Ingram Micro Adds SkyKick's Automation Migration Suite For Office 365 Cloud Push

Ingram Micro is continuing its push for Microsoft Office 365 with the addition of SkyKick to the distributor's cloud arsenal.

Ingram Micro Tuesday said it will offer SkyKick's Office 365 migration suite to channel partners via the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace. SkyKick's Migration Suite is designed to help VARs, system integrators and IT consultants quickly automate an Office 365 migration project, said Todd Schwartz, CEO of SkyKick, Seattle.

"There have been data migration tools for the past 15 years. However, the problem was not the data; it was the project around it -- from the upfront sales cycle all the way to setting up desktops to work with Office 365," said Schwartz. "We created the migration suite to automate those tasks from all around it, essentially creating a virtual IT person to help [resellers] build a more scalable cloud practice."

[Related: Microsoft Puts Partners On Front Lines Of Office 365 Support ]

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The value of SkyKick is that it helps solution providers reduce the time to migrate customers to Office 365, said Jason Bystrack, director for Ingram Micro Cloud for Americas.

"SkyKick was brought on board because we recognized that our channel partner needed the right kind of services to handle migrating and on-boarding for Microsoft Office 365," said Bystrack. "It takes a lot of time to move data over seamlessly to the platform so this service which channel partners can charge clients for makes it easier, quickly and with no interruptions."

For Michael Goldstein, president of LAN Infotech, a Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based solution provider, SkyKick's most attractive attribute is being able to make all the tasks around migration much simpler and foreseeable.

"It makes life a lot easier with Office 365 migration," said Goldstein. "It makes the whole process predictable. Before, we'd run into issues where half way [through], a user's password was wrong. Now we have the information upfront for stability."

Through the partnership with Santa Ana, Calif.-based Ingram Micro, Schwartz said SkyKick will be able to reach more partners then ever.

"This deal enables Ingram Micro to offer our migration suite to thousands of their partners in their ecosystem and cloud practice as a value-added solution in adopting Office 365," said Schwartz. "We've grown through word of mouth and marketing efforts, but now it will enable us to reach thousands more partners, adding to the growth of our company."

In creating the migration suite, SkyKick took two and a half years to build up the product, which included talking to hundreds of customers, Schwartz said.

"There are five major phases involved in migration project automation including selling, [the] planning component, doing the migration with a lot of infrastructure, setting it up and managing it," said Schwartz. "With each phase, there are hundreds of steps within, and we have applied technology to each step to reduce partner efforts and risk significantly."

A cloud application migration project can take quite a while to complete, on average it takes 40 hours. However, SkyKick says its migration suite can reduce the manual effort by 90 percent to only about four hours on average ,said Schwartz. Via a web browser, SkyKick provides a web planner to plan the migration in real-time, a sales tool, a planning tool, and a desktop SkyKick assistant to automate the end users' settings.

"Email is mission-critical so you can't mess it up. We know partners take a lot of time and care to get it just right," said Schwartz. "Like a virtual IT project manager, it saves time so now partners can sell more Office 365 and accelerate that sales process."

As for Office 365, Ingram Micro sees demand continuing to grow this year, said Bystrack.

"We're seeing a continued, very fast growth with Office 365, and our partners tell us that it's becoming a bandwidth issue with their staff," he said. "SkyKick will help them do it faster and provide a billable service for their end client, and we are excited to have them in our cloud system."