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New Service Helps Small Businesses Migrate to Office 365

Many of today’s small businesses were formed long before Microsoft released Office 365 to the public in 2011. Those businesses are working from a desktop version of the software, costing hundreds of dollars per workstation and requiring manual installation. In 2013, as those businesses see their versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access becoming outdated, they are faced with a choice: Purchase Office 2013 Professional for nearly $400 or pay $149.99 for Office 365 and always have the latest version of Office.

With the ability to download Office 365 for up to five desktops, laptops, and mobile devices per user, it’s no wonder one in five Microsoft enterprise customers have already decided to make the switch. These businesses will no longer have to worry about supporting different versions of Office for employees and the dilemma about upgrading every couple of years will be gone. The biggest step is making the shift from locally-based Office to the Cloud, including moving all files and user information from local servers and computers to Microsoft’s secure servers. Businesses also have concerns about moving Outlook to the Cloud, since so much of day-to-day operations relies on Outlook functioning properly.

A Seattle-based startup has a solution. SkyKick is designed to make the migration process a smooth, effortless one for small businesses. SkyKick is working with software partners like CyberStreams and Centarus to help small businesses make the transition to Office 365.

“To help partners move millions of small businesses to the cloud we tackled a huge technology challenge—how do we automate hundreds of project tasks, accounting for all the permutations of customer scenarios, and the thousands of different email systems that exist with small businesses?” SkyKick CEO Todd Schwartz says. “The SkyKick platform is designed to simplify that complexity at scale. We built a powerful engine under the hood, and an elegant interface on top—kind of like search. The result is the SkyKick Application Suite which simplifies migration projects so partners can sell more Office 365, with less effort and risk, while providing a superior experience for their customers.”

SkyKick partners with technology solutions providers to ease the move to Office 365 using three powerful tools:

  • Web Planner–The web planner helps small businesses assess their current environment and prepare for the move, all with an automated tool. The built-in Office 365 licensing assignment tool gives small businesses the pricing structure layout, letting them ensure Office 365 will meet their budget before making the move.
  • Migration Sync–SkyKick’s Migration Sync moves data over first to ensure nothing is lost. The migration tool is designed to eliminate downtime completely by moving all user and contact information and DNS settings over.
  • Outlook Assistant–Since the Outlook transition is a priority for many businesses, SkyKick has provided an app that reduces issues after migration, putting all Client-side data on the Cloud for a seamless transition.

For small technology service providers, partnering with SkyKick is a great way to help your small business clients migrate to Office 365. SkyKick doesn’t charge you until your client’s migration is complete and your clients never see the price SkyKick charges you for the service. For small businesses interested in easing the transition to Office 365, several businesses are offering the service. Visit SkyKick.com to find a partner near you.

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About Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

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