The technical headaches that accompany mergers, acquisitions and divestitures are the stuff of IT nightmares. Moving hundreds of users from one computing environment to another is a process fraught with opportunities for error, leading to lost productivity, lost revenue, a lack of business continuity and a serious dearth of patience from the c-suite.

Managed services provider Logicalis set out to address the painful IT burden that comes with these kinds of transitions with a new Domain Flip Over solution, which it says makes migration and consolidation in the wake of M&A faster and easier. It’s a hybrid of automated technology and a consultative approach that allows for customized migration from two organizations to a single Exchange Online. The solution is an example of how partners can leverage their expertise and a few automated tools to provide huge value to their end customers.

“By reducing the complexity of the migration and the manual effort involved, this solution is particularly helpful to even the largest enterprise customers in getting through what would otherwise be a very long and arduous process more quickly,” says Wendy McQuiston, Director, Microsoft Professional Services, Logicalis US. “By doing this, we considerably reduce impact to the user community and, by extension, to the organization’s productivity. And because we incorporate an effective rollback strategy, we’re also able to reduce the risk of downtime and errors, giving our clients a faster and more reliable time-to-value.”

Logicalis says before you even think about embarking upon such a migration, there are some questions that need to be asked and answered in order to accurately scope the timeline and cost. In particular, there are four things your migration solution should be able to provide:

  1. Is there a size limitation? When two organizations combine, the number of users can spike dramatically. It’s important for IT teams to have a solid understanding of any limitations that may exist in the number of allowed workstations or users.
  2. Is there a rollback option? Here’s to hoping nothing goes wrong, but if disaster strikes, CIOs need a fallback plan. The Domain Flip Over solution, for example, allows users to move to a new profile while retaining their old one in the same domain. Whatever option you go with, make sure you can test new domains before pulling the switch.
  3. Do you have flexibility? The more rigid the IT process, the more headaches it tends to cause. Design your migration methodology according to what works best for your business, not some arbitrary, pre-determined process.
  4. Can you reduce costs? McQuiston says CIOs can expect at least a 20 percent reduction in costs with Domain Flip Over versus more traditional migration methods, depending on the project timeline. The lesson here is to put automation to work for you during the migration process as a way to reduce cost and risk.