Migration Suite Process Overview
Step 1 - Web Planner
SkyKick’s online sales and planning application is designed to help you accelerate the sales process, and reduce your sales and migration planning effort. Use the Web Planner to create an automated Migration Plan including: email assessment, mailbox discovery, configuration, provisioning, licensing, communication, scheduling, and other project options.
a. Log in to your Partner Portal at www.skykick.com and click New to start a new migration plan. New Migration
b. Enter the email address for the primary customer Point of Contact (POC) for communications during the migration, or any actively used mailbox on the system. This email address should be on the same domain as the rest of the email users to be migrated.
c. Enter approximate number of mailboxes to migrate. This is optional. In a few steps, the Web Planner will automatically determine the exact list of mailboxes via Mailbox Discovery.
d. Select the tentative date you want to migrate. You can always change this later. Click Start. Get Started
e. The Web Planner has detected the customer’s email hoster and domain Registrar. This can help assist in your sales process and can be done in advance to allow you to tailor your upsell to Office 365 based on the customer email environment (e.g. highlight benefits to Office 365 relative to Google, hosted Exchange, etc.). Note: for on-premise email systems the hoster will be identified as TBD.
f. Enter company information, phone #, alternate email address, name, etc. This information will be used to provision the account at the beginning of the migration, if provisioning is required.
g. Enter the login credentials for the Point of Contact’s mailbox. This will be used to connect to the source email system and begin the automated process of mailbox discovery.
Create Your Account
h. Select Office 365 status. If the Office 365 tenant has not already been created, select new and verify and/or modify the customer’s .onmicrosoft address. Note: It’s important to select the proper .onmicrosoft address as it cannot easily be changed once the account is provisioned.
If the Office 365 tenant has already been provisioned (Advisor or Open models) then enter the Office 365 admin credentials and Web Planner will use this to migrate to the proper tenant.
For Open, Academic, Government, and Non-profit customers, you must provision the tenant and licenses with Microsoft prior to going through the Web Planner. This will ensure we connect to the correct Office 365 account. Review Your Email Accounts
i. Choose the mailboxes in your current email environment to migrate. You can add or delete mailboxes as required. j. Use Fancy Mode for advanced migration options such as merging mailboxes.
l. Confirm Aliases, Distribution Groups, Shared Mailboxes, and Public Folders detected. Note: The Web Planner will also collect and verify all Aliases and Distribution Group members automatically during the migration process prior to the migration date. This information will be available to you in the Project Management Application for that customer.
m. Additional Domains. If the customer’s email is hosted on multiple domains add them to ensure that they are also migrated. n. You can “Save Order” at any time and complete at a later date. Note: SkyKick only charges you once the migration project
is complete. Saved migration plans have no effect on an organization’s current email system or Office 365 account. Billing Information
o. For any O365 licenses that still need to be purchased under Microsoft’s Advisor licensing model, you (or the customer) must enter the customer’s billing information. Once the Web Planner is complete and the migration project is scheduled, SkyKick will provision the account, purchase the licenses on your behalf, and assign you as POR and delegated admin. You (or the customer) can either enter the credit card information on this page, or you can select to generate an email to a customer point of contact who can enter the information on your secure, branded credit card collection web page.
Email Domain Info
p. Choose your DNS Option, entering Registrar credentials if prompted.
Full Serve DNS: Whenever possible, we recommend selecting Full Serve DNS. After inputting the username and password for the Domain Registrar, the Web Planner will immediately validate SkyKick’s access and ability to modify appropriate Name Server information. If this information cannot be validated, the Web Planner will prompt you to select the Partial or Self-Service DNS option.
Partial Serve or Self-Serve DNS Options: Full Service DNS is not an option, after the Order has been placed in the Web Planner, you will receive an alert in the Project Management Application as well as an email with instructions to follow at the precise time, including DNS changes that are required soon as the migration is scheduled at the end of the Web Planner session.
Schedule Migration & Prepare Team
q. Confirm your migration date. Don’t worry, you can always change the date in the Project Management Application later and the project plan will automatically adjust.
r. Select a Communication Option. Kickoff emails will be sent to the POC and End Users immediately upon placing the migration project order. If you’d prefer to delay the communications, please select a time delay to send the communications.
s. Click “Place Order”. Upon order placement, the application will start the entire Migration Sync process which includes the initial major steps: sending communications to the company, provisioning the Office 365 tenant account, beginning the domain redelegation process, and pre-syncing all the customer data. Note: no changes will be made to the current source email system, or end users’ Outlook environment. See Step 2 below and the Partner Portal Learning Center for complete Migration Sync details.
Step 2 – Migration Sync Pre-Cutover
Once the migration has been scheduled in the Web Planner, Migration Sync begins the migration process and performs much of the work in advance of the cutover date to ensure a seamless migration. Account Sync (provisioning, licensing, configuration), Server Sync (Initial Sync), and DNS Sync are all actively working at this stage to ensure a seamless migration.
b. Licenses will be purchased and assigned to the appropriate users. If licenses are already purchased in the tenant, Account Sync will use those first. If not enough licenses are available, and they cannot be purchased with Account Sync, you will be notified via an Alert in the Project Management Application.
c. Communication Sent. Based on communication option, various communications go out to the customer POC and end users at the right time to ensure successful migration (see Communications in the Partner Portal for details)
d. Provide passwords. To save you time and effort, SkyKick generates an email for each end user with a simple call to action to provide their current email password and ensure they create an Office 365 strong password on your secure, partner branded password collection page.
e. Download SkyKick Outlook Assistant. With the same click to submit their password, migrating end users begin a quick and easy client download to make their migration seamless. SKOA will first install and perform a desktop and Outlook
assessment in advance of the migration date, and the results displayed in the PMA. SKOA will also migrate their Outlook profile, data, and local settings at the right time on the day of the migration to ensure a seamless, hands-free experience for end users. Tip #1: for POP/IMAP migrations SKOA is required to move client-side data. Tip #2: SKOA only installs on PCs with Outlook 2007 or newer.
f. Server Sync. As each user provides their password, Server Sync will begin to automatically pre-sync and QA each
mailbox behind the scenes to the inactive Office 365 mailbox. There will be zero service interruption for current mailboxes on the sources system – for end users it’s business as usual.
g. Domain re-delegation process begins. SkyKick DNS technology ensures zero email downtime during the process. This includes an automated Name Server process which saves your current DNS settings and prepares for the necessary DNS switches to take place on the switchover date (Full/Partial DNS).
Step 3 – Project Management Application
While the Migration Sync is doing virtually all of the project work on your behalf, reviewing the project and communicating with the customer is an important part of your migration offering. To make this easy, the Project Management Application (PMA) in the Partner Portal gives you real-time project status and control of your migration project.
a. Migration Tracker. Review the overall project status at a glance from the Dashboard. If the status is green, you’re On Track. If there are any Alerts, you should complete them to keep your project on track or ignore them if they are not blocking the project.
b. Alerts. The Project Management Application will notify you if there are any actions required on your part, or other things you should be aware of that the app has discovered.
c. Modify Plan. You can add/remove/change Individual mailboxes, Aliases, Distribution Groups, Shared Mailboxes, and Public Folders on the Email Accounts page up until 4 hours before a migration.
d. Detailed Reporting. With detailed customer reporting via the Email Accounts page you can see overall migration status at a glance, and filter and drill into many facets of the migration project. Click on a migrating mailbox and you can see even more detail like sync rate, Outlook version and machine details.
e. Activities. Updates you on key steps and customer communications that the PMA has performed
f. Communications. The PMA will send you and the POC a nightly status update of the migration status via email. It will also send email reminders to end users who have not provided passwords or downloaded the Outlook Assistant.
Step 4 - Migration Sync at Migration Time
a. Setup Instructions. All end users who are part of the migration plan will receive an email a few hours before the migration with final instructions so everyone is ready for the switchover.
b. At migration time, Migration Sync technology will:
Notify end users. The last mail before the switch (in the old mailbox) will instruct them how to login to and use their Office 365 mailbox from that moment on. Users will also receive instructions on how to configure their new Exchange account to work on their mobile phones.
DNS Sync will perform the required DNS changes (Full/Partial DNS).
Server Sync will perform a robust Final Sync, which trues up each end user’s mailbox. Final Sync migrates emails that have arrived since Initial Sync, and also updates their Office 365 mailbox to reflect any other changes (such as add/modify/delete) they’ve made at the folder and item level on their original mailbox since the Initial Sync was performed.
Test mail flow.
c. SKOA will pop-up and tell users they have 5 minutes to finish their work before the migration will begin. If no action is taken, SKOA will then restart Outlook with the new Office 365 Outlook profile. Email form Office 365 will flow immediately, local data will be migrated, and data from Office 365 will begin syncing to the new Outlook Profile.
c. Exchange Online is now available via the Outlook Web Application (OWA).
d. Any user who has not provided their password by the migration date can easily have their mailbox migrated on-demand with zero partner involvement. After the switchover they will check their old mailbox, click on the link in the final SkyKick email, and provide their password and download SKOA. This will begin Server Sync and have SKOA flip their Outlook profile automatically.
f. SkyKick sweeps the source email server for 72 hours in the rare case that an email is delivered there and migrates it to the Office 365 account. Note: Do not disable the source email for a minimum of 72 hours post migration, or until all users have been migrated.
SkyKick Tips and TricksThings to avoid
Avoid making changes in the Office 365 tenant prior to Migration Date. This includes changing Mailboxes, Distribution Groups, Shared Mailboxes, Aliases, Public Folders, unlicensed SkyKick admin users, Domains, Email Addresses, Policies, etc. This may interfere with the migration process.
Please do NOT enable email forwarding from the old email server. This may create duplicate items.
Please do NOT change the public facing webmail DNS record for email for 72 hours while SkyKick sweeps. This may break the final sync and sweeping process required for a zero-downtime migrations.
Please do NOT change passwords during the migration process. Connectivity to the Source email system and Office 365 is required for Migration Sync and SKOA to run.
If doing DirSync prior to the migration, make sure to remove the msExchMailboxGuid from DirSync before enabling DirSync. Go to the SkyKick Learning Center in Migration Sync to find details on enabling DirSync.
What activities do partners typically spend time on?
Project Management. While the application suite is doing virtually all of the project work on your behalf, reviewing the project and communicating with the customer is an important part of your migration offering. Use the Project
Management Application in the Partner Portal to monitor the real-time status of your project
Desktop Readiness. SKOA runs on PC’s running licensed Outlook 2007 versions and later. It detects Office 365 readiness and auto patches Outlook when needed (about 20% of mailboxes) and identifies desktops that require Service Packs to work with Office 365. We find that 2-4% of PC’s require Service Packs. When this is discovered you and the customer POC will be notified of specific users that require Service Pack updates. You may need to work with the customer/end user to facilitate theses updates. Outlook 2003, webmail, and Mac users are emailed instructions for how to access their mail via web access on Office 365. If you upgrade Outlook 2003 to a newer version prior to the migration, SKOA will automatically work.
Order Edits. You can make self-service changes to the migration project anytime via the Project Management Application. On the Email Account page under the project, you can add/remove/change Individual mailboxes, Aliases, Distribution Groups, Shared Mailboxes, and Public Folders up until 4 hours before a migration.
DNS changes. If you’ve selected the Partial/Self-Service option, the PMA application will Alert and email you with the exact changes that need to be made at the precise time. If you don’t perform the changes on time, the application will detect this, and may Alert you that your migration has been put on hold.
Active Directory. If AD is present in the customer’s environment, we recommend you install the SkyKick Exchange Assistant Beta (SKEA) to automatically perform required AD changes at migration time. If you want to perform these changes yourself, the PMA will email you instructions on changes required at migration time. If the changes are not made at migration time, SKOA will not perform any changes to end users’ Outlook, and mail flow to Outlook may be delayed until the changes are made.
Directory Sync. The SkyKick Application Suite does not automate Directory Sync (DirSync) to Office 365, so please plan accordingly. However, please note that the SkyKick Application does not require DirSync to perform a migration. If Directory Sync is requested by the customer, SkyKick’s recommended approach is to perform the DirSync prior to
completing the Web Planner. There are specific configuration requirements that need to be followed for a smooth SkyKick migration, such as enabling Mail Enabled Users (MEU) at migration time. Visit the Learning Center under Migration Sync to view DirSync configuration instructions.
Mobile Devices. The end user communications includes easy to-follow instructions to update mobile device to connect to Office 365. You may wish to provide assistance to any users having difficulty.
Day after Migration Switch. Answer customer questions about their migration and/or new Office 365 email system as needed. Generally not much support is required since data has been successfully pre-migrated, new Outlook profiles have been created and connected to Office 365, and Office 365 email is flowing into users’ Outlook.
During the entire process, our team of Office 365 Migration Specialists is standing by to answer any questions and provide support. We look forward to working with you!