Posts in "Google Apps Migration FAQ"

Google Apps Domain Migration Case Study: Lore

Lore, at the time known as Coursekit, reached out to us about migrating their domains in tandem with a strict timeline for their company rebranding.

Summary
Formerly known as Coursekit, Lore decided to change their branding. In order to do this, they also needed to change some of the back end functions of their business, which included moving their existing Google Apps domain data. The company decided to utilize ShuttleCloud, a company that is highly adept at performing cloud migrations, to migrate over from coursekit.com to lore.com as the primary Google Apps domain.

Client Background

lore-courses
Lore is a social network for learning, currently focused on course management. Started by students at the University of Pennsylvania to help turn their courses into communities online, the company was also a graduate of startup incubator TechStars NYC just like ShuttleCloud. Since being part of the TechStars summer 2011 class, Lore has seen adoption grow to professors at 600 colleges in their first semester live.

Originally Lore positioned itself against Learning Management Systems, like Blackboard, to make it easy for people to understand what the value of their service. Early on, this messaging, combined with the name Coursekit allowed them to effectively communicate their offering to the market. The company knew early on, however, that this name would be a temporary tactic, and to take the next step toward their vision of being the social network for learning, they would need something broader.

In April 2011, the company launched the rebrand from Corusekit to Lore, which is explained on their blog here.

Client Scenario
When Lore approached us about helping with their migration, it was clear to they didn’t want to simply place a band-aid on their Google Apps domain by just making their newly registered lore.com domain as an alias under coursekit.com.

There are a series of limitations that are connected with simply rebranding with an alias. Over time, it can become problematic to rebrand using this method. Instead, the company sought out the guidance of ShuttleCloud to help them move their Google Apps Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Docs and Sites.

ShuttleCloud’s Solution
One of ShuttleCloud’s project managers assisted Lore with moving all of their Google Apps cloud data using a managed migration format. This consisted of transferring Google Apps information for 19 users in total and the entire process was completed in five days, a very short amount of time. Once all of the data was moved over and data was verified the coursekit.com domain was moved to an alias under lore.com from the Google Apps management console.

With this method coursekit.com emails would still be received under the new lore.com domain and users could receive as well as reply to messages with the new lore.com domain name without any loss of email. Just like the way that coursekit.com now directs to lore.com, emails addressed to accounts at coursekit.com are sent as an alias account to lore.com. The end result is a complete domain switch for both customers and employees of Lore.

Managed Migration Benefits
The key benefits involved with ShuttleCloud’s managed migration process is the ability to work with a project manager to ensure a smooth transition. The managed migration process utilizes a set of procedures that enable minimal downtime and impact for users of a Google Apps domain. Communicating with the end-users of the timing of the domain switch is all that is needed. Since continuous business operations are incredibly important in the digital age, relying on the expertise of ShuttleCloud can be highly advantageous to ensuring a simple transition from one Google Apps domain to another one.

“Fantastic service. When hiccups came about, their team was on the phone and making things happen into the wee hours of the night.” – Hunter Horsley, Operations & Marketing at Lore, Inc

To learn more about the ShuttleCloud data migration process and how it can help organizations switch their brand while forwarding an old brand name as a domain alias, please check out our Google Apps to Google Apps domain migration page.

Google Apps Domain Migration Case Study: Bluedrop

Bluedrop acquired Serebra and turned to ShuttleCloud in order to execute a data migration between the two existing domains.  

Summary
Bluedrop utilized ShuttleCloud’s migration products and services in order to move Google Apps domain data due to an acquisition. The company that they acquired, Serebra, needed to have data migrated to the Bluedrop domain and then have serebra.com setup as a part of the bluedrop.com Google Apps instance with very little impact on their system.

Client Background
Bluedrop is a Canadian-based performance learning company. This includes training, courseware, learning platforms and simulations for both business and governmental organizations. Beginning over twenty years ago as an IT consultancy, Bluedrop now employs over one hundred people. As part of their mission to continue to invest in their business the company decided to purchase Serebra, based in Vancouver.

Client Scenario
Both companies were already using Google Apps domains and Bluedrop wanted to combine them both under the Bluedrop brand name.  The process would include adding the serebra.com domain as an alias under bluedrop.com and the end result would be all data merged into one domain under the Bluedrop brand name which all Bluedrop users would be a part of.  Additionally, Bluedrop’s legacy email users would also need to be migrated onto the new domain.  Bluedrop required a partner that would be able to complete this process smoothly in a matter of days using a hybrid migration solution.

ShuttleCloud’s Solution
To aid in getting data moved over from Serebra’s old domain, ShuttleCloud used a hybrid migration method. In order to move over all the Google Apps data from Serebra, a managed process was used that was guided by one of ShuttleCloud’s experienced project managers. This included moving all data for selected users – Gmail, Google Calendar, Contacts, Docs and Sites information from serebra.com to bluedrop.com. During the migration, there was no email downtime and minimal impact on users for all other Google Apps services.

For the migration of select legacy email accounts over to the Bluedrop Google Apps domain a self-service migration process was used. A simple portal like this one required users to enter in the relevant login information for their legacy accounts. By also putting in a contact email address, they were even notified when the process is complete. This allowed users the ability to start the migration process on their own accounts and was easy to do for anyone who wanted to move their messages over.

Hybrid Migration Benefits
In total, seven users from the Serebra domain had all of their Google Apps data moved over to Bluedrop using a managed migration. The remaining thirteen users were able to use the self-service migration portal to consolidate their old email data into the Bluedrop domain.

Using a hybrid migration model is beneficial for getting important data moved over to a new Google Apps domain. Domain-wide Google Apps service data is ideal for a managed migration where a project manager from ShuttleCloud is able to lead and guide the process along the way. Organizations that have users on legacy email accounts will benefit from a self-service process that allows the user to take ownership of their legacy data.

This can be done from a variety of hosted email providers that support IMAP such as AOL, Yahoo!, Zimbra, GroupWise, GoDaddy and Gmail. In the case of the Bluedrop migration, this allowed the complete migration process to complete in a very short period of time. All data was moved over within five business days.

“Top notch service with superior customer service skills.  Would recommend to anyone.”
– Brad Yetman, Manager, Technology and Infrastructure at Bluedrop

Google Apps Domain Migration Case Study: Clean Coalition

A nonprofit decided to swap from its alias under Google Apps to its main domain and used ShuttleCloud’s data migration services in order to facilitate the process.    

Summary
In an attempt to better convey their vision, Clean Coalition made the decision to change their name. Previously, the organization was called FIT Coalition and their email domain was fitcoalition.com. With the name change to Clean Coalition, the organization also wanted to move their email to the clean-coalition.org domain.  As part of the move to a primary “.org” suffix, Clean Coalition was also able to take advantage of the Google Apps pricing breaks afforded to non-profit organizations. The company relied on ShuttleCloud to assist with making the transition simple and easy for its end-users.

clean-coalition-windmill

Client Background
Clean Coalition is a nonprofit that works to make clean energy accessible in local markets. They do this primarily through the implementation of policies and programs aimed to raise awareness and influence energy providers to take action towards this goal. The organization was started in 2009 as FIT Coalition but in January 2011 decided to make a change to Clean Coalition. This was done to better communicate their goal of policy work and programming and better set forth their vision for the long run.

Client Scenario
To best promote Clean Coalition’s principles of promoting renewable energy resources, they made the decision to change their branding. To save money they decided to enroll in the Google Apps for Nonprofits program, which offers the basic Google Apps for Business platform to qualifying customers for free. For some time after they changed their branding, they simply used the clean-coalition.org domain as an alias under their existing Google Apps domain, fitcoalition.com. This became problematic, however, because users were still logging in with their old fitcoalition.com accounts.

They also had to deal with the limitations that come with using an alias in Google Apps for their primary branding. Google lists the technical limitations that this can cause a domain. Since that configuration was less than ideal, Clean Coalition reached out to ShuttleCloud to help them switch their Google Apps account to the clean-coalition.org domain, while also switching over to a Google Apps for Non-Profits designation.

clean coalition migration

ShuttleCloud’s Solution
A managed migration was proposed, which was accepted by Clean Coalition. This involved ShuttleCloud performing a migration of Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Docs and Google Sites data from fitcoalition.com to clean-coalition.org for 26 users. During this time, Clean Coalition worked through the process of gaining approval for Google Apps for Nonprofits.

ShuttleCloud used a forwarding process during the time it took to get the approval for nonprofit status from Google, enabling Clean Coalition to continue to operate business as usual until the switch was complete. Using ShuttleCloud’s proven migration methods, the organization saw little impact and tremendous upside, eliminating technical limitations and better executing their long-term vision for the organization.

The goal of a ShuttleCloud managed migration is to utilize the expertise of a project manager to aid the transition process. Since the ShuttleCloud project manager has done a number of managed migrations in the past, they can make the entire experience much easier for an organization that might not have experience with cloud data migrations or other technical issues that come with Google Apps.

In this specific example, MX forwarding was a key element to pulling off this migration. The account switch from Google Apps for Business to Nonprofit status is a bit more involved than other domain-to-domain cloud migration. Using ShuttleCloud’s managed migration process included extended MX forwarding in order to cover for any downtime that might occur during the switch and subsequent Google Apps for nonprofits approval procedure.

“ShuttleCloud was a great asset in our organization’s Google Apps domain migration. They made a complicated process very clear and manageable.” – John Bernhardt, Manager, Operations and Communications at Clean Coalition

Google Apps Domain Migration Case Study: Solve Media

Solve Media recently changed their name from AdCopy and used ShuttleCloud’s domain migration service to migrate their Google Apps data from the old domain to the new one.

ad-copy-solve-media

Summary
During its name change, Solve Media used ShuttleCloud to migrate data for fifty users from their old Google Apps domain to a new one. The migration from their previous name to Solve Media combined a proven data transfer method with customized timing, resulting in very little business impact on the organization. The end result was a new Google Apps domain with the legacy data from the old domain and the appropriate branding that Solve Media can confidently use when interacting with clients and the public.

Client Background
To reflect its emerging and specialized advertising technology, Solve Media chose to focus on the its new branding while phasing out all of the old company references.  Solve Media helps both online advertisers and publishers alike optimize their advertising strategies for maximum benefit. They do this by using their TYPE-IN technology, which requires viewers to type in relevant information regarding the advertising that they see.  This is somewhat like a CAPTCHA text entry but has more relevant context for users than just typing in a random phrase.

type-in-solve-mediaClient Scenario
Solve Media began using their new business name and created a solvemedia.com domain alias in their previous company’s Google Apps domain. It didn’t take long for the company to realize the limitations of using a domain alias in Google Apps (link to blog post regarding this here). They began to experience something known as brand confusion with their clients. Because of their presence the marketing and advertising industry, they were acutely aware of the problems that this could cause.

From a technical standpoint there were several issues. One problem directly affected employees of the company since they were still required to log in to their Google Apps accounts using the old.com domain name. Attempting to justify the reasons for logging into Google Apps with an outdated domain account can be perplexing. For users, their login credentials were still user@old.com at a time when they were now using user@solvemedia.com to send out emails after the brand transition.

The company also had to deal with the limitations of Google Apps functionality while using a domain alias, which are listed by Google here. These problems were directly related to the fact that their new branding was set up as a domain alias instead of as its own separate Google Apps domain.  That is where ShuttleCloud was able to come in and provide their expertise on data migration from the company’s previous domain over to a brand new Solve Media domain.

ShuttleCloud’s Solution
ShuttleCloud was able to provide Solve Media with a solution to their problems by moving their existing data from the old.com domain over to a brand-new Google Apps domain at solvemedia.com. This was done while keeping Solve Media’s specific timing constraints in mind. That meant zero email downtime and minimal impact on users for Google Docs, Contacts, Calendars and Sites functionality.

clean-coalition-migrationManaged Migration Benefits  
While using ShuttleCloud’s proprietary managed migration process, there was very little time users could not utilize all of their Google Apps functions. There was no downloading or installation of any software for the process to kick off. The entire migration was handled by one of ShuttleCloud’s experienced project managers, who is well versed in this specialized process.

During the migration Solve Media experienced very little impact on their day-to-day operations. Yet they reaped big gains in terms of having their brand successfully spun off into its own Google Apps domain. Users’ ability to work with their clients on time-sensitive projects was not an issue during the entire process.  The end result eliminated the problems associated with brand confusion as well as the limits of using a domain alias with Google Apps.

Ilia Fishbein of Solve Media had this to say about the process: “My company used ShuttleCloud to perform a large migration from one Google Apps account to another where timing and immediate account availability were crucial. We could not have asked for a better experience.”

To learn more about the ShuttleCloud migration process and how it can help your organization limit brand confusion, please check out our Google Apps to Google Apps domain migration page

How to Transfer a Google AdWords Account

While ShuttleCloud does not migrate AdWords accounts, Google provides instructions (below) to manually transfer a Google AdWords account.

1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
2. On the My Account tab, click Account access.
3. Click Invite other users.
4. Enter the Google Account email that you want to use.
5. Click Save Changes.
6. You’ll receive an invitation at your new email address with instructions for completing the changes.
7. To remove your previous Google Account email, return to the My Account tab and click Account access, then click Terminate access for the old email address.

You should now be able to sign in to your AdWords account using the new Google Account email and password.

More information is available here.

How to Migrate Google Plus

While ShuttleCloud does not migrate Google +, Google offers easy export and import options:

Export

1. Go here
2. Select “Choose services” at the top
3. Select “Circles”
4. You can select “Configure” to choose your output file – we recommend vCard
5. Click “Create Archive”
6. When the process is complete click “Download”.  Unzip the downloaded file.

Import
1. Go to plus.google.com with your new Google Apps Account
2. Click on the “Circles” icon at the top of the screen.
3. Click on “Find People” on the left.  Once you click “Find People” the tab right next to it will become “All Suggestions” (a drop down).  Click on “All Suggestions” and the drop down will reveal an “Upload Address Book” option.
4. Navigate to find the unzipped file and select it to upload it (there will be a folder with a file for each old circle – you will need to do this for each circle).

Note: We have experienced intermittent issues with the upload process, however despite the inconsistency this is still the best way to migrate your Google+ circles.