Boston-based Integrated IT is an award-winning firm that offers a range of IT services, all designed to complement and support each other. While their expertise includes security and compliance, telephony, and business applications-based project work, first and foremost they’re a managed services provider. Hundreds of organizations rely on Integrated IT as their “in-house IT department” or to augment their actual in-house IT staff. Supporting Office 365 is an important part of this.
Low turnover leads to client loyalty
“Our very low employee turnover,” shares Jay Patterson, Executive Vice President of Sales, “helps set Integrated IT apart. Many potential clients tell us that one of their biggest complaints about other providers is the turnover of their engineers. They’re tired of seeing a different engineer each month, and having to start explaining their problem all over again. Needless to say, they’re happy to hear that the average tenure for our engineers is 10+ years!”
This high level of consistency and expertise is undoubtedly one of the reasons why Integrated IT’s clients are so loyal. With a churn rate below five percent, Integrated IT can truly say that their clients are “committed for life.”
Fully embrace the cloud
When the cloud became more than a buzzword and Office 365 started to take shape, the Integrated IT team jumped in with both feet.
“We became evangelists,” Jay says. “We took Office 365 to our clients—and moved most of our clients to the cloud—because we knew it was the best thing for their needs.”
Manual Office 365 migrations equals profit loss
However, once Integrated IT started moving clients to Office 365, they quickly discovered that doing migrations manually was very labor intensive, cumbersome and accident-prone. Plus, because it was next to impossible to properly scope out a migration when doing it manually, they were losing money on these migrations.
“Working manually, we could not accurately predict how long it would take to physically move mailboxes and reestablish profiles on user machines,” Jay recalls. “There were too many unknowns and moving parts. So we would guess that the job would take, say, 100 hours, bid 120 hours to be on the safe side, and then get in there and discover that it was actually a 150-hour project. We needed a migration tool!”
Standardizing on SkyKick’s Migrations Suite
As a large Microsoft partner doing large migrations, Integrated IT had a close working relationship with the Microsoft team. Microsoft recommended they try the SkyKick Migration Suite.
“We actually didn’t put the tool through our normal vetting process,” states Jay. “We simply took Microsoft’s word for it and gave the SkyKick Migration Suite a try. After we completed the first few rollups with SkyKick we realized the benefits that SkyKick’s migration tool brings to the table: automating the process, reducing our workload, providing a seamless user experience and making migrations more profitable. We were hooked!”
A clear view of the environment
One feature of the migration tool that the Integrated IT team has found especially helpful is the ability to scan the environment to get a sense of what the migration might look like. They’ve seen many situations where the prospective client’s description of the environment was not accurate.
“A lot of organizations have neglected their IT environments,” Jay observes. “They haven’t done any cleanup in years, and it’s a mess. Running the tools tells us things they don’t know about their environment. For example, after a potential client tells us they have 250 users, SkyKick’s migration tool will tell us there are 320 users in Active Directory, and 340 mailboxes in Exchange! Knowing what’s actually going on lets us create accurate bids, streamline the migration and make the new environment exactly what the customer wants it to be.”
Make SkyKick’s Cloud Backup a requirement
“We decided to offer an Office 365 backup solution,” recalls Jay, “because we quickly realized that Microsoft’s definition of ‘backup’ was not our definition of ‘backup’ or our clients’ understanding of ‘backup.’ Clients tend to think, ‘our stuff is on Microsoft, so it’s protected.’ Even when we explain that Microsoft isn’t backing up their environment in a way that would let them go back six months and restore a single message from their CEO’s mailbox, they still don’t get it—until they actually need to restore that message. Which means, if they don’t have a robust backup solution in place by then, it’s too late.”
Integrated IT put SkyKick’s Cloud Backup for Office 365 through their normal vetting process and found it is very easy to deploy, build and manage. Now it is a critical product line for their business.
“Anybody who’s selling Office 365 to clients without informing them of the product’s backup limitations is being negligent,” states Jay. “In fact, backup is so critical that we’re considering making it a requirement for any client that is on one of our managed services programs. In the past we have even gone so far as to purchase it and put it in place for some of our VIP clients after they declined the service. When something went wrong we were able to restore the data and save the day. After that happened, one client was so appreciative they insisted on paying us retroactively back to the point at which we had turned the service on.”
Advice for other partners
Jay’s advice for other partners that want to successfully integrate SkyKick’s migration and backup tools into their practices:
- Utilize the training that SkyKick offers and listen to the guidance from people who’ve done it more times than you. Follow the roadmap. It’s worked for others for a reason.
- Take advantage of SkyKick’s new Standard Bundle for Office 365, which includes both the Migrations Suite and Cloud Backup.
“The people at SkyKick have been great and have always helped us get to the next level” Jay says. “They’ve taken a serious look at anything we have brought to them and quickly come back with thoughtful responses. Nothing is ever brushed aside or ignored.”
By using SkyKick’s solutions, Integrated IT is able to simplify and provide accurate estimates for the migration process and offer a robust backup solution that allows everyone to sleep better at night.