Post Go Live Approach to a Google Apps Deployment

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A Post Go-Live deployment is the scenario in which you perform a data migration only once and where this migration begins after you have already taken your users live on Google Apps. This is commonly done for three main reasons:

  1. You have a time sensitive need to be on Google (or off the old platform) that prevents waiting for the initial data migration to occur.
  2. You are performing a client side migration and would like the migration to take place only once to simplify communications, consolidate support efforts, and prevent the chance of human error in data duplication.
  3. You are performing a PST migration and would prefer to perform the migration only once rather than having to duplicate the PST migration process both prior to and post go-live.

Advantages in this approach

Performing a migration only once, opposed to running both an initial and delta migration, simplifies logistics and communication within the IT team as well with end users. One migration also reduces the possibility of human error to duplicate migration of calendar and contacts, which can be more of a concern when allowing end users to perform client side migrations. This approach also allows you to move your organization to Google Apps rather quickly without the need to wait for the transfer of data, but still house the data in the new system completely at a later date.

Disadvantages in this approach

The greatest disadvantage in this approach is the state of flux your users are in during the migration. Users are working in a live environment that is consistently importing data into it and can cause confusion and support issues. You also have no idea how the migration will perform prior to taking your users live. There could be issues in data integrity or the tool simply not working properly that may prevent the migration of data being feasible, only to be realized after you have made the switch.

Considerations in this approach

If the migration period post go live is relatively slow and over a lengthy period of time than the same issues you may see in the Greenfield approach could potentially arise in this deployment as well. Depending on the speed of the migration and the nature of end user workflows, this may or may not be an issue. Overall, users will likely have a poor experience if the importing of data affects their daily workflow.

It is common to see a hybrid approach to the Post Go-live Deployment in which a small amount of recent mail is performed prior to going live and the bulk of the mail is migrated once the users are live.

Although the Post Go-Live approach can help simplify a Google Apps deployment, it can also disrupt the daily activities of your end users. Since you do not know how the migration will perform prior to going live this approach can be riskier than other approaches.

This article is Part 7 of Google Gooru’s Comprehensive Guide to a Google Apps Deployment. To access the entire guide for FREE, please fill out the form located here.

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