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Microland Executes a Flawless Tenant-to-Tenant Migration Following the Merger of the World's Two Leading IT Distributors, Achieving Significant Cost Savings Through Asset Optimization
About the Customer
The client, by virtue of a merger between two leading IT distributors is now the world’s largest IT distributor offering services spanning across hardware, software and licenses. Faced with disparate collaboration systems, the merged entity needed to swiftly unify their infrastructure to cut costs. The client was looking for a technology partner to migrate two separate domains to one combined M365 tenant. The goal was to foster an internal culture of collaboration and empower the client to consistently deliver value to their customers.
Following the merger, the client maintained separate M365 tenants for their daily operations, each hosting Mail, Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint, PowerApps, and Stream data. However, this approach led to a diluted brand identity and confusion among both employees and end customers. Furthermore, the local IT teams had difficulty managing both tenants and were unable to handle M365 workloads seamlessly. In addition, the legal framework in the countries where they operated mandated the consolidation of the entity and technology into a unified structure. The primary objective was to rebrand the combined entity.
In Microland’s extensive experience in M&A support, choosing to operate with separate M365 tenants post-merger presented significant collaboration challenges. These included difficulties in shared document access and communication, inevitably leading to heightened complexity in managing user identities and security. This, in turn, had the potential to impact overall efficiency and cohesion within the merged entities.
Considering the scale of the operation to consolidate the infrastructure of the merged entities, Microland set about rationalizing, consolidating and implementing M365 policies across the entities' tenants to achieve a unified user experience by adopting the following approaches:
Validation & Assessment
Microland adopted a business consulting-led approach to thoroughly assess and evaluate the tenants, configurations, and policies of both entities across all M365 workloads. During this process, our consultants identified significant variations in policies between the two tenants. Building on this discovery and the comprehensive assessment of the M365 environment, our services team worked collaboratively with the client to formulate a business integration plan. Based on this, we proposed the following options:
- Greenfield Migration: Migrate all workloads which includes Active Directory, Messaging, SharePoint Online, Teams) from both entities to a new environment independently.
- Brownfield Migration: Consolidate entities in the following manner.
Option 1: Consolidate Entity 2 into the existing Entity 1 environment, covering Active Directory, Messaging, SharePoint, Teams, Stream, PowerApps etc.
Option 2: Consolidate Entity 1 into the existing Entity 2 environment, covering Active Directory, Messaging, SharePoint, Teams, Stream, PowerApps etc.
Phase-wise migration of workloads as mentioned below.
Phase 1 – Build Greenfield Active Directory & Migrate Entity 2 & O365 Services to Entity 1 tenant.
Phase 2 – Migrate Entity 1 Active Directory to Greenfield Active Directory environment.
The above options were evaluated against the following parameters to arrive at the preferred choices:
Consolidation Design and Approach
The Microland services team collaborated with business units from both entities, meticulously assessing technical, business, and legal options to determine the optimal migration approach. Additionally, we unified policies across Mail, Teams, SharePoint, and OneDrive to deliver an integrated and seamless user experience. The unified policies were then evaluated and approved by the IT leadership of the entities.
As part of this phase, the team undertook the following high-level activities:
- Streamlined User Experience: Users experienced a consistent and simplified experience across all M365 applications, reducing confusion and the need for multiple accounts. Users within a single tenant collaborated effortlessly, vastly improving teamwork, communication, and resource sharing such as documents, calendars, and contacts.
- Single Sign-On (SSO): Implementation of SSO across a single tenant simplified the login process for users, enhancing both convenience and security.
- Centralized Tenant Management: Streamlined user provisioning, policy enforcement, and overall system maintenance enhanced efficiency and reduced administrative overhead.
- Simplified Licensing: The consolidation of tenants not only eliminated the need for duplicate licenses but also ensured optimal subscription utilization, resulting in substantial cost savings.
- Security and Compliance: Consistent application of security policies and compliance measures across the organization ensured uniform data protection and adherence to regulatory requirements.