In October 2020, Microsoft will end official support for the now-venerable Exchange 2010 email server system. This will mean no more technical assistance, bug fixes, or security updates — and given the importance of the information and files often contained within business emails, this is a compelling reason for the remaining users to view migration as a pressing need.
If your clients aren’t yet convinced, it’s vital that you make an effort to fully detail the threat inherent to continuing with an outdated system. Failing to persuade them would be strongly undesirable: not only would it prove trickier for you to assist companies with vulnerable setups, but it would also lose you the revenue that you would get through handling the migrations.
Our main piece on the end of Exchange 2010 support can help you with this. Assuming you manage it, the next question to answer is what kind of migration a given company should choose. There are several viable routes, and each has its strengths. As a reseller, it will likely fall upon you to make a specific recommendation for each client looking to migrate, and you’ll need to have strong and clear reasoning behind your suggestions.
Perhaps the most straightforward migration path, Exchange Online is ideal for any client determined to continue its use of Exchange but not very eager to invest more heavily in Microsoft’s cloud ecosystem. As the name suggests, it’s simply the cloud implementation of Exchange, and starts at a fairly low cost of £3 per user per month (not including VAT).
One of the smoothest options for making the move is starting by configuring a hybrid setup. This essentially shares all the on-premise data with the cloud setup, allowing you to subsequently remove the on-premise element and rely entirely on the cloud. The alternative is what’s known as a cutover migration — essentially a copy and paste where you immediately transition from one to the other — but keep in mind that it can be somewhat tricky.
Moving up from the isolated Exchange Online plans, you have the full Office 365 suite which encompasses Exchange along with services including OneDrive and Teams. The Business Premium tier starts at £9.40 per user per month (not including VAT) and includes a terabyte of cloud storage (not much for video editors, but enough for all the emails you’ll ever need).
While the migration process for Exchange is precisely the same, a given client may wish to simultaneously migrate away from older versions of Office applications, particularly since on-premise installations can lag behind due to weak machine performance (moving to cloud processes takes the demand away from local computers). If that’s the case, then bringing everything together in one plan is sure to be significantly more economical.
There’s every chance that you have some clients in need of overall cloud migrations. They might be running Exchange 2010 on Windows 7 installations, for instance (with support for Windows 7 having ended in January 2020), pushing them into dangerous territory and making it imperative that they move with the times as quickly as possible.
To those clients, you should most likely recommend Microsoft 365, the most comprehensive solution offered by Microsoft. It brings the entirety of Office 365 (also featuring Exchange Online) together with Windows licensing and myriad high-end security features to offer a superlative full-range SaaS suite. It’s the most expensive migration option by some margin, understandably, but it more than justifies it through the value it brings to the table.
While it shouldn’t be recommended, there are reasons why a given client might want to stick with an on-premise server setup: it might want to minimize the complexity regarding data security demands in the post-GDPR world, suffer from internet issues that could make relying on the cloud hazardous, or simply be reluctant to change how it operates.
In the event that no argument you present manages to sway that client, you could facilitate a migration to Exchange 2019, the latest on-premise version. Actually released in late 2009, Exchange 2010 will ultimately have received almost 11 years of support. A repeat of that treatment would cover an Exchange 2019 user until late 2029, giving them plenty of time to prepare for an eventual move to the cloud.
Getting support with migrations
Once you’ve discussed a particular client’s needs and recommended one of the migration paths we’ve reviewed here, you may well want some assistance with the migration process: things can get decidedly tricky when moving data and configurations from on-premise installations to cloud systems, no matter how carefully you prepare.
This is something we can help with. Once you have everything lined up, we can step in to handle as much or as little of the execution as you require. This can free you up to focus on sales instead of getting mired in the details — so get in touch if that sounds useful!