Throughout 2020, it is estimated that 78% of employees in mid-to-large organizations will leverage the capabilities of Microsoft 365 and Exchange Online. Like many others, UGA recognizes Microsoft 365 and Azure Cloud as the leaders in enterprise collaboration and cloud computing. To demonstrate this recognition to our customers, we have launched our Microsoft Companion Program.
Our Microsoft Companion integration with Microsoft 365 helps organizations execute more efficient, timely, and cost-effective migrations from Exchange on-premise to Exchange Online. EAS delivers preservation of inactive user mailboxes at no additional cost, and it provides a unified repository compatible with virtually all enterprise-wide content types for organizations to perform federated eDiscovery, enterprise search, and intelligent retention. Industry analysts predict that by the end of 2020, 90% of all regulated organizations will preserve messaging content other than email, up from less than 50% in 2019; furthermore, with this need to retain additional content, Microsoft’s strict supportability of native Microsoft content types poses challenges for regulated enterprises. As the world’s premier data archivists, our sole focus on federated archive integrations allows organizations to maximize their Microsoft 365 subscriptions.eDiscovery. According to Gartner, by 2023, more than 70% of enterprise IT leaders will upgrade to end-to-end eDiscovery software to reduce time and legal spend, which is up from 10% in 2019. The amount of time it takes for resources to perform discovery on multiple repositories adds up, drastically reducing employee productivity by wasting valuable man-hours. While Microsoft 365 supports discovery across native Microsoft content types, EAS provides discovery capabilities on all archived content, generated from virtually any additional data source. Federated EAS Discovery helps organizations save time spent performing multiple discovery searches on disparate repositories; furthermore, it helps enterprises save review costs by culling down results for export.
- Enterprise Search. With the ability to search all archived content from our EAS Search Plugin for Outlook [supports Mac and Windows], EAS Search Plugin for OWA, web-based EAS Anywhere, and EAS Mobile [dedicated application for iOS and Android devices], EAS provides an unrivaled federated search experience for end-users. Even from the EAS Outlook Search Plugin, end-users are able to find their file, social media, or instant messaging content in addition to their email content. Federated enterprise search helps organizations boost employee productivity, as individuals are able to use granularized and lightning-fast EAS search in order to find their desired content through a single optic.
- Intelligent Retention. As the global volume of data doubles every two years, enterprises are in desperate need of a mechanism to control their data footprint. While regulation mandates that some content needs to be retained for a certain time period and other content needs to be retained for a separate time period, EAS allows organizations to assign retention in as many different segments as needed. Federated and intelligent retention-setting allow enterprises to compliantly preserve and dispose of content on an extremely granular basis to reduce their overall data footprint, mitigating the risk of discovery against legacy content.
Migration to Microsoft 365
EAS has a unique bi-directional connection with Exchange Online that allows for the quickest, safest, and most cost-effective migration to Microsoft 365. Not only can EAS receive information from both a Microsoft 365 journal feed and from user mailboxes, but it can also “talk back” to user mailboxes in order to alter objects or insert stubs, which are linked directly to the archived content. If you have an existing EAS archive, migrating stubbed content to Microsoft 365 will drastically accelerate your migration time, as you are only moving a portion of the total data volume. This strategy, in turn, will significantly increase your time-to-value for adopting Microsoft 365. With this migration strategy, EAS will populate Microsoft 365 mailboxes with stubbed content, so users can view the entirety of their mailbox in a fraction of the time it would take to migrate the data in the standard approach. EAS’s stubbing capabilities provide a cost-effective means of migration, without any risk of data loss. Furthermore, with EAS’s adaptive hosting, it can now be deployed in Microsoft Azure or in a range of hosted alternatives to align with enterprise cloud initiatives.
Legacy Data Fees
While we have heard a number of organizations claim that they will not have to pay fees to Microsoft to store their legacy user mailbox information in Exchange Online, the resulting post-migration scenario has always been the same: each legacy user mailbox requires a P2 license [priced at $8/user/month] to be applied for long-term retention or legal hold. If a mailbox has no license assigned to it, Microsoft will automatically purge the mailbox in 30 days. If organizations attempt to use Shared Mailboxes as a means for compliant retention, Microsoft explicitly cautions otherwise [Shared Mailboxes can be altered and thus were not created for compliance archiving]. With EAS, our customers are able to store all of their legacy user information in the archive with no additional licensing or support fees.
Microsoft does not support journaling within a Microsoft 365 tenant. EAS provides a versatile solution in which rules are configured much like they are in on-premises Exchange. With seamless integration with the Azure cloud, our EAS 9.0 release provides the leading cloud archiving experience. The life cycle governance controls native to EAS are unrivaled in the market, providing unmatched control over your data’s storage location and retention schedule. For organizations that are archiving from a global Microsoft 365 tenancy, we are able to target specific users for journaling via your unique FQDN or different criteria such as Active Directory.
When archiving from Exchange Online, EAS captures data through an Exchange server, which acts as the MAPI client/journal recipient from Exchange Online and Microsoft 365. This approach ensures that a journal envelope is maintained as an immutable compliant reference of the email and that no data may be deleted by end-users. Discovery and retention are managed by you, while EAS manages the flow of data from Microsoft 365 data sources, and the access controls and permissions which allow it to be searched for and retrieved.
Historically journaling was only applied to email communication, however, with the advent of new platforms for improving productivity and collaboration in concert with increased regulatory preservation and monitoring requirements, the scope of compliant journal capture has expanded. In addition to maintaining these communications for compliance with frameworks such as the Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 17a-4, National Association of Securities Dealers 3010 & 3110, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, HIPAA, United States PATRIOT Act, California Consumer Protection Act, Japan’s Personal Information Protection Act, amongst others, journal archiving helps enterprises settle internal investigations, create a corporate history, and a ‘single source of truth,’ for the optimization of eDiscovery processes and employee self-service access to business information.
The Impact of Cloud-Based Productivity Apps on Journal
While many enterprises adopting Exchange Online and Microsoft 365 desire to take their journal to the cloud with them, this is not possible due to a Microsoft requirement that journal mailboxes are positioned as an external target that exists outside of the customer’s Microsoft 365 tenancy. Given the importance of the journal feed as the home of the “golden copy,” for compliance, and eDiscovery, many enterprises wrestle with how to best deploy their journaling practices within the new cloud ecosystem.
Journaling Microsoft 365 and Exchange Online Data to EAS
As a Microsoft Technology Partner, our current EAS feature set and development roadmap are thoughtfully designed to complement Microsoft 365, specifically with respect to critical data compliance considerations such as journal archiving and eDiscovery. With EAS 9.0 powered by PremCloud Adaptable Archiving, EAS Connect, and our Microsoft Companion, we make answering the question of “what to do with my archive journal,” easy by offering flexibility on the deployment side, and the ability to search, index, and journal hundreds of content types, rather than only the 58 native Microsoft content types.Simply stated, EAS is one of Exchange Online, Microsoft 365, and the Microsoft Azure Cloud’s best friends. With our PremCloud adaptable hosting, and ability to deploy journaling to on-premises, hybrid-deployed, or cloud-deployed via our MAPI/HTTPs protocol, EAS offers the most diverse range of options for configuring your Microsoft 365 journal feeds. Powered by our EAS Connect applications, enterprises can seamlessly integrate their journal configuration to work with Microsoft 365, whether for data produced in Exchange Online, Microsoft Teams, Yammer, Slack, and over 450+ unique file types and formats.Prerequisites to set up journal archiving in EAS:
- Create a new mailbox in Exchange.
- In Exchange, configure the journal mailbox to archive all sent or received messages on a particular mail store.
- The NT account that is being used for EAS administration must have access to all journal mailboxes.
- Setting up archiving of journal mailboxes involves the following procedures:
- Select a recipient for the journaled mail.
- Specify the archiving rules for the journal mailbox.
- Create a task for archiving journal mailboxes
- Create a journal mailbox.
Select a recipient for the journaled mail. Note: Please consult your Exchange Administration team for assistance with journal mailbox requirements
Accelerated Cloud Adoption
The mission of this program is for PremCloud to be the catalyst for enabling our customers to successfully adopt, implement, and augment their Microsoft 365 and Azure deployments. This program is far-reaching and includes our industry-leading integration with Microsoft 365 and Azure, deployment models for customers who would like to offload on-premise servers to Azure, as well as the addition of new products to our suite to make it easier for Microsoft to accept content from many third-party platforms.
While Microsoft 365 offers a wide-ranging and incredibly powerful set of collaboration and productivity capabilities, it should serve as the foundation of your digital strategy, complemented by best-of-breed partners that bring specialized expertise in providing solutions to address the complex and ever-changing legal and compliance challenges faced by enterprises today. This technical brief will provide an in-depth review of how PremCloud provides the solutions to complete your digital strategy while addressing critical gaps in Microsoft 365.
- Azure Integrations. Supporting our Microsoft Companion program, we are evolving our platform to leverage a number of native components within the Azure framework, including the ability to write to Azure Blob storage for document stores, utilize Azure SQL on the backend, and utilize Azure Web Apps to eliminate the need for IIS.
Migration of Choice
Organizations transitioning from on-premise to cloud deployments need to critically assess where their information will reside and how it is going to get there. Data migrations give all organizations a cause for concern. The benefits of their new data residency must outweigh the cost, time, risk, and potential disruption amongst end-users. PremCloud Services provides our customers with the confidence, trust, and assurance that their most valuable asset, their data, will safely arrive in its new EAS deployment in Azure. Our approach affords our customers with unrivaled flexibility and time-to-value.
Powered by the PremCloud Migration Suite, PremCloud Services provides secure and timely migration of your archived data from a host of third-party archive platforms into your Microsoft 365 or Azure tenancy. Our PremCloud Migration Suite migrates data point-to-point, eliminating timely/costly steps in between and mitigating the risk of data loss in between the source archive and the final destination. We have performed countless successful migrations from platforms such as:
- EV (11,9, KVS 6)
- Commvault Simpana
- Dell-EMC SourceOne
- Bulk PST
Our PremCloud Migration Suite technology utilizes a deep and extensive integration with the Microsoft Graph API. This connector gateway enables point-to-point migrations from any archive repository directly into a Microsoft Exchange Online Mailbox [Microsoft 365]. The integration does not stop with just email data. It extends to other unstructured content that needs to be migrated into Microsoft 365, or our EAS Solution in Azure. Our PremCloud Migration Suite can also migrate file shares and other file archives directly to OneDrive or SharePoint repositories in Azure. In future releases, the PremCloud Migration Suite will support the ability to migrate directly to Azure Blob Storage, building off of our capability to write to these storage targets in EAS 9.0.
Hundreds of global enterprise customers have relied upon our archive platforms for many years. Our customers are all at various stages of evaluating the advantages of moving their mail and collaboration applications to Microsoft 365 and various workloads to Azure. The challenge of migrating the enormous stores of data to the cloud can be daunting. PremCloud Services provides these customers with our latest release of EAS, which can be deployed and fully operated in a customer’s Azure tenancy. For existing customers running on-premise deployments of archive platforms, we provide a roadmap for migrations and the appropriate lift and shift of existing infrastructure into Azure. Furthermore, if our customers want to operate in a hybrid deployment state, this too can be supported by the PremCloud Services team.
To further promote the adoption and migration of data to Azure, PremCloud Services utilizes our Data Detect dark data discovery platform as yet another means to help accelerate our customers’ adoption of Azure. Depending upon the size, age, and complexity of an organization, moving data stores to the cloud can vary vastly in difficulty.
Data Detect provides our customers with rapid visibility and understanding into their data stores and empowers organizations with the necessary visibility to make thoughtful decisions about the data they are preserving. Data Detect allows for the identification and categorization based on characteristics that are lost as data has metastasized. Characteristics such as what is the age of the data? Does it provide business value? Are there redundant copies of the data stored in multiple locations? What is the sensitivity of the data? All of these questions must be answered before proper disposition or storage strategies can be implemented. Questions like these and many others can be answered by Data Detect.
Furthermore, Data Detect provides our customers with the ability to take action on the data. Whether they choose to move it to a new repository in the cloud, delete it, encrypt it, or archive it, Data Detect provides the required insights to make accurate decisions about an organization’s data purpose and value before moving it to Azure.
Optimized for the Azure Ecosystem
Our development team is committed to enabling our platforms to leverage the full extent of the Azure ecosystem. EAS 9.0 delivers the ability to write archive data directly to Azure blob storage. EAS supports premium, hot, and cool block blob tiers and the ability to simultaneously write to redundant geo-dispersed Azure tenancies. This accessibility is available whether the archive software itself is deployed on-premise or in the cloud. Our customers can now seamlessly leverage the Azure storage repositories as document stores for the archive.
Coming in our next release, our development team will enable our customers to utilize Azure SQL and Azure Web Servers [an integral component of our platform deployment]. Our long term roadmap also includes supportability for Azure AD. We see this as just the start of a long-standing commitment to providing a seamlessly integrated platform optimized for Azure deployment.
In the past several years, there has been a transformational shift in how enterprises collaborate with the introduction of new electronic communication platforms. It is estimated by 2020, 90% of regulated organizations will preserve messaging content other than email, up 50% from today. Over time, we see email being displaced as the dominant form of business communication with the emergence of new content types such as:
- Instant Messaging [IM]: platforms such as Skype, Teams, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Yammer.
- Public and Business Social Media from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Short Message Service [SMS] and iMessage from mobile devices.
- Files and EFSS [Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing].
Organizations need to ensure that they have the appropriate solutions in place to archive, discover, and govern these new content types. PremCloud Services provides these critical services and solutions, as well as presenting this data to Azure data stores. Powered by our Connector Framework, we provide a comprehensive set of data ingestion mechanisms to compliantly collect communications from third-party platforms. The data is transformed and packaged for ingestion into Azure data stores. This framework delivers a single mechanism to archive and transform all of the electronic communications/collaboration across the enterprise. In turn, this should encourage the adoption of new collaboration platforms to power your business.