When I was an IT Partner, I performed over 200 Office 365 migrations, and just about every project had its own unique variables. In many cases, these impacted the scope of the project, and if they were discovered after the statement of work (SOW) was completed, they had the potential to increase costs, resulting in either reduced profitability, customer dissat, or both.
One way I addressed this was to use SkyKick Discovery Services to quickly uncover detailed information about the source email environment before creating an SOW. It’s a FREE service and the outcome is a detailed Office 365 Migration Report of the source email environment, including:
- Individual Mailboxes
- Shared Mailboxes
- Public Folders
- Distribution Groups
In addition to a detailed Migration Report spreadsheet, the discovered objects automatically populate the Review Accounts page in the Migration Planner.
Tip 1 - Use the Discovery Services inside Migration Planner up front with the customer
I added Discovery Services and the Migration Report into the sales cycle of every Office 365 email migration project. This differentiated me from competitors by providing:
- A heightened level of trust in my work because I could provide insight into the actual environment, showcasing my expertise, experience, and knowledge.
- A more accurate SOW because I had a more comprehensive view of the source email environment.
- Reduced time in the sales process by performing an assessment on the first call.
- Improved engagement with the customer, as discovery provided both value to the customer and a foundation for consultation on the first call.
- A better position to upsell additional services to address discovered information, rather than having to explain later why the SOW had to be adjusted.
Once a potential customer showed interest in an email migration, I would offer to do a screen share of the Migration Planner with them. It doesn’t cost anything to use the Migration Planner, so the Discovery Services are free to use.
All that’s required is the username and password of an active mailbox on the migrating domain. Instead of asking for that information, I would give the customer keyboard access, and let them enter the data themselves. That would address any hesitation they may have to provide their credentials, would further engage them in the discovery process, and would distinguish me from partners who may require either an onsite assessment or that the customer provide required information.
Tip 2 - Provide a Migration Report to the customer
Once we were done, I would export the Migration Report from the Migration Planner. From this comprehensive report, I would create a spreadsheet for the customer, containing the most critical information for them to review or edit.
I would also instruct them to add any mail objects hidden from the Global Address List (GAL) that they would like included in the migration, as those are not visible to the Discovery Services.
Tip 3 - Sell more and earn more trust through consultative migration planning
Discovery Services, the Migration Report, and the Migration Planner equipped me with the knowledge and tools to:
- Provide valuable consultation to each customer regarding the configuration of their email migration to Office 365
- Establish agreement on the scope of the migration project
- Identify and discuss potential source server and DNS-related issues that may impact the project
Discuss email objects and what to do with them
The information discovered in the Migration Planner and displayed in the Migration Report provided the foundation for consultative planning with the customer. A very common example of this was when many more email objects were discovered than the customer was aware of, e.g. mailboxes of former employees. This discovery before the SOW not only avoided scope creep, it gave me the opportunity to provide valuable consultation with the customer as to how to address the mail in these mailboxes.
If the customer determined that they wanted to keep the email data from that mailbox, I explained how they could do that by migrating the mail to a Shared Mailbox in Office 365. They would pay for the migration of the data, but would not have to pay for a license in Office 365.
Agree on scope of project
Once completed, the customer and I would have clear agreement on both the number of items to be migrated and what would be done with each. I would have the customer sign off on this list, which would serve as my blueprint for configuring the migration.
On several occasions this detailed list provided clarity when a customer reported a mailbox that didn’t migrate. Because it wasn’t on the list, rather than a point of conflict, it became simply an item to be added to the contract and a cost to be added for the project.
Identify and discuss potential source server or DNS issues
In addition to uncovering the email objects, Discovery Services tests multiple protocols and URLs to identify the highest-fidelity protocol and connectivity to the source server. This information is useful to determine the effort level of the project and/or any additional services that may be required. E.g. a customer may not be aware that their email source is POP3, which would require the SkyKick Outlook Assistant to migrate the email data, as it is stored on the client, rather than the server.
Discovery Services also uncovers the DNS Registrar. This reduces manual effort obtaining this information, and provides ample time to test Name Server access before cutover. This may also uncover unknown DNS issues that would otherwise impact the project and/or require additional manual effort. This additional effort could then be included in the SOW.
Try SkyKick Discovery Services for free!
To see for yourself how it works, start a migration project, and progress to the Review Accounts Page. Remember, with SkyKick, there is no charge until cutover, so any activity you do in the planner is free to try!