After working on and completing numerous mail migrations, I have designed a systemic approach. Remember, not all migrations are the same, so my approach may not apply to every single situation. In any case, this is a framework that will assist you in planning a successful migration.
B2B Tech's Six Systemic Steps:
• Assess, plan & design your migration project - Determine the “who, what, when and how’s” of your migration project.
• Create a plan to archive your existing data - Make sure your data has been saved or ensure that it will not be deleted immediately after or during your migration. You should complete your Post Migration Task list before deleting any mail data.
• Provision users and deploy their mail clients - Never move any mail from your source until you have acquired and confirmed that the destination mail systems can adequately accommodate your organization's mail needs.
• Test and implement data migration - Always test your mail migration tool. Make sure that the data can be moved and attempt to assess the amount of time it will take, per batch or per mailbox, using a pilot group. Once your pilot group’s data has been moved, conduct quality assurance testing to insure the data is correct.
• Schedule Mail Cutover - Regardless of project deadlines, consider the following items before determining your mail cutover date.
Rate of data transfer during the Pilot
Consistency of the migration tool during the Pilot. All issues should be considered at this time.
Change control processes
Organizational culture of the company
• Complete a Post Migration Task List - Post Migration task list consist of testing mail flow, testing groups, filtering, forwarding etc.
Recommendations on our top 3 mail migration tools
There is an old saying that goes, “don’t bring a knife to a fist fight.” Well, the same applies to finding the right tool for your mail migration. There are tons of criteria that can be considered when finding the right migration tool for your project, but not all apply and some are more important than others. For instance, some tools are better suited for small migrations and some are better suited for larger migrations.
In every instance, please consider the organizational culture of your client, but do not compromise the integrity of your project. Your clients will appreciate the hard truth early rather than excuses later. For example, some organizations may place high importance on security and require a migration tool that can ensure the safety of their data. B2B Tech has completed a plethora of migrations during our time, and I personally, have worked on many of these. We have tried and used quite a few different third-party migration tools over the years, but there are three migration tools we have found to be the most successful in recent mail migrations:
Dell Quest Tool