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Customizable Cloud-Computing Ensures Successful Commercial Drone Missions

By Barry Alexander, Founder and CEO, Aquiline Drones

Although awareness of and appreciation for commercial drone systems is growing, many businesses remain unaware of the opportunities drones offer to achieve better business results, help streamline business solutions, and elevate profitability. Drones are unique aerial vehicles and are ideal for providing crucial aerial perspectives to assess emergency situations like the recent Australian wildfires, and for delivering critical medical supplies to those in need. Drones are even being used to deliver information to the public, as in the current coronavirus pandemic.

However, most businesses do not realize the intrinsic benefit of integrating drones into their day-to-day operations, whether it be for asset inspection and management, perimeter security, precision farming, aerial ranching, video production, or surveying and mapping. The list continues! But a point of note is this: A drone is just mechanical hardware unless used optimally to gather information. Such reconnaissance activity allows users to capture, analyze, manage, model, and share data insights – usually in real-time. This level of application calls for a robust computing platform that supports complex drone operations and the footage they generate. This is facilitated with cloud computing technology.

According to a recent survey by RedLock, only 7% of businesses firmly believe they have decent visibility over all important company information from drone usage in a well-structured and well-secured enterprise cloud. To address their inadequacies, companies are now seeking out unique, customizable, technical platforms such as the AD Cloud. These platforms offer everything involved in completing commercial drone operations in one centralized setting. The AD Cloud in particular provides a variety of salient features ideal for building highly customizable and large-scale solutions.

Building a Cloud from the Ground Up

Core features and services offered by some of the nation’s most notable cloud companies that have mastered and integrated artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet-of-Things (IoT) include:

  • Modularity – Scalability for high-density drone operations across industries requires a modular cloud design, in which services can be added a la carte, allowing businesses to start small, then scale up as needed.
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Specific – It is important for cloud environments to cater to the industries for which they are being used. Specialized cloud platforms such as the AD Cloud provide algorithms for UAV operations, manufacturing, and maintenance, making the AD Cloud more valuable and more desirable for businesses that want to integrate UAVs into their operations.
  • Aviation Compliance – Drones are aircraft. Accordingly, they must operate and should be held to the same or similar standards as manned aircraft. These standards should be established and regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). A drone-specific cloud should maintain built-in compliance rules to ensure that connected devices remain safe and compliant with regulations and the law.
  • True Autonomy – Allows for autonomous UAV operations with plug-and-play mission capabilities.
  • Data Insights – Specialized algorithms can be created for flight control, traffic management, enhanced awareness, terrain modeling, and image recognition, along with specific additions for more sophisticated scenarios.
  • Full Lifecycle Governance – This includes providing connectivity and insights across the drone lifecycle – from product development, to manufacturing, to UAV operations and MRO – resulting in greater efficiencies and reduced downtime.
  • Dynamic Dashboard – A full-capability digital dashboard accessible on any device delivers a comprehensive, standardized, and flexible user experience (UX) with the power of the cloud at one’s fingertips. Users can plan, collaborate, and execute missions, livestream data and video, and obtain real-time data insights – all from within a single and customizable enterprise asset management (EAM) system.

Further, a comprehensive cloud system such as AD Cloud can also aggregate data, which enables companies to make statistical forecasts and logical inferences for future resource planning and allocations.

A Bright and Lofty Future

Despite its extreme growth within the past decade, the global cloud computing market is forecast to exceed $623 billion by 2023 as 80% of organizations – many using drone technology – migrate to the cloud by 2025.

One key projection is that cloud computing will change the hardware architecture of drones by simplifying these flying robots. With low latency, higher bandwidth, and a highly reliable connection to the cloud, a drone only needs to carry sensors, without requiring any additional power.

Drones and edge computing technology will continue to grow exponentially, allowing for more resolution, more sensor types, and more flight capabilities, while supporting demand for higher frequency and more data. In fact, drone fleets and swarms will have the ability to launch from edge computing hubs to further automate the process.

Another major highlight will be the quick creation and activation of a comprehensive cloud computing-drone infrastructure as directed and overseen by the FAA, the regulatory agency for all UAVs – ensuring safety remains paramount.

Lastly, the recent introduction of a bipartisan bill in Congress entitled, The American Security Drone Act of 2019 essentially bans the use of foreign drones – mainly Chinese drones – and other unmanned aerial systems that have been purchased with federal dollars.

The drone industry continues to gain in purpose and popularity, empowering companies that use them with powerful, customized cloud computing capabilities. Cloud-enabled drone technology increases these companies’ operating efficiency, efficacy, safety, and ultimately, their bottom line. As more of these cloud computer-connected devices take to the sky, we’ll see a world that is truly interconnected within the technological atmosphere.

Bio

A veteran pilot, serial entrepreneur, and visionary leader, Barry Alexander is founder and CEO of Aquiline Drones, a full-service, US-based commercial drone company that boasts an integrated manufacturing and supply chain, world-class MRO services, and real-time data insights to improve ROI across a variety of industries. Barry’s ultimate goal is to revolutionize the entire American drone market through innovative technology and key community and governmental partnerships to create a world in which humans and drones live and operate in harmony for the betterment of society.

How IoT Adaptation in 2020 Will Boost Manufacturing Profit, Not Destroy Jobs

By Darren Sadana, CEO, Choice IoT

IoT platform spending is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 40 percent over the next few years, from $1.67 billion in 2018 to $12.44 billion in 2024, globally. Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution, is just now getting underway and will transform conventional manufacturing methods like never before.

More intelligent sensors are gathering and transferring larger amounts of data at faster speeds, and are now capable of making decisions on the spot. Their agility makes them ideal substitutes for the large software-driven manufacturing execution systems currently in place.

These valuable changes active in manufacturing plants, as a part of Industry 4.0, are substantially boosting manufacturing ROI instead of putting people out of work.

Presently, the bulk of manufacturers considering the use of industrial IoT are focused on assessing what digital infrastructures need to be in place to ensure Industry 4.0 takes off smoothly.

Industry 4.0 comprises the “Internet of Things” (IoT) and smart manufacturing, marrying conventional operations of standard manufacturing with smart digital technology. The basic technologies that fall under 4.0 are artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing (additive manufacturing) and blockchain.

The result? A better, faster ecosystem for companies to process supply chain management in real-time.

How Manufacturers Can Make the Most Out of IoT

Fundamental technologies like AI and blockchain rely on constant access to each other and to the cloud. This process depends on 24/7/365 wireless connectivity, which confers to manufacturers an essential commodity—the ability to obtain accurate, current information, including pricing and contract requirements.

Deleting a primitive central application that determines output, real-time data will now require an explosive increase in data analysis, making it absolutely imperative to create actions around the data gathered.

Still, speed will not hamper accuracy as the intelligence of these machines grows, and only those manufacturers who can make to stock, order and assemble-to-order will win.

In addition to increased efficiency, predictive maintenance will become conventional. No longer will idle time associated with repairs be a concern, because with IoT adaptation, sensors will monitor and analyze multiple signals and alert operators to machines that require servicing.

Since most US manufacturing plants are at least 20 years old, their in-house machines are not equipped to operate in an Industry 4.0 environment (and are also much more prone to breakdowns).

These breakdowns account for up to $50 billion per year in lost manufacturing time, something IoT adaptation can mitigate.

With discrete manufacturing and predictive maintenance, IoT will contribute to the safety of workers by directing them to an emergency evacuation, safeguarding them from serious accidents. With new and improved inventory and equipment tracking, thousands of man hours will be also saved, and businesses will see an expansion in profit without an inflation in data costs.

Industry 4.0 and The Age of 5G Manufacturing: Creating More Jobs

Despite saving man hours, more jobs will be created—those “saved” man hours will be put to use creating jobs that have to manufacture new and smarter devices. With 5G’s multi-trillion-dollar rollout, the number of new jobs predicted for manufacturing alone will triple, according to the World Economic Forum via Forbes.

“Machines and algorithms in the workplace are expected to create 133 million new roles but cause 75 million jobs to be displaced by 2022.” Today, businesses are waking up to the new staffing and organizational demands of IoT.

At the industrial level, IoT will increase the use of robotics, automation, and analytics, creating a higher demand for cognitive occupations, increasing productivity, and producing a more engaging work experience.

As with every industrial revolution prior to Industry 4.0, there will be a net increase in jobs. Technology always opens new opportunities, so we must account for potential job mutations that IoT adaption will continuously bring.

Just like the Amazons of the world emerged after the crash of the dotcom bubble, only made possible by higher internet speeds and faster data transmission, a new era of creative destruction is now on the rise—paving the way for the Amazons and Facebooks of tomorrow.

Healthcare, hospitality, transportation and numerous additional industries will be radically transformed, but only companies taking advantage of IoT will thrive, along with employees who commit to knowledge-intensive sectors.

Vending machines will be gamified so consumers can engage with interactive games to win prizes and create loyalty. Retina scanners can be installed to read customer reactions to gain insight into how they react to different packaging, messaging, colors and games.

IoT will impact additional industries such as healthcare as well, with similar gamification or new devices. Leveraging IoT will allow healthcare providers to make better, faster care decisions including, but not limited to, smart pills, robotics, and Real-Time Health Systems (RTHS).

In the security industry as well, the use of IoT will spike.

Preparing for Innovation while Controlling Costs: 5G Management

Industry 4.0 will transform plants into digital powerhouses, especially as 5G becomes a non-negotiable utility for consumers and dependency on IoT concepts increases.

5G will transmit data faster—which in turn will cause some devices, for various reasons, to work overtime. This will increase costs, and companies won’t realize this until they get the carrier bills at the end of the month and see that the devices went over their allotted MBs.

This makes having the right IoT wireless connectivity partner critical. Platforms must be able to deliver huge amounts of data down to the session level, and be capable of deploying thousands of devices at a time with error-free provisioning.

With 5G Wireless connectivity happening right now, ChoiceIoT is a master agent for T-Mobile, which has already launched 5G in more than 200 cities. Choice IoT can provide the technology and guidance for solution providers to transfer or build their solutions on the network of the future.

As of now, only 14 percent of machines in current US manufacturing plants are equipped to transmit and receive real-time data. Those companies that do not adapt to IoT will compete with existing solutions in the marketplace and become obsolete very quickly.

Solutions providers need to stay ahead of the curve with R&D to make sure they are competitive in the 5G landscape of tomorrow. As they develop solutions that can take advantage of 5G, they can also increase their profitability and relevance in the marketplace.

Due to intense competition among the wireless carriers, 5G costs are not predicted to increase. There are also no cost increases due to carrier competition or the data itself, but the opportunity for expansion of data and overload, and increased number of devices utilizing the technology will result from dramatic increases in speed.

The key to controlling data costs is to get data scientists to evaluate the data and see what data solutions bring cost savings. With Edge Computing, for example, smarter devices and sensors will reduce the need for data to be brought to a central cloud to be analyzed.

Along with data monitoring, using alerts and analysis forms a good connectivity platform that can help businesses see where the data leakage is happening and if that data is relevant.

Most importantly, drilled-down usage by session level is key to good data analysis. This can help identify rogue software and assist solution providers in minimizing data connectivity and storage costs as 5G rapidly approaches.

For example, the vending machine, a common and universally manufactured product, is closely tied to micro markets. This automated, self-checkout technology operates unattended, keeping labor costs down—but would not be possible without a connectivity partner with a real-time IoTSaaS or IoTPaaS to help control devices at the platform level by receiving notifications of rogue or stolen devices incurring roaming charges. Without such partners, these micro markets could lose the momentum gained by heavy carrier charges.

The Revolutionary Potential

This fourth industrial revolution was precipitated by the transition from handwork, to machinery (in the late 18th century), to computerization (that began in 1950). This is a very exciting time, as devices are able to communicate with each other and make decisions without the data having to pass through a central server. This greatly increases the scope and possibilities of new solutions being developed in the marketplace, and consumers will benefit from a better quality of life.

With IoT and artificial intelligence (AI) converging to form a powerhouse of smart manufacturing, there is no pause in its arrival. Experts also predict that the total bill for the 5G rollout, globally, will exceed $2.7 trillion by the end of 2020.

Bio

Darren Sadana, CEO of Choice IoT, Master Agency for T-Mobile. T-Mobile has already launched 5G in over 200 cities—and Sadana’s first-in-industry IoTSaaS is providing the new era of wireless connectivity control of costs for millions of Internet of Things devices within new smart cities as well as the transportation, healthcare, manufacturing, security, retail, hospitality, engineering & energy industries in the US and globally.

2020 Cloud Market Predictions: The Future Looks Bright

2020 Cloud Market Predictions: The Future Looks Bright

By Mark Kirstein, Vice President, Products at BitTitan

For many people, the New Year is a time for reflection on the year gone by and an opportunity for renewed commitment to progress and goals. The same is true for businesses. As we embark on a new year and a new decade, many businesses are trying to anticipate where the market is headed so they can make strategic plans that will result in success.

Many things could influence market conditions around the world this year, from the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, to the U.S. – China trade war, to the U.S. presidential election. While the U.S. surplus in exported services is shrinking overall, this trend is not expected to have a negative impact on the cloud services sector. Read on for our top six predictions for the cloud market in 2020.

  1. SaaS growth will continue

Currently, the cloud is a $200 billion market, yet overall IT spending is in the trillions of dollars. This means that spending for on-premises (on-prem) software and services remains strong. Is this a bad sign for the cloud market? Absolutely not. We anticipate the global cloud services market for 2020 to continue to grow in excess of 20 percent. Many organizations are moving to the cloud in stages and there are several factors that will keep migration in forward motion. These include increased confidence in and reliance on cloud services, the phase-out of on-prem software like Microsoft Exchange 2010, and continued aging of hardware and infrastructure. While we expect most companies to make conservative spending decisions in 2020, decisions related to the cloud are fundamental to operations, particularly for global companies, and not as likely to be put on the back burner. We will see continued innovation of SaaS services and offerings, coupled with organizations migrating closer to an “all-in” adoption of the cloud. There is a lot of opportunity ahead for SaaS.

  1. Cloud-to-cloud migrations will continue to rise

While companies are continuing to migrate from on-prem to the cloud, we expect to see a continued uptick in cloud-to-cloud migrations as more companies devote attention to optimizing their cloud footprint. Currently, a majority of BitTitan’s business is cloud-to-cloud migrations. The historical concerns of cloud security, reliability, quality, and SaaS-feature parity have largely been addressed, but companies are continually searching for the provider that can deliver the most value for their IT dollars. Businesses want the ability to move their data while avoiding the perils of vendor lock-in. Furthermore, maintaining a multi-cloud environment allows companies to better manage business risks.

  1. The use of containers will increase

Containerization, which packages up software code and all its dependencies so the application runs quickly and reliably and can be moved from one computing environment to another, has achieved mainstream adoption and will continue to be a strong market segment in 2020. Containers offer a great deal of flexibility and reduce the risks for companies moving to the cloud. They reduce infrastructure costs, accelerate and simplify the development process, result in higher quality and reliability, and reduce complexity for deployments. Containers also aid in cloud-to-cloud migrations. Businesses that use containers can easily run them on Google Cloud today and switch to other platforms like Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS) tomorrow without complex reconfiguration and testing. This allows businesses the freedom to shop for the right cloud environment. This is one of the reasons the container market is growing at a rate of more than 40 percent, and we expect that growth will continue.

  1. Microsoft and Google will seize market share from AWS

Of the top three public cloud providers today, AWS was first to market and has enjoyed a considerable lead in market share. AWS has been particularly appealing for companies that want to provide “born in the cloud” services. But in 2020, we expect the two other top public cloud vendors – Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud – to make significant inroads and take market share away from AWS. Part of this is simple math: With such a big slice of the market, it will be hard for AWS to maintain its rate of growth. And the competition is getting stiffer. Microsoft is doing a great job of appealing to enterprises who are grappling with legacy infrastructure. Google also is making significant investments in its cloud computing unit. Its technology is already very good and easy to use, which will make Google a force to be reckoned with. Another trend we are likely to see is that smaller public cloud vendors will drop out or choose to focus their business on the private cloud infrastructure market, where they are more likely to excel.

  1. The market will expand and consolidate

As the cloud market grows, the ecosystem will expand with the types of solutions and capabilities to manage and streamline, increasing the value of investments in the cloud. On average, companies using cloud technologies are using five different cloud platforms. We will continue to see new and improved offerings to help companies assess, monitor, and manage their cloud footprints to reduce costs and improve security. As new, compelling cloud solutions enter the market, we are likely to see more consolidation, with Amazon, Microsoft and Google continuing to acquire new solutions to enhance their own offerings.

  1. 5G will usher in the next level of cloud adoption globally

Recently, Ericsson Mobility predicted that there will be 1 billion 5G subscriptions by 2023 and they’ll account for almost 20 percent of the entire global mobile data traffic.[1] Besides the massive increase in speed provided by 5G technology, it also comes with a remarkable decrease in latency. While 3G networks had a latency of nearly 100 milliseconds, that of 4G is about 30 milliseconds, and the latency for 5G will be as low as 1 millisecond, which most people will perceive to be nearly instant. With this type of performance, we believe that cloud-based services will become more reliable and efficient. Not only that, but 5G may also accelerate cloud adoption in countries that are lacking wired infrastructure today.

Without a crystal ball, there is no way to know for sure what the market landscape will look like in the coming months. But by analyzing recent trends and considering their implications for the future, companies can take a forward-looking approach that will position them to stay ahead of the curve and be ready to seize opportunity as it arises. This year is looking bright for the cloud.

Bio

Mark Kirstein is the vice president of products at BitTitan, leading product development and product management teams for the company’s SaaS solutions. Prior to BitTitan, Mark served as the senior director of product management for the mobile enterprise software division of Motorola Solutions, continuing in that capacity following its acquisition by Zebra Technologies in 2014. Mark has over two decades of experience overseeing product strategy, development, and go-to-market initiatives.

When not on the road coaching his daughter’s softball team, Mark enjoys spending time outdoors and rooting for the Boston Red Sox. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from California Polytechnic State University.

[1]How 5G will Accelerate Cloud Business Investment,” Compare the Cloud.net. Retrieved December 17, 2019.

Why Exchange 2010 Users Can’t Afford to Delay Their Software Upgrades – and How MSPs Can Help

By David Mills, Director of Product Management, BitTitan

It’s been a decade since the 2009 release of Exchange Server 2010, which means the lifecycle for this Microsoft product is soon coming to an end. Originally scheduled for January 14, 2020, Microsoft recently extended the end-of-support date to October 13, 2020. This may be welcomed news for businesses still relying on Exchange 2010, but it should also serve as a wake-up call: The time to upgrade is now.

In announcing the end-of-support deadline extension, Microsoft stated it was doing so “to give Exchange 2010 customers more time to complete their migrations.” These migrations require a considerable amount of time and planning to successfully deploy and complete – and keeping the project on schedule is a task within itself. Businesses should not delay their upgrades, as there are serious ramifications, and Microsoft will not extend the deadline again.

This is where it is critical for managed service providers and IT professionals to step in and advise their clients of the necessary upgrades they need to make. Doing so is win-win for IT pros and their clients, as it builds trust, ensures the health of a customer’s business remains strong and enables the continued business growth for all parties.

The Potential Risks

So, what are the risks businesses face if they don’t upgrade their software? There are quite a few. During a product’s lifecycle, Microsoft provides a substantial number of new features, bug fixes and security updates. Once the end-of-support deadline passes, Exchange 2010 users will not receive technical support from Microsoft for issues that may occur. They will not receive bug fixes for issues that arise that affect the usability of their server. They won’t receive security patches for vulnerabilities that are found. These businesses will face an increased risk of data breaches and malicious cyberattacks. In addition, depending on the compliance regulations of their industry, these businesses may become liable to legal issues for falling out of compliance.

It’s a harrowing outlook, but the good news is there are practical courses of action businesses can take to remedy their situation.

The Most Viable Solutions

Primarily, there are two options that are most ideal for organizations looking to upgrade. For those considering a full transition to cloud technologies, a fitting course of action may be an upgrade to Exchange Online/Office 365. Taking this approach is typically the most reliable and ensures that users will receive regular software updates from Microsoft. End users will have the latest feature enhancements provided in the cloud Office suite. From Microsoft’s perspective, this is likely the preferred route, though subscribers must be vigilant of price increases.

However, not all businesses are ready to abandon on-premises systems just yet. For those that require on-prem hardware, upgrading to Exchange Server 2016 or 2019 may be the way to go. This option offers businesses more control over their email data, as well as a breadth of backup and recovery options for their workplace systems. It must be noted that when pursuing this option, businesses migrating from Exchange 2010 must conduct a “double-hop” migration when moving data to Exchange 2019, and first migrate to Exchange 2013 or 2016. This can seem like a tedious step to add to an already complex process. Employing a third-party migration tool – such as BitTitan’s MigrationWiz – can eliminate this step and afford the ability to migrate directly to Exchange 2019.

Taking a Broader Approach

There is another wrinkle as to why now is an important time to facilitate migrations for customers: Exchange 2010 isn’t the only product that Microsoft will no longer support in 2020. An end-of-life deadline is set for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. Nine months later, Microsoft will discontinue support for both SharePoint Server 2010 and Office 2010 on October 13, 2020. That’s a considerable number of products reaching their lifecycle end in a short amount of time – and it creates an opportune timeframe for MSPs to potentially bundle migration projects for customers.

MSPs and IT pros can delve into larger workplace upgrades and digital enhancements for clients. They can potentially explore overseeing multiple upgrades for these products at once and ensure that a stable and secure workplace plan is established for the long term.

For IT pros and their clients, staying on top of the end-of-support date goes beyond simply upgrading software. By not making the necessary upgrades, the health and well-being of a customer’s business is at stake. Making sure clients are running software and relying on workplace systems that are appropriately upgraded, secure and compliant eliminates these threats and vulnerabilities. It ensures that business for both IT pros and their clients continues to successfully hum along.

Bio

David Mills is Director of Product Management at BitTitan, driving product strategy, defining product roadmaps and ensuring customer success. David is an experienced product management leader with more than two decades of industry experience. Prior to BitTitan, he worked as a principal consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a product manager at Microsoft and director of product management at Avanade. His areas of expertise include product planning, cloud infrastructure and applications, and marketing communication.

Seamless Tenant-to-Tenant Migrations Through Coexistence

By Kelsey Epps, Senior Technical Partner Strategist, BitTitan

There’s no question that businesses have adopted the cloud, big-time. In fact, Reuters reports that Microsoft has been shifting its reliance from the Windows operating system toward selling cloud-based services. Revenues have topped $1 trillion as the software giant predicts even more cloud growth.

Now that businesses have moved so many of their key workloads out of on-premises servers and shifted them into the cloud, the great wave of on-prem-to-cloud migrations is past its peak. With the cloud so well-entrenched, IT departments and service providers are being asked more and more to migrate workloads from one cloud instance to another. There are a variety of business reasons for making such a move, whether it’s employee preferences for a given software stack, realigning contracts, or utilizing APIs that are a better business fit.

It would seem that once a set of workloads is in the cloud, moving them to another cloud instance should be a straightforward process. However, ensuring business continuity through a cloud-to-cloud migration is every bit as tricky as an on-prem-to-cloud move.

In fact, now that workers are enjoying the work-from-anywhere access that the cloud provides, they may even be less tolerant or forgiving of any interruption in their user experience. When workers expect uninterrupted data access and seamless collaboration through the transition, the “Big Bang” approach of migrating everything in a single sequence, user-by-user or workload-by-workload until the job is done is rarely an option. Organizations are increasingly turning to a batched approach with their migrations, which targets specific groups or departments to migrate at the most opportune times.

This approach offers many benefits, but also its own challenges, because when a batched approach is taken, end users will exist on both the Source and Destination. This is where tenant-to-tenant coexistence comes into play to help facilitate the move.

Tenant-to-tenant migrations defined

A tenant-to-tenant (T2T) migration is a form of cloud-to-cloud migration where the Source and Destination applications are the same; the move is from one instance of the applications to another instance of the same applications. In the case of Office 365, the scope of applications and supporting data typically includes mailboxes, personal archives or personal storage tables (PST files), OneDrive or SharePoint files, and of course, the data files associated with the various Office 365 applications.

Migrating a business (or a subset of one) is a challenge because of the heavy reliance on email communications and calendars. Users have no way of knowing who among their coworkers have migrated to the Destination and who have yet to do so.

What is the impact of this? Emails bounce back to the sender or pile up in a mailbox that’s no longer accessible. Meeting invites are missed, or users are erroneously double-booked because the free/busy information associated with their calendars is no longer available to all users, as some are still working from the Source and others from the Destination. These obstacles work against the primary goal that the IT team brings to any migration: to make the whole process seamless and essentially invisible to the users.

Continuous collaboration through coexistence

Coexistence is a migration technique that gets around the synchronization problems and keeps users happily working and collaborating with each other even though they’re being migrated at different times. When a migration is the result of a merger, acquisition or divestiture, an entire organization, department or division is moving from SourceCompany.com to DestinationCompany.com. It’s the ideal scenario for taking advantage of coexistence. All one has to do is follow these easy steps:

  • First, enable organizational sharing of the Office 365 tenants. For all users to be migrated, create mail-enabled contacts on the Destination that resolve to each individual’s mailbox on the Source.
  • As you migrate each user, remove the mail-enabled contact from the Destination. Create an Office 365-licensed user account to establish the new mailbox, with a forward that points back to the Source mailbox. This allows the user to keep working in the Source mailbox. Migrate the mailbox items from the Source to the Destination.
  • Finally, after you migrate each user, remove the forward on the Destination mailbox. On the Source, you can remove the mailbox and replace it with a mail-enabled contact that points to the Destination mailbox. Or, keep the mailbox in place and forward to the new Destination.

Plan ahead for swift execution

Coexistence is an effective technique, especially if you combine it with selective migration of older files or emails that are less likely to be needed and move them either before or after the active migration. This enables you to make the whole process quick and seamless. Put coexistence in your toolkit and use it the next time you’re faced with a tenant-to-tenant migration between domains. Of course, careful preplanning is the key — as it is with any migration.

Bio
Kelsey Epps is a senior technical partner strategist with
BitTitan. A 20-year IT industry veteran, Kelsey works with MSPs and IT specialists on the technical preplanning aspects of the most complex migrations projects.