It's inevitable when you get a big release like Microsoft’s upgrade of Office 365 yesterday that a bunch of vendors will following up with tools to complement the release. Some of the services are more significant and useful than others, as is the case with MetaVis, which has just announced that its migration and administration tools will work with the new upgrade.
The reason that this announcement is so timely is that for any enterprise that is working with Office 365, or more importantly, is thinking of switching to Office 365, the ability to migrate content into the suite will probably be the deciding factor in whether to make the jump or not.
If you consider that Office 365 consists of everything from all the productivity apps, SharePoint, Lync, Exchange and much more, then a considerable part of an enterprise’s data is going to have to be moved once Office 365 in place.
Then there is the SharePoint problem that comes not only in the shape of SharePoint 2010, but also with all the versions as far back as SharePoint 2003 which is still being used in some enterprises, and the upcoming 2013 version that will create a whole new set of problems.
In sum, a whole lot of enterprise content that needs to be migrated safely and securely so that nothing gets lost.
Over the years, MetaVis has been one of the more successful of the migration vendors in the space and has followed Microsoft releases over the years to ensure that as soon as a new application, or in this case suite, hits the market, there are tools that will enable enterprises to move if necessary.
Many enterprise migration strategies currently consist of the database attach approach. However, with Office 365 this doesn’t really work with a lot of unneeded sites, content, components and customizations moved across. It also doesn’t allow migrations directly from SharePoint 2003 and 2007.
However, as of now, enterprises that are interested in moving will be able to do so and not just for Office 365 but also for the yet-to-be released SharePoint 2013.
Both MetaVis Migration Suite and Architect Suite support migrations from SharePoint (on premises or hosted), file systems, Microsoft Exchange Public Folders, Microsoft Outlook and Google Drive.
MetaVis Migrator for SharePoint user interface
Enterprises can also use some of the new features in SharePoint 2013 like Shredded Storage to decrease document storage requirements. With it enterprises can migrate only the most recent version of a document, if they don’t need to keep histories.
This as opposed to bringing over the entire document content and corresponding BLOB files that exists. And there other advantages:
- Agentless Migration: No server side access is required as long as you have credentials;
- Bulk Migration: Enterprises can bulk migrate content depending on what they want to take over, or select specific lists, libraries, sites, or site collections
- Migrate Metadata: Retain or enrich metadata as it is migrated without the use of server-sides agents
- Copy Content: Copy multiple items between folders, lists, sites or farms while simultaneously modifying or retaining an item's content type and metadata
Needless to say that with something as complex as migration into Office 365 there are many other features that will be of value of enterprises.
However, before doing anything at all, careful planning is needed. We saw before with SharePoint 2010 that many companies had run into serious problems not long after migrations because the process hadn’t been planned. It’s a certain bet that when SharePoint 2013 is released, or with this version of Office 365 we are going to see exactly the same problems. More on migrations as it happens.