Cloud Q&A: Metalogix's SharePoint Tool Cloud-Ready from the Start

Product Marketing Manager Dr. Steve Marsh explains to Doug Barney that the transition from on-premise to the cloud is easy when the cloud is already part of the plan all along. Third in a series.

As the SharePoint migration tool provider's Product Marketing Manager Dr. Steve Marsh explains to Doug Barney, the transition from on-premise to the cloud is easy when the cloud is part of the plan all along. Third in a series.

How different or similar is the cloud version of Migration Manager for SharePoint to the on-premise tool?
Our migration experience is the same for both on-premise and the cloud. As a long-standing Microsoft partner we have been working closely with them for a considerable period of time on their transition to the cloud. Therefore, we have been building our offerings with this in mind for quite some time.

What did it take to make the move to the cloud?
Working closely with Microsoft and our customers was key. From a technical perspective we needed to make sure that our methods and underlying code was compatible with what Microsoft mandated, and passing their performance and security framework for their cloud environments is testament to our success in this area. But, we also needed to ensure that our products were also going to be fit for purpose. We worked with a number of both Metalogix and Microsoft customers who were evaluating the cloud offering of SharePoint to ensure that the functionality of our solution fitted with their objectives for moving to SharePoint Online.

How does a customer make the transition?
The process is broadly similar to moving from one on-premise version of SharePoint to a different version or instance. There are some limitations with what Microsoft will allow in their cloud deployments of SharePoint, but the restrictions tend to be various customizations that are no longer required due to new functionality that is available in the cloud platform. A lot of the time that is the biggest problem with moving to a cloud instance of SharePoint. A lot of people will just take what they currently have on-premise and try to move it all to the cloud as it is, rather than evaluating what their current deployment actually does and, more importantly, what they need their cloud deployment to do. That's where we excel with our ability to reorganize and restructure SharePoint for their current business needs rather than lifting, shifting and repeating the mistakes of a previous SharePoint implementation.

Is there interoperability?
Again, this is one of the advantages of our approach to migrations and the cloud -- for us it isn't a one-way street. Flexibility is key, especially with something like SharePoint, which has the ability to grow and change with your business. Therefore, providing the capability to move both to and from the cloud is important for our customers.

What has been the customer reaction?
Very positive particularly relating to the above point. There is still a little bit of a fear factor with some cloud technologies and it's always good to have the safety net of being able to change a strategy if it is right for your business.

Fear factor aside, we're seeing a number of customers adopting SharePoint in the cloud in stages, or what is more commonly known as a hybrid approach. Some functionality is placed in the cloud and some is kept behind the company firewall/within their own datacenters and there is often a need to move content between the two.

What are the economic advantages?
Speed and ease of migration are the key elements that our customers cite as the primary economic factors for using Metalogix software as part of their cloud deployments. There is no point in trying to adopt a cheaper cost model for the cloud platform if it is going to take a lot of internal resources, time and effort to make the move.

Based on this experience, are you doing more cloud work?
Absolutely. As we look towards the launch of SharePoint 2013 and the next generation of Office 365 this presents an ever-increasing opportunity as more and more people start to make the transition to the cloud. SharePoint 2013 also presents a number of new opportunities for Microsoft partners with the new Office App Store which is an interesting area that we are investigating.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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