Virtualization Technology News and Information
Why MSPs Should Act Now to Migrate Customers from Exchange Server 2010

By David Mills, BitTitan director of product management

Microsoft recently announced plans to push back its end-of-support deadline for Exchange Server 2010, extending the deadline to Oct. 13, 2020, from the original date of Jan. 14, 2020. In its announcement of the change, Microsoft cited it was aware that customers "are in the midst of upgrades to a newer version of Exchange Server on-premises, or more transformative migrations to the cloud with Office 365 and Exchange Online. 

"With this in mind, we are extending end of support to October 13th 2020 to give Exchange Server 2010 customers more time to complete their migrations," Microsoft stated.

For MSPs and IT professionals, there was already significant opportunity to facilitate migrations for customers who needed to upgrade prior to this announcement. Now, bells and whistles should be going off to alert IT pros of the enormous opportunity before them. The extension from Microsoft is the latest indication of the substantial list of clients who need upgrades, and that there is business to capitalize on for those who act now.

Why Customers Must Upgrade

The end-of-support deadline means that as of Oct. 13, 2020, Microsoft will no longer issue free security updates for Exchange 2010. This means Exchange 2010 users will no longer receive updates pertaining to security patches or bug fixes to protect their data within their Exchange 2010 system. They will face an increased risk of ransomware and malicious cyberattacks. Finally, businesses that fail to upgrade in time will find themselves subject to falling out of compliance, as running outdated or unsupported software could present legality issues, depending on the regulation standards of their industry.

Long story short: There is an abundance of disastrous scenarios businesses face if they don't act soon to implement upgrades. Organizations can't afford to wait until the last minute - migration projects require a significant amount of time to carry out, including the planning, deployment and configuration processes. This is especially true for enterprise clients that have larger projects to complete.

Migrating to Exchange Online/Office 365

The first option that is pushed most by Microsoft is upgrading to Exchange Online/Office 365. This makes senses for many reasons: It offers the latest feature enhancements, the entire Microsoft Office suite, and helps streamline adoption of current upgrades across your organization. It is most fitting for businesses that are ready to make the leap to the cloud and leave behind reliance on on-premises hardware.

But not all businesses are ready for a full transition to the cloud, and some may be wary of making their company liable to cost increases from Microsoft. Still, organizations can be hard-pressed to find a safer upgrade option with as many potential benefits to its business operations.

Migrating to Exchange 2016/2019

As mentioned, a full migration to the cloud may not be possible for some clients due to business reasons. For those customers that fall into this category, migrating to Exchange 2016/2019 would be their best bet.

By keeping their email on-premises, this option may allow businesses more command over email data, as well as a wealth of sturdy backup and recovery options. Migrating to Exchange 2016/2019 also ensures tech support and protection beyond the Exchange 2010 end-of-support deadline.

But take note: Businesses wishing to migrate to Exchange 2019 from Exchange 2010 must conduct a "double-hop" migration via Exchange 2013 or 2016. Should they use a third-party tool for the migration, such as BitTitan's MigrationWiz, this "double-hop" step isn't necessary and they'll be able to migrate data directly.

Exploring a Larger Workplace Upgrade

There is also a more comprehensive upgrade opportunity for MSPs and IT pros to explore with their clients. Exchange 2010 isn't the only product Microsoft is ending support for in 2020. The Oct. 13, 2020, date coincides with other end-of-support deadlines for Office 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010, all falling on the same day. Meanwhile an end-of-life date for Windows 7 is scheduled for Jan. 14, 2020.

The confluence of these deadlines presents an opportune timeline for MSPs and IT pros to propose a bundle of upgrades and migration projects for clients. They can look into a broader digital transformation or propose migrations to a hybrid environment for businesses interested in testing how cloud technologies can enhance their workflows and operations. IT pros can use this situation to modernize their customer's workplace plan and make sure their system is set for many years to come.

There's a plausibility that businesses still employing Exchange 2010 may be resistant to adopting these newer technologies. Implementing new digital workplace systems isn't always easy. This is where MSPs and IT pros must step in and assure their customers that making these upgrades is not only necessary, but the right thing to do. It will enable their clients to optimize their workflows, continue their operations safely and securely, and ultimately continue to grow their business. In the end, that's what it's all about - for MSPs and their clients.


About the Author

David Mills 

David Mills is director of product management at BitTitan, driving product strategy, defining product roadmaps and ensuring customer success. David is an experienced product management leader with more than two decades of industry experience. Prior to BitTitan, he worked as a principal consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a product manager at Microsoft and director of product management at Avanade. His areas of expertise include product planning, cloud infrastructure and applications, and marketing communication.

Published Tuesday, September 24, 2019 7:01 AM by David Marshall
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