Posts tagged "Google Apps migration Tool"

Domain Migration for Google Apps – Alias Swap with Zero Email Downtime

Looking to make your Google Apps alias domain the primary domain name while minimizing email downtime?

Many clients have an alias set up and in use on an existing primary domain and will be migrating in order to have the alias domain become the primary. This post will show you how to swap your alias and primary domain using ShuttleCloud and an external MX forwarder.

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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.

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 to as the primary Google Apps domain.

Client Background

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 domain as an alias under

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 domain was moved to an alias under from the Google Apps management console.

With this method emails would still be received under the new domain and users could receive as well as reply to messages with the new domain name without any loss of email. Just like the way that now directs to, emails addressed to accounts at are sent as an alias account to 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.  

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 setup as a part of the 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 domain as an alias under 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 to 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.    

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 With the name change to Clean Coalition, the organization also wanted to move their email to the 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.


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 domain as an alias under their existing Google Apps domain, This became problematic, however, because users were still logging in with their old 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 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 to 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