to evaluate the coexistence needs and identify a coexistence solution capable of supporting the business & collaboration requirements.
- Derrick also suggests bringing in an Office 365 expert early in the process. It is certainly important to have individuals with experience in Office 365, but also essential to leverage proven solutions and expertise in maximizing value during the transition to the Office 365.
For anyone making a decision between Google Apps and Office 365, Derrick's comparison is worth reviewing for his take on the latest release of the platform. In addition, look to the migration experts at Dell for assistance with the transition process and feel free to join as at Quest ZeroIMPACT Migration Day to learn more.