Planning your Migration

SkyKick offers two different types of migration, which you will need to consider before planning your migration. These options are Data-Only and Migration Suite, the features of which are as follows:

Note that help desk support is not included with the data only option. For this reason we recommend only using this migration option if you have IT resources in your organisation to support the process. 

Migration Suite
The migration suite brings all of your customers emails, calendars and contacts from their existing e-mail service to Office 365. In adition, permissions for mailboxes, shared mailboxes and public folders are also migrated. It includes account discovery, automatic Office 365 configuration, full migration planning, end user software re-configuration, along with assisted DNS re-configuration and support helpdesk.

Data Only 
This type migrates email, calendars and contacts for individual mailboxes, shared mailboxes and public folders, where the Office 365 tenant and destination mailboxes already exist. This method does not create shared mailboxes, reconfigure software on the user's desktop, nor include a helpdesk.

 

Initial Planning

The SkyKick Migration Planner is a comprehensive interface designed to help you accurately scope and effectively plan your migration before beginning the migration process. This tool allows you to identify what you need to know about the current email environment, outlines the scope of work you will need to perform, and generate a migration plan to your needs.

 

How do I start a migration project with the Migration Planner?

Portal will create your migration for you. To access your migration, please click the button in Portal, or in the email sent to you.

 Be aware that, if you choose to create a new project through SkyKick's planner, we will be unable to accurately generate your retail bill. Instead, please create your migrations through Portal.

Note: It’s free to use any of the Migration Planners. No action will be taken until the order is placed, and the source email system will remain unaffected throughout the planning process.

  • Start Page

    Start the migration plan by providing some basic information about the company and Point of Contact at the customer (POC). This information is used for creating the migration plan and provisioning the customer’s Office 365 account, if required. Some details are pre-populated by Portal, which can be edited if required.

    Note: SkyKick never contacts the company directly without your permission or by you configuring automated communications tools as part of the migration plan.

    1. Enter the Company Name: This information will be used as the name of your migration project in your SkyKick Partner Portal.
    2. Verify the primary email address: Provide the email address of the Primary Point of Contact (POC). The email address must be on the primary business domain being migrated. This is the person that will be receiving detailed information and updates (see Communications FAQ). Please do not use a test account when going through the Migration Planner. Also note that you can add multiple domains in the Migrations Sources Step (see below), but start with the primary business email domain.
    3. Verify the First Name, Last Name: The name of the Primary Point of Contact (POC) for the customer, and an alternate email address, if desired.
    4. Enter the Phone Number: The main phone number at your customer’s location. SkyKick will not contact the customer.
  • Migration Sources Page

    The Migration Sources page allows you to configure the source email servers to discover mailboxes for the migration plan.

    Email System Info (mandatory)

    The Enterprise Planner uses advanced search technology to minimize the amount of information required from the customer. Starting simply with the POC’s email address and password, the application will perform an on-demand analysis and assessment of the customer’s email system.

    From here, the mail architecture information including system mailboxes, aliases, distribution groups, and shared mailboxes will be discovered (if present). In some cases, the Migration Planner may ask for additional information such as Admin Credentials for the hosted email system or the webmail address for an on-premises server.

    Tip: Mailbox discovery is the most important and potentially most difficult step of your order placement. For the best mailbox discovery results, use an active email mailbox such as the owner, POC, or IT administrator. Our mailbox search technology requires strong signals, so fake or test credentials will yield poor results.

    If you are having trouble getting the correct credentials or login information, we suggest you watch your customer login to their current system and then use the exact same login credential information in the Migration Planner.

    Advanced Settings (optional)

    Migration Source Discovery in the Enterprise Planner give your more control and feedback on what is discovered at the source server.

    You can choose to use Discovery as you do in the SMB Planner and provide nothing more than an email address and password for a valid mailbox on the source server.

    You can optionally choose to provide additional information about the source server. You may want to do this if the initial email / password information is not successfully connecting to the source server or if there is a specific way you want to connect to the server, for example if the source server has a non-standard URI that you want to provide. To provide this information click Show Settings.

    Provide any additional information about the source system: email system type, connection protocol, username or URI to make the connection. All fields are optional.

    If a connection cannot be made, the Enterprise Planner has additional error messaging that can help you troubleshoot connection problems.

    Once a connection has been made, the Enterprise Planner shows you additional information about the source server. This allows you to check to ensure that the connection was made as expected and is using the expected protocol.

    Add Additional Servers (optional)

    You can choose to add additional source servers by clicking “Add additional server”. This can be either a different server entirely or a different domain hosted on the existing server.

    Enter the information required for discovery as you did for the first source server.

    Installing the Exchange Assistant (Optional)

    If an Exchange server supporting EWS is detected, the application will prompt you to optionally install theSkyKick Exchange Assistant. The Exchange Assistant supports Exchange 2010 and will provided the richest source server discovery in addition to other features. If you plan to use the Exchange Assistant in the migration SkyKick recommends saving the order and installing the Exchange Assistant at this stage.

  • Office 365 Page

    This page gives your customer a choice to either provide a pre-existing destination Office 365 tenant, or to have SkyKick provision one from scratch. If you or the customer has already setup either a trial or fully-functional Office 365 account, then enter the Admin credentials for that account. SkyKick will use this Office 365 account for the migration.

    Note: To ensure the Migration Application has continuous access to Office 365 throughout the migration, it is best practice to set the Office 365 Admin Account password expiration policy from the default to Never Expire.

    If you, or the customer, have NOT already setup an Office 365 account, SkyKick will provision the account and create mailboxes for you automatically. Simply select the country where the customer's business resides.

    Notes:

    • Microsoft requires that the country selected matches the Office 365 credit card info on file. Ensure you select the country that will match your customer’s credit card that will be used to pay for the Office 365 account. If the billing info on file with Microsoft does NOT match the country selected, this will cause an issue when creating the account.
    • If the customer would like to buy Office 365 licenses through Open you must contact your distributor to purchase the licenses and provision the tenant account before continuing with the Migration Plan. Once you have provisioned the Office 365 account with Open licenses you can return to the Migration Plan and enter the Office 365 tenant Admin credentials.

  • Review Accounts Page

    SkyKick will automatically discover the mail system architecture and information and then normalize it to work with Office 365. In this step, we collect mailboxes, aliases, distribution groups, public folders and shared mailboxes (as available). Use the Review Accounts Page to:

      • Finalize a Statement of Work (SOW): If you are still in the selling phase, the information in the Review Accounts page will specify the migration configuration, including which mailboxes will be migrated and how they will be configured in Office 365. This information will enable you to quickly ascertain and document the scope and complexity of the migration so that you can set your customer's expectations accordingly.
      • Submit a Personalized Plan to your customer for their review, if required
      • Add/Remove/Edit User Mailboxes, Aliases, Distribution Groups, Public Folders, Shared Mailboxes as needed

        Note: Depending on the customer’s source email system, there are some differences in the way that the Application searches for email system information. In all cases we will gather all the required information by the migration time. In some cases, the Application can gather almost all the information on the Initial Search which is performed immediately on this step. In other cases this information will come a few days later when the Application has been able to perform a deep search on the email system. No matter whether the information is provided by our search technology or changes you make to the plan at this time, the Application will make sure this information is correctly configured in Office 365.

      • Fancy Mode: Configure advanced email migration operations by separating mail routing from data migration
      • Bulk Fancy Mode: select large numbers of users to change domains, email username format and other actions across many users in one action
      • Select the correct Office 365 licenses to be purchased and/or assigned in Office 365.

        Note: If the customer or partner has already purchased licenses in their Office 365 tenant, the application will use those before purchasing additional licenses. If your customer requires Government, Academic or Non-Profit plans please contact Microsoft to purchase. Once they have been added to the tenant the Application will automatically detect the accounts for you to assign to Mailboxes.



  • Migration Type Page

    Choose how you would like to move users to Office 365:

    • Cutover: Moves all of the users in one group
    • Staged: Allows you to select users to move in batches. Staged migrations are available for Exchange (2007-Current)

    Cutover

    Select the date and time to switch the customer’s email system to Office 365. This is the time when the Outlook Assistant will flip end-user Outlook profiles to Office 365 and the MX record in the DNS zone file for the customer’s domain will be pointed to Office 365. The date can be changed later. For more information on the cutover process see DNS Sync.

    Staged

    Select the Final Cutover Schedule date. This is the date when all stage groups need to be completed when the MX record in the DNS zone file for the customer’s domain will be pointed to Office 365. Allow yourself time to schedule and complete your stages. This date can be changed later.

    1. Create stages and assign users by clicking the Create a stage button. Give the stage a name then select the migration date when the users will be cut over to Office 365. The migration date must be before the cumulative completion date. The earliest migration date is dependent on the number of users in the stage. The larger the number of users, the later the date required. This is to allow adequate time to collect end user information and fully sync their mailbox.
    2. Select a date for end user communications to start. This is the date when users will receive the email instructing them to provide their account password and download the Outlook Assistant. SkyKick recommends setting this date as early as possible to allow time to collection user credentials and sync mailbox content. Once a stage is created the dates can be modified by clicking the cog for each stage or the stage can be deleted.
    3. Assign users to a stage by selecting the users and clicking the Assign button in that stage. You can select users from the Unscheduled group or any of the other stages. You can also filter users from the filter drop down to sort by distribution groups or AD groups (if the Exchange Assistant is installed). You do not need to schedule all users at this point. Stages and users can be added or modified after the order is placed in the Partner Portal.
  • Settings Page

    Based on the discovered configuration of your source environment and Office 365 tenant, the migration planner will suggest a migration configuration.

    The planner will suggest a migration plan that aligns to one of two categories:

    Both types of migration can be configured to specification within the constraints of what is supported by the source environment and Office 365.

    The following options can be configured from the Settings page:

    Connection to the source environment

    Use and Deployment of the SkyKick Outlook Assistant

    • Via the Password Reception page (each end-user will be prompted to download and install theSkyKick Outlook Assistant once they have signed into the SkyKick Application).
    • Via Group Policy or other MSI deployment mechanism (deploy the Outlook Assistant silently without requiring end-user participation).

    End-User Credentials

    There are two methods you can use to gather credentials if you are not using SSI and Password Sync.

    • End-User: End-users will submit their credentials via the Password Reception page. If you choose this option, it is recommended that you activate End-User Communications so that the SkyKick Application will automatically email each end-user their unique Password Reception URL.
    • You: This option requires that you submit each end-users credentials on their behalf. If you export the migration plan you will be provided with a spreadsheet containing each end-user's unique Password Reception URL. You will need to complete Password Reception for each end-user in the migration plan.

    Communications

    • Disabled. If you are not deploying the Outlook Assistant via Group Policy/MSI, using SSI and have Password Sync enabled, this option is NOT recommended.
    • End User (recommended): SkyKick will send emails directly to end users on your behalf. Given the high volume and time sensitive nature of team notification, this is the recommended option. Once you and the company POC are ready, click Notify Team and SkyKick will send emails to the entire organization with simple (and time-tested) instructions on what is happening, and what they need to do. Refer to Communications FAQ section below for more details.
    • Point of Contact: SkyKick will send emails to the customer Point of Contact to forward to end users, and CC: you on them. It is important to notify the POC that they will receive a high volume of time-sensitive emails (4/user + nightly reminders).
    • Partner: SkyKick will send emails to you and you will forward them to end users. It is important to note that you will receive a high volume of time-sensitive emails (4/user + nightly reminders).
  • DNS Page

    There are three ways to use SkyKick to verify and move your customer’s email domain in Office 365. For more information, see the DNS Sync.

    Full Service

    Simply provide the Admin Credentials for the domain registrar that SkyKick detected and our DNS Sync technology will automatically perform the required steps to ensure a zero-downtime migration.

    The Full Service option is the best migration option. Our technology optimizes the DNS process to ensure zero email downtime, and zero effort on your part. Please note: customer’s domain registrar and ownership will not change. If needed, 1 week after the migration you can switch the name servers back.

    • Number of Tasks: 0
    • Expected Effort: 0 hrs.

    Partial Service

    If you cannot give SkyKick Registrar access, but are able to move the Name Servers to SkyKick

    This option is used when you want to take advantage of SkyKick’s automated domain re-delegation process and DNS optimization technology, but cannot give SkyKick access to the registrar to fully automate the move. It will ensure zero downtime at migration time, but will require effort and timely execution on your part.

    • Number of Tasks: 2
    • Expected Effort: 2 hrs.

    Self Service

    If you cannot give Registrar access and cannot move Name Servers to SkyKick, this is the best option to choose.

    This option requires more effort and expertise on your part. There may also be a 15-minute email delay (depending on customer/partner DNS zone file manager) for up to 48 hours, due to inherent Internet DNS propagation delays. Also, if you do not make the required changes at the precise time, the migration date may also be delayed.

    • Number of Tasks: 8
    • Expected Effort: 2-8 hrs.
  • Final Review Page

    This is the last step where you review your order, add billing information, and can set additional options.

    Order Summary

    This section allows you to review the information and choices you’ve made in the Planner. You can edit dates as well as export a summary of your order to an Excel spreadsheet.

    Configuration

    Select Advanced settings if you would like to customise your migration preferences

    Office 365 End User Account Settings

    • Password expiration: Defaults to 90 days. If this is unchecked password will not expire.
    • Auto-delete items in the Deleted folder after 30 days: Defaults to unselected.

    Note: If this is selected any items migrated into the Deleted folder that are older than 30 days will automatically be deleted by Office 365. This may not be expected by end users.

    Account Archive Settings

    Automatically turn on Account Archive if available: Defaults to selected. When this is selected the SkyKick application will automatically migrate items directly to the Archive, if required. The migration settings can be configured below. SkyKick recommends 35GB as the archive threshold during the migration to ensure that the mailbox does not hit its storage quota. If the mailbox fills to the storage limit new emails will not be able to be received.

    Server Sync Throttling

    Throttle Control allows you to specify the days and times when Migration Sync moves mailbox content and allows you to set the speed and volume of data migrating from low to high. This is useful for scenarios where a customer wants to minimise traffic on their network during business hours or for unreliable source servers that you don’t want to overload. Select between weekdays, weekends, specific throttle times and the servers to which you wish to apply throttling. You can edit these settings later in the Partner Portal order overview page. It may take 10 – 15 minutes for a Throttle change to take effect.

    Save or Place the Order

    Congratulations, you’ve finished creating your migration plan. You can now select Save for later or Place order.

     

    Note: As soon as you place the order the SkyKick Application will begin the migration process. This includes sending out communications to end users based on the schedule you selected and creating the Office 365 tenant account, if required. Please ensure you and the customer are ready for these processes to begin.

    You can make changes to many aspects of you migration plan after the order is placed in the Partner Portal. If you need to make a change and don’t see a way to make it, please contact SkyKick support support@skykick.com.

    At this point you can move into project management mode. SkyKick will be sending nightly reminders to the POC and End Users on your behalf. You should be monitoring the status of the project daily in the Partner Portal, watching for project Alerts and tracking the successful collection of passwords + SkyKick Outlook Assistant install rates.

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