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Bits & Bytes
The BitTitan Blog for Service Providers
Meet Alstom, Exakis Nelite
Alstom is a global integrated transport system leader developing and marketing systems, equipment, and services for large-scale transportation projects. Following General Electric’s acquisition of two peripheral business units, Alstom Power and Alstom Grid, which also included the company’s Shared IT Service Center, Alstom had to rebuild their entire IT department from scratch, including a company-wide migration from BPOS-D to Office 365. For that, they turned to Microsoft Gold Partner Exakis Nelite.
The Challenge: Tight Timelines
Time was the biggest hurdle for this project. Alstom made the decision to move to Office 365 with nine months until the end of GE’s Transitional Service Agreement (TSA); however, GE’s IT team returned management of the alstom.com domain only one month prior to the end of the TSA. Moreover, no TSA extension was possible because Microsoft data centers hosting the BPOS-D services were being decommissioned, and Microsoft was not inclined to negotiate any extension. Initially, Alstom had expected to benefit from Microsoft FastTrack Center services to move the mailboxes. However, Alstom became no longer eligible for FastTrack due to the lack of the source messaging domain name and the risk that timeline may not be enough to recover all data.
Because of the tight timeline and large project size – 40,000 mailboxes totaling 140 terabytes of data – Alstom turned to Exakis Nelite, who in turn tapped BitTitan and MigrationWiz to help migrate to Office 365 and a new messaging domain.
Exakis Nelite chose MigrationWiz for its cloud-to-cloud migration experience and the ability to route this project through regional Azure data centers in Europe. MigrationWiz also gave Exakis Nelite better control and flexibility over what source items – mail, calendars, contacts, notes – were migrated, enabling Exakis Nelite to filter and move data by date range to expedite the transition.
With a small five-person project team and an airtight migration plan, Exakis Nelite was able to move Alstom’s 36,000 individual users to their new domain and onto Office 365. The flexibility to migrate items based on date ranges proved crucial – only the last month of data was migrated to primary mailboxes, allowing Exakis Nelite to complete this migration in under a month, with older items migrating to Exchange Online Archives in a second step.
This strategy allowed the team to migrate all 140TB of data and give users a smooth transition to the new systems. It also avoided the potential for severe network congestion when 36,000 individual users recreated their Outlook profiles and downloaded their .ost files on the same day. When GE returned management of the alstom.com domain name a month prior to the expiration of the TSA, the cutover of the domain name was straightforward with the addition of messaging alias.
“MigrationWiz gave us the flexibility we absolutely needed, so we could control what to migrate, and when. That was the critical factor that allowed us to complete a large migration, on a timeline we couldn’t control, with minimal impact on the business.” – Stéphane Detruiseux, CISO and VP Technology, Alstom.
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