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Skykick Tackles Microsoft Office 365 Migration Headaches

Startup promises to reduce the pain for IT providers that help SMBs move from on-premises Exchange environments to Office 365.

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Automation is another key part of the puzzle, from switching domains to generating system emails notifying an end user that he or she hasn't completed a required task. In effect, it reduces the amount of at-the-desk grunt work for the IT pros involved. "When everything's set up and end users have properly followed the instructions and everything's going well, it's going to actually do a DNS change and a data sync and [other] settings and aspects of a migration which, typically, my team would have to do," Allen said.

As for the "button push" claim, Allen said there's some truth in it -- provided the Web Planner piece of the project goes smoothly and that the customer isn't problematic. "Assuming that everything has been properly discussed, once we're done with the Web Planner we simply press play," Allen said. "The rest of it is us sitting back and making sure nothing goes wrong -- and it doesn't, at least not so far. We haven't had a situation post-pressing that button where we have to freak out." CyberStreams has completed around 20 migration projects to date using SkyKick.

While some Office 365 work may be moving products and services like Outlook, Office applications, Lync, SharePoint and others towards a more integrated model, SkyKick is focused on email and legacy Exchange servers. SkyKick wouldn't handle a cloud migration for an on-premises SharePoint environment, for example.

Beyond that scenario, Allen noted that there are certain kinds of migration projects that might not be a good fit for other reasons. He gave SkyKick credit on that front, though, saying that the firm has no problem saying "no" to new business if the project is a bad fit for the platform.

In the bigger picture, Allen had this to say about demand for Office 365 among SMBs: "I would describe [demand for Office 365] as blowing up," Allen said, noting that more MSPs and similar IT providers are showing interest. "It's a pretty big deal."

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