Beyond the Build

Continuing Education

From Our Server to the Clouds on Both Coasts

Over the last week or so, we migrated from an onsite server closet to the Microsoft Office 365 cloud, for our email, Excel, Word and the rest of the Office suite. I will not say that the transition has been without headaches or easy, but I was told the change was for good reason.

A few thoughts, should you be considering this kind of move:

  • While the migration cost is substantial, I think overall expense is a drop in the bucket compared to the purchase of an exchange server, maintaining it, and maintaining individual copies of all the software. Never mind the reduction in frustration when the server is down.
  • We will be able to access our data applications anywhere we have an Internet connection on any type of device. While services like SkyDrive may offer a similar service, the additional features of SharePoint, Lync and OneDrive make our conversion even “sweeter.”
  • Upgrades happen routinely and transparently ,whenever they are offered. No action is necessary from our IT group, which will be a real plus.
  • Beyond our data being stored in two “clouds,” we will be maintaining one physical server for even more redundancy. Going forward, there is never a fear of losing any data.
  • No matter how much we spent on our firewall, I was always worried. With our new setup, I’ve noticed a substantial drop in spam email already.

I am glad we took flight and made the move, and hopefully I will still feel the same in a few months. We will see.

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Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.