Microsoft’s recent announcements about the improved Office 365 Import Service and Auto Scaling, Highly Scalable Archives are great news for those companies moving to Office 365 and looking to remove local copies of PST files. It also clearly shows that Microsoft understands the scale and scope that legacy data presents to companies. However, I do question if it goes far enough?
If your PST files are all in one place, if you know who the owner is, and if they don’t mind being discounted from their PSTs, then the simple answer is yes, maybe it does. But that is a lot of ‘if’s and buts.’
In reality that is not the case for most. PSTs are typically spread all over the place, local drives, network shares, etc. and PST files are used on a daily basis, so asking users not to access their PST for a period of time will very likely be met with a firm ‘NO’, and the potential impact in their productivity needs to be considered.
Let’s also not forget the PSTs that users have either forgotten about or just don’t use anymore and have disconnected from Outlook. How do you go about finding them and determining who is the actual owner of the data? Plus, that data is very likely going to contain important sensitive information.
Mind the Gap
This is where I believe the current offering from Microsoft doesn’t go far enough for many companies, and where third-party tools can help — for example, Barracuda’s PST Enterprise solution. With its ability to discover all PST files regardless of location, determine the owner by scanning the content and migrate data directly to Office365 while the PST is still connected to Outlook, PST Enterprise can become invaluable when it comes to PST Migrations.
So, to sum up, yes the latest announcements from Microsoft are a good step in the right direction and for some will be a great solution. However, for those with more complex PST migration requirements, tools such as PST Enterprise have a key role to play in a successful Office 365 migration.