We often get the question from partners – “What is the difference between the Outlook Assistant and Server Sync, and how do they work together in email migrations to Office 365?
At the high level of migrating email data…
- Server Sync automatically migrates email data from the source server
- Outlook Assistant automatically migrates local email data when required and automatically reconfigures Outlook,
- without interrupting End-Users
The SkyKick Outlook Assistant tool is responsible for the migration of local Outlook profiles, Outlook settings, and, depending on a number of factors such as email source, local configuration and settings, the data in the Outlook PST itself.
SkyKick’s Server Sync technology is the most accurate, and highest quality way to move data from a source email server to Office 365 (read more in this AMI Whitepaper that ranked SkyKick the best tool for Office 365 migrations). In addition, Server Sync is powerful for partners because it reduces risk and saves you time. With Server Sync, you can pre-migrate all the data and at migration time, Server Sync will run a full-fidelity final sync which accurately trues up the mailbox – even if changes are made hours before the cutover date. This allows you to migrate all the data in advance so you’re aware of any issues and all the data is sitting securely in Office 365 before the cutover. No racing the clock post cutover trying to get all the data moved! Furthermore, it’s completely automated so you don’t have to manage migration passes.
Server Sync also includes an unlimited number of migration passes. It syncs as often as necessary to get the job done.
Working Together – Outlook Assistant + Server Sync
The Outlook Assistant works in conjunction with Server Sync technology. There are many factors which determine when data is migrated by Server Sync and the Outlook Assistant, though don’t worry the migration sync engine will figure it out for you.
But at a high level, the server protocol (IMAP, POP3, Google, and Exchange, etc.) of the migration determines the role that both the Outlook Assistant and Server Sync play in a migration. In IMAP and POP3 scenarios, the Outlook Assistant plays a more integral role in migrating local data. This includes calendar and contact data for IMAP and the entire primary .PST data store for POP3 migrations. In most Exchange migrations, email, calendar, and contact migrations are performed by the Server Sync technology and the Outlook Assistant is responsible for the Outlook reconfiguration and migrating settings such as signatures and address autocompetes.
Here is a link to a great Office 365 migration comparison chart to see which tool migrates which data when email is migrated to Office 365 from Google, Exchange, IMAP and POP.
If you want to just move the server side data, try our Data-Only tool. Though most partners see that Outlook Assistant + Server Sync offers the easiest, least risky and most robust way to move data no matter what the scenario.