MessageOps, a division of Boca Raton, Fla.-based Champion Solutions Group, unveiled a software tool Thursday that handles some of the technical heavy lifting when moving Microsoft customers from on-premise Exchange to the cloud-based version in Office 365.
Called Exchange Scout, the tool scans an organization's on-premise Exchange mailboxes and identifies all of the permissions, group memberships, forwarding and reverse permissions their users have set up, Chris Pyle, CEO of Champion Solutions Group, said in an interview.
Pyle said this helps speed Office 365 migrations because mailbox and group permissions can sometimes cause problems when organizations move to the cloud.
"We're seeing a lot of customers moving from Exchange on-premise to Office 365 in the cloud," Pyle told CRN. "In a lot of cases, people are finding that mailbox and group permissions aren't easy to migrate because there's no documentation of which ones users belong to."
Exchange Scout starts by mapping out all the email and group permissions within an organization, and then puts all this data into a .csv file, allowing it to be easily transferred over to Office 365, Pyle said.
This is important for organizations that don't know PowerShell and don't have the ability to run scripts for on-premise-to-cloud Exchange migrations, said Pyle.
MessageOps is offering Exchange Scout for free to customers that designate it as the Office 365 "partner of record" with Microsoft, which means it gets financial support from the software giant.
For customers that don't want to go this route, Exchange Scout costs range from $199 for 1-100 mailboxes to $4,999 for more than 5,000 mailboxes.
MessageOps is one of Microsoft's largest Office 365 resellers: It's the partner of record for more than 1.4 million Office 365 seats, and has more than 6,200 customers using its software, according to Pyle.
Pyle declined to comment on Microsoft's plan to offer free Office 365 migrations to customers sometime this fall. But that could pose a challenge for MessageOps and other Microsoft partners who've built Office 365 migration businesses.
Microsoft hasn't yet finalized its Office 365 migration plan, and sources told CRN it's continuing to evaluate its potential impact on the channel. In the meantime, MessageOps and other Office 365 partners are trying to raise their game to ensure customers won't be tempted by the allure of free migrations.
PUBLISHED AUG. 1, 2014