SkyKick, Synnex Ink Deal To Ease Office 365 Migration For VARs

"Turning on Office 365 is a piece of cake," said Rob Moyer, Synnex's vice president of Microsoft Global Business unit and cloud services, adding that getting the contents of existing email systems is the hard part. "That takes work," he said.

Full migration, including setting up the new system, also takes a lot of time, upwards of 40 hours, Moyer said. "SkyKick probably brings that down to two hours," he said.

[Related: Startup SkyKick Brings Migration Automation To Office 365 ]

Moyer, a former Microsoft executive, signed SkyKick even before the startup's public launch in 2013 with plans to add it to the Synnex Capture the Cloud Program. Other migration tools exist, Moyer said. SkyKick, however, is the only company to offer automation. And the timing is perfect, he said, "Because we're entering the steep curve in Office 365 adoption."

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VARs can easily step in and build a profitable service around migration because they don't have to hire extra staff to handle a messy migration, according to Moyer. "It's all about timing."

The Seattle-based startup was founded in 2011 by co-CEOs Evan Richman and Todd Schwartz, two University of California, Berkeley, graduates who identified the opportunity to help solution providers ease SMBs into the cloud with a one-stop product.

Synnex is a major step, Richman and Schwartz said. It's continuing the momentum of their launch and a great opportunity to "reach the VARs of the world," Schwartz said. In return, Synnex gains access to a powerful platform that is changing the way SMBs access the cloud. Synnex also receives a cut of licenses SkyKick sells through the Fremont, Calif.-based company.

Microsoft's basic SMB plan for one to 50 users begins at $6 per inbox per month, which can be canceled without a fee.

SkyKick requires no certification but offers online training. Solution providers register online and can immediately begin a project that handles the migration, from an analysis of the legacy email system and architecture to moving the data and settings.

SkyKick can move data from most on-premise or hosted POP3/IMAP/Exchange email systems with the exception of Lotus Notes, GroupWise and Zimbra. SkyKick does not support DirSync integration, which has to be set up independently after the migration into Office 365.

So far, SkyKick has been working with small IT shops like Bellevue, Wash.-based CyberStreams, Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based Modcomp and Centarus.

"You hit road bumps and challenges," said Centarus founder Dale Roberts. The San Francisco-based solution provider caters to organizations with staffs of five to 120, including the Oakland Museum of California, and it has been a SkyKick client for about a year and half.

"They make it easy," Roberts said. SkyKick is different than other products, such as Migration Whiz, for example, because SkyKick takes care of the entire package, is constantly refining the platform and is always accessible, according to Roberts. "That's why I love them."


This story was updated on July 2, 2013, at 10:45 a.m. PST, to correctly note that SKyKick publicly launched its cloud migration product in 2013, not 2012.