Microsoft plans to start customer migrations from BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite) to the Office 365 cloud suite in September 2011. The effort includes a detailed Transition Center and Transition Forum. But I wonder: How will smaller MSPs, VARs and cloud services providers potentially assist the customer migrations?
If you read Microsoft's documents about the migration processes, it's clear that the shift from BPOS to Office 365 will involve far more than a flip of the switch. Microsoft's detailed transition guide ([download id="27"]) is 18-pages long. And to Microsoft's credit, the software giant is directing customers to Office 365 channel partners that can assist the transition.
Generally speaking, I don't think there will be a "huge" migration from BPOS to Office 365 -- because generally speaking, I don't think the BPOS installed base is all that large. Back in March 2011, Talkin' Cloud pinpointed Microsoft's top 10 BPOS partners ; top partners on the list only had about 125 BPOS end-customers, not exactly an overwhelming figure.
Exchange Online 2007 to 2010
I suspect the largest migration will involve shifts from BPOS Exchange Online 2007 to Office 365 Exchange Online 2010, simply because hosted email has been a killer app in the cloud.
But how much money can channel partners actually make from Office 365 migration and consulting services? I don't have a clear answer to that question -- at least not yet. Microsoft says the typical transition will involve three phases:
- Planning and preparing (typically three to six months);
- actual transition (48 hours; typically a weekend); and
- post-transition configurations (24 to 48 hours) and new feature deployments (typically one to two weeks).
In theory, each of those steps could add up to a lot of consulting hours for Office 365 channel partners. But we're poking around for a reality check.