Quest sees strong channel role in new Quest on Demand Migration module

Quest on Demand Migration has been sold since the end of March, but is being officially announced at Microsoft Inspire. All of the deals which have closed in the quarter plus since it has been available have gone through partners.

A year ago, at the Microsoft Inspire partner event, Quest Software announced the availability of their new Quest On Demand SaaS platform. Today, as this year’s Microsoft Inspire event kicks off, Quest is formally announcing the availability of Quest On Demand Migration, a new module for the Quest on Demand platform.

“The On Demand story is about navigating the transition that many on-prem organizations are making to SaaS based delivery,” said Brad Kirby, Director of Product Management in the Quest Microsoft Platform Management business. “We announced Quest on Demand in July with two modules, one around Policy Management for Exchange and  Skype for Business Online, and one for On Demand Recovery. This new tool, for On Demand Migration, is a tenant-to-tenant migration solution. Our goal for us is to build a comprehensive migration and management solution for Office 365 and Skype.”

Kirby indicated as well that two additional modules will soon be available on the On Demand platform.

“An On Demand Audit module is currently in tech preview, as is one for On Demand group management,” he said. “They are available for end users to test out now, and we are excited about both of these.”

Kirby said that Quest has been satisfied with the progress on Quest on Demand’s first year.

“It has been fairly in line with expectations,” he indicated. “We had assumed it would take some time to get them off the launch pad because our sales organization has had to get used to pitching it, and the subscription sales motion is different, but we have closed some large deals for On Demand Recovery. On Demand Recovery also collaborates with an on-prem integration with our Recovery Manager, and we have had good success with that as well. Some customers want SaaS for some applications, but for others, especially things like audit, they want to remain on-prem.”

The new On Demand Migration solution has actually been available to purchase since March.

“We are formally announcing it at Inspire because it makes sense to do so,” Kirby stated. “We have already closed half a dozen deals.”

To date, the channel role in the On Demand Recovery solution has been basically limited to fulfillment.

“On Demand Recovery has been primarily direct, although partners fulfill,” Kirby said. “We hope to change that over time. However, since we brought On Demand Migration to market in March, all the deals have been delivered through a partner. The migration piece tends to be a partner-led motion.”

“Between 80 and 85 per cent of the migration business as a whole is partner-led, and we expect the same pattern for On Demand Migration,” said Ron Robbins, Senior Product Manager at Quest.

Quest also sees migration as being well-suited for a SaaS solution specifically because customers don’t want to deploy infrastructure for a time-based project like migration.

“We saw a need in the market for tenant-to-tenant migration specifically,” Robbins said. “That wasn’t something that Microsoft did itself. Our competitors do it for email, but we provide a holistic approach with OneDrive and SharePoint and the other Office 365 stacks. We don’t handle Sharepoint yet, but in the near future, we will be able to migrate it tenant-to-tenant as well.”

Tenant-to-Tenant Office 365 migration facilitates the consolidation of two separate Office 365 tenants in one, regardless of their size.

“Much of this business is M&A-related, as it is ideal for that purpose,” Robbins noted.

A pre-migration discovery and assessment is built in to the solution.

“It applies logic to determine if any issues will come up,” Robbins said. “Migrations are complex and have lots of possible gotchas, so this built-in pre-migration discovery allows you to find things like people having duplicate user account names, or if there are stale users who don’t need to be migrated at all.”

A co-existence ensures that information is available to both source and target users throughout the migration, with the directory information copied and forwarding addresses set automatically.

“Migrations take days, weeks or even months, so you need a way to set up co-existence until they are finished,” Robbins said. “We have set it up to share data between two disparate targets so they can schedule appointments even if the user on a non-migrated source is sending to one that had been migrated. This also does profile processing, with an easily deployable agent that points the user to the new tenant.”

Real-time monitoring is facilitated with a completely automated process, so that user groups can be scheduled for migration in batches or individually.

“There are a couple more things coming around the corner,” Robbins added. “We are adding to One Drive capabilities by migrating prior versions of the data so they can revert back if they want. We will be adding domain name coexistence, which will allow users to share a domain name between two different tenants. When an acquisition takes place, this will make all emails look like they come from the same company from Day One.

“In addition, we can back up all of Azure Active Directory before migration to easily roll back if something goes wrong, but users will soon be able to audit changes that take place during the migration. This is in tech preview now, for release during this calendar year. An increased level of integration with our on-prem Change Auditor also needs to occur, and will be released some time this year.”