SYS3 Works With Software Development Group to Maximise Use of Internal Microsoft Benefits and Help Separate Email Infrastructure
SYS3 were approached by Hermitage Innovation Group to assist with a large-scale shift in their current Office 365 setup. The Group consisted of 4 businesses that co-existed on one very large Office 365 tenant. They wanted to streamline their email management by moving each business into its own tenant.
“Microsoft actually make this really quite complicated as you can’t have a domain in more than one tenant. Instead of being able to setup a new tenant, create accounts and migrate mail, we had a few more hoops to jump through.
Preparation was key here. The most important step was to perform a full audit of each business in the Group, noting any forwarding rules, group memberships and any external links that needed to remain in place post-migration. This required meticulous planning between SYS3 and HIG in order to ensure any business-critical functionality wasn’t lost, particularly between head office and the other businesses.
The process of detaching each domain and migrating to the new tenants was lengthy and required a 2-phase migration using a third-party tool. We performed one migration at a time, dedicating a separate weekend to each business in order to mitigate any potential problems and rectify any issues with communication with the other tenants.
With the exception of a few expected post-migration hiccups, the project was completed successfully. The saying ‘think twice, act once’ really proved to be the key to this projects success. As with any critical migration, proactive planning is key.”
– Nina Doherty, SYS3 Manager
A full, in-depth audit was critical for this project. We had to make sure every aspect of email collaboration remained functional post-migration. Planning how each business was to interact with the rest of the Group was also essential.
As standard, SYS3 always perform migrations out of hours, usually across a weekend. This not only minimises impact on staff but allows us to speed up the process by maximising available bandwidth.
If you have multiple businesses, there are pros and cons to having everything together or split into separate entities. If you want everything to be treated as a single company and have simple access to services such as Azure or Teams, then a single tenant may be the way to go.
But from a business continuity perspective, maintaining separate tenants means you’ll have a simpler time managing your email infrastructure. It’s also worth keeping tenants separate should you sell a business or division.
AN INTERVIEW WITH
Sylvana Cummings – Group Financial Director, Hermitage Innovation Group
“We approached SYS3 as we needed some expertise to co-ordinate and deploy the separation of our businesses into separate tenants. The separation project was business critical as we run 3 busy support call centres so couldn’t afford the downtime.
“Initially it was to make the most of free Office 365 licence bundles that you get as a Microsoft Partner when you purchase a Microsoft Action Pack.”
“I feel we have more control from an individual business perspective but have lost some of the group collaboration we had. Having said that, Microsoft are developing the ability for Group collaboration across different Microsoft tenants, especially within Teams.
“Absolutely. The professional approach to the separation helped us to avoid downtime for our businesses. All the necessary preparation was handled by them seamlessly so that we came into the office the next day and we didn’t notice the change at all! I would highly recommend SYS3 for IT and network support projects.”
Established in 1981, Hermitage Innovation Group is focused on developing software and has grown both organically and through acquisition.
Since incorporation they have completed 10 acquisitions and, with 5 software businesses in the group at present, continue to look to acquire further businesses that operate in niche markets.