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SkyKick Offers Partner Tool for Office 365 Data-Only Migrations

SkyKick, the partner-focused Office 365 migration tools vendor, launched an individual component of its suite this week for times when customers only need their data migrated, as opposed to the usual start-to-finish migration project SkyKick's original tool was designed around.

The Seattle-area company's core product is SkyKick Application Suite, which started as a way for partners to automate and shorten what SkyKick positions as a 40-hour-process for partners to complete an SMB customer migration to an Office 365 environment from legacy platforms like Exchange, Windows Small Business Server, Google, IMAP or POP3. SkyKick also offers an Enterprise Migration Suite for more complex migrations.

The new release is called the SkyKick Data-Only application, and Co-Founder and Co-CEO Todd Schwartz described it as something existing partners asked for to help with a subset of their customers.

"Maybe 10 percent of customer migration scenarios are data-only," Schwartz estimated. Asked for examples, he provided three: "One is the deskless worker or kiosk worker, somebody who doesn't actually have Outlook and all that desktop setup. Another scenario is where sometimes customers have an IT staff and they want to do the project work themselves, but it's hard to move the data and they call the partner and ask them for help. Then there are always fringe scenarios -- maybe a customer has a lot of Macintoshes and project automation doesn't make sense."

Those data migration processes take up about 20 percent -- or eight hours -- of SkyKick's idealized 40-hour project. To rip out that component and package it as a separate offering, SkyKick had to make a few changes. For example, the standard migration suite uses a list of the old mailboxes to create new Office 365 user accounts. But the new data-only tool has to go back and match the customer-created Office 365 accounts with the old mailboxes, so SkyKick created a new engine for that purpose.

[Click on image for larger view.] The SkyKick Data-Only application automatically matches old mailboxes to new Office 365 accounts, helping partners avoid the time-consuming process of mapping relationships between systems.

Other features of the Web-based e-mail migration product include Server Synch for full-fidelity replication, automated management of the migration and a Migration Manager for real-time reporting and management of the process.

One practical application of the automation is the ability to see that both sides of the migration are up and responsive before you start, explained Co-Founder and Co-CEO Evan Richman. "You don't want to start moving the data on a Friday night and realize on Monday morning that mailboxes were not synching. This makes it very, very easy for the partner to make sure it's connected on both sides," Richman said.

The tool also prompts the partner in advance for necessary passwords, such as those needed to migrate public folders, and allows for provisioning new users on the fly if the data migration process turns up users that the customer accidentally missed in the pre-data stage of the migration.

The pricing for the data-only tool is $12 per mailbox retail with discounts available from distributors. It's not clear how that compares to the main suite's cost because SkyKick keeps that price under wraps. Schwartz did say that billing for the data-only package, like the main suite, only occurs upon completion of the project.

Also this month, SkyKick and Ingram Micro U.K. Ltd. announced the addition of SkyKick to the U.K. Ingram Micro Cloud Portfolio. The move into the United Kingdom follows SkyKick's recent hiring of Eric Jewett from Microsoft to head up an international expansion.

Ed's Note: This article has been updated to clarify that SkyKick doesn't publicly disclose the price of the SkyKick Application Suite. 

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 19, 2014