SkyKick Revamps Office 365 Migration And Backup Suites

SkyKick, developer of popular tools for facilitating Microsoft Office 365 migrations and backups, on Wednesday significantly revamped both those core products.

The "major overhaul" to SkyKick's cloud migration and backup platforms was driven by recommendations from partners, who wanted more control over and visibility into their projects, said Todd Schwartz, co-founder and co-CEO of the Seattle-based startup.

"One of the things we heard from partners was they wanted more visibility into what our automation was doing and more control of that automation," Schwartz told CRN.

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The latest release enhances SkyKick's Office 365 migration suite with a new user interface that delivers granular visibility. It also adds control buttons that execute important email migration functions, mailbox configuration options and more ways to manage devices.

With the new migration platform, partners can start, stop and reset desktop setups remotely, which saves time troubleshooting, Schwartz said.

The updates to the backup platform improve the browse and search experience and for the first time enable partners to restore entire folders and accounts for Microsoft's OneDrive for Business storage service. SkyKick also introduced more powerful SharePoint backup capabilities.

Both releases give partners direct control over all the functionality they need to manage their engagements, he said.

"New interfaces can see what's going on deeper with the algorithms and take more granular action at the user, device level," Schwartz said, "and that's a lot of the stuff that partners were asking for."

SkyKick has about 5,000 global partners.

Mike Prussack, a Windows engineer at Seitel, a Seattle-based SkyKick partner, said the new capabilities will help his company get customers into the cloud even faster.

Seitel has worked with SkyKick tools since the early days of Office 365, "when everyone was still trying to figure out how it was going to work," Prussack told CRN.

"If you ever had a flag come up in your migration saying something couldn't get set up, you pretty much just had to call support and they would look at the back end and see what the issue was and help you resolve it," he said.

With the new tools, which Seitel helped beta test, "instead of calling support we can dig into the migration dashboard," Prussack said.

Ross Jordan, CTO of Connecting Point, a managed service provider based in Greeley, Colo., recently conducted a full Office 365 migration using the latest SkyKick release in which a call to technical support was averted by the new capabilities.

SkyKick "makes the projects the same no matter who the clients are," Jordan told CRN. "We turn on SkyKick and it will take care of most of it."

Past iterations of the platforms, looking to simplify the interface, hid functionality from partners. That left situations where they had no choice but to seek assistance from the vendor.

The new interface empowers the partner. "Essentially, I can click a button and fix this rather than having to have them click a button," Jordan told CRN.

Last year, SkyKick introduced upgrades allowing partners to directly embed SkyKick capabilities into their own websites and custom-built tools.