Successful Business Integration

“Office moves can be quite daunting (even without the coinciding migration!), it’s our job to reduce the stress that changes to IT infrastructure can cause. In this instance I feel as though we achieved this goal, allowing staff at Poole Martin to pick up from where they left off.”
Rob Eeuwens, Flair 4 IT

The Challenge

Our existing client Venture Insurance purchased neighbouring firm Poole Martin, seeing staff numbers increase to 22. We needed to ensure a completely seamless transition with minimal downtime or loss of productivity.

The Solution

Having worked on previous projects with Venture Insurance we knew their infrastructure well and so were chosen to complete this integration.

Poole Martin were running Exchange 2003 for their email, and storing their data both on a file server and locally on their PC’s. We needed to migrate their emails to Office 365 and back-up all data and transfer to SharePoint.

We also needed to complete the physical move by transitioning users from their previous Poole Martin office across to the Venture Insurance site, ensuring all users were successfully connected to the network.

The Process

Rob, one of our Microsoft certified consultants, managed this project and discovered fairly quickly that integrating two separate companies isn’t always a straightforward process.

Unsupported Hardware

Following the initial project planning and audit, a number of challenges arose. Prior to the transition, Rob communicated with Poole Martin and discovered they were running XP on their workstations and Server 2003, neither of which are supported by Microsoft.

Once these issues were recognised, Rob stressed the necessity for the new machines and ten new laptops were purchased and the existing PC’s rebuilt with Windows 10 in plenty of time for the physical office move.

Insufficient Internet Connection

All automated migration methods require a consistent connection between the on-premise server and Office 365, due to severe bandwidth constraints at the Poole Martin site the migration could not be performed from this location nor could the standard automated migration method be used. Instead this was scheduled to take place at the Flair 4 IT office where Rob knew had sufficient bandwidth for the job and wouldn’t delay the progress of the move.

  • Company data was backed up to USB
  • Company data was uploaded to SharePoint/Office 365
  • User mailboxes were exported to .PST and imported to new user account within existing tenant
  • Incremental copies of email and user data were performed during the course of the migration (direct from Poole Martin site)

The Loose Ends

All new Venture Insurance users were set-up with a new email address and emails from their existing address were redirected, ensuring absolutely nothing would be missed.

Rob made himself available on site during the physical move to complete all additional networking tasks – connecting printers and scanners, ensuring all cables had been patched and everybody was able to access the network successfully.

This also gave all users the chance to ask any specific questions related to their set-up or data.

 The Result

Poole Martin were seamlessly integrated into the Venture Insurance infrastructure with no unplanned down time.