Migrating to Office 365? Have You Thought About Your Email Archives?

June 23, 2016
Editorial Staff


Editorial Staff

Office 365 has become the platform of choice as the entry point to Cloud Computing for many organizations in today’s rapidly changing technology landscape.

With Enterprise migrations to Microsoft Office 365 growing at an increasing rate, this now represents one of Microsoft’s fastest growing sectors, with the number of commercial seats sold are expected to continue to double year-over-year.

Don’t forget about your legacy email archive system

Office 365 provides a robust platform based on a set of Microsoft products that customers have been using on premise for many years. As many customers begin to consider or plan a transition to Office 365, often times, the only data they see as relevant to migrating into the Office 365 platform is current Email and perhaps SharePoint document libraries. The element that is often forgotten is what to do with Email Archives that may be sitting in legacy on-premise systems such as Symantec EnterpriseVault or EMC EmailXtender. Archived email, the ones that are placed onto secondary or backup storage over time to avoid bloating the user’s mailbox, are most often neglected until after the decision to migrate is made or the engagement is scoped. The alarming reality is that many enterprises planning a move to Office 365 have millions of archived emails that are keeping them on the starting blocks.

So what drove the need to establish Email Archiving?

If we look back at the history of Email Archiving, we go back nearly 20 years. As email usage grew, the volumes stored began to grow in the same vain. At the time, on premise email servers were often required to operate based on strict storage limitations, forcing organizations to implement a dedicated Email Archive solution to provide users with an ‘overspill area’ for their email. As we entered into the new millennium, large entities such as Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, Freddie Mac, and AIG, ‘legally’ demonstrated the value of retaining historical email. The era of Corporate Governance was born and Archived Email became a key opportunity to enabling an organization to quickly find the ‘straw in the wind’, so to speak, that allowed for appropriate prosecution of fraud. In turn, this also mandated the widespread, regulated adoption of long-term email retention policies and capabilities for organizations all across the globe.

This was arguably best demonstrated when the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act was initiated in 2002. SOX mandated robust record keeping as a standard and matter of corporate responsibility. These changes had their greatest effect in the financial world, as well as in the judicial system – highlighting the following 10 years as a time when organizations should anticipate the potential request for examination of relevant email records as a necessary part of any litigation.

With the proliferation of Office 365 throughout the marketplace comes a host of email archiving and compliance features such as Exchange Online Archiving, In-place and Litigation Hold, and In-place eDiscovery to help organizations adhere to legal discovery requirements related to organizational policy, compliance, or legal proceedings.

The conversation then becomes: how to get existing Email Archives, sitting in legacy on premise systems such as Symantec EnterpriseVault or EMC EmailXtender, into Office 365 whilst ensuring the integrity of records, and that the customer is still able to demonstrate a full chain of custody in the event of a future litigation case.

Picking the right partner to migrate your Email Archive

As part of the recent launch of the Technology Services Office 365 Service Portfolio, one of the key offerings that SoftwareONE has added is Email Archive migration to Office 365. As a key part of this service launch, we have partnered with TransVault (www.transvault.com), the global market leader in helping customers migrate Email Archives from legacy archive systems in a simple, yet compliant way, that delivers a vital chain-of-custody with a comprehensive audit trail for every item moved. Their TransVault Sprint product, accelerates the migration process with ‘drag and drop’ ease, automatically re-hydrating archived items and putting them back into Office 365 primary mailboxes or In-Place Archives and providing users with the same level of access as they had when the archives were stored on premise.

As an organization, SoftwareONE has assisted over 3.2 million business users to access Office 365. With the addition of Email Archive migration to our service repertoire, it provides us with the ability to add even more value to our customers on their journey to Office 365. Contact us if you would like to speak with us about the most efficient way to migrate to Office 365.

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