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Need Advice on Moving to Google Apps

One of my clients has a small office with 10 users and is currently using Intermedia.com for hosted Exchange Mail. Some of the users are storing a lot of messages in Exchange, so the monthly bills from Intermedia are getting very high.

Considering leaving Intermedia and moving to Google Apps. Have never used Google Apps so would like advice from people who have migrated from one of the hosted Exchange companies over to Google Apps. What is involved in this type of migration? Does Google Apps provide all the functionality and features that Intermedia offers? Any drawbacks to switching?

This company has 10 users on Exchange Mail. Most users are using Outlook 2007 as their mail client, but a few users are on Mac, so they are using Mac Mail. Most of the users also have iPhones.

Thanks in advance.
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anuneznyc
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anuneznyc
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Jian An LimCommented:
if this is the intermedia you are saying, they themselves comparing with office365 and google apps.

http://www.intermedia.net/office-365

Again, it is just cost wise, Gmail app change too much (like outlook no longer do offline sync, and etc)
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the comments. Yes, we are currently using Intermedia.net...accidentally wrote .com in my initial post.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Does Google Apps give you the same email and folder synchronization b/t devices that you get with a hosted Exchange system?
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Allen FalconCEO & Pragmatic EvangelistCommented:
@Anuneznyc

Yes,  Google Apps provides synchronization of email, calendars, and contacts to any iOS device, Android device, and blackberry.  You can also run an app that gives you smartbrowser access to gmail, cal, and contacts on about 95% of smart phones available today.

The synchronization also exists for Outlook as well as other desktop/laptop clients.

Allen
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
So at just $5/month per user (and 25 GB of included email storage), why is everyone not ditching the more expensive hosting companies like Intermedia and moving to Google Apps?
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andrewpriceauCommented:
HI -

What is involved in this type of migration?
You have to look at 2 things - the technical implementation and the change management of going Google.

The first thing you need to decide , is the business need for email.
Are you happy with Outlook and just need a lower cost?
Would users be happy with a Gmail UI?
Are you looking to aid collaboration and communication?

Then you need to look at the technical components?
Do we need to migrate the data?
What will be end user experience with technical change?
What tools / bandwidth .. am i going to need to migrate data.


Does Google Apps provide all the functionality and features that Intermedia offers?
You will be able to store 25GB of data as well as be able to access your account via MAPI protocol - similar functions as exchange.. most likely more than you require for 10 users.

Any drawbacks to switching?
I can only see positive things for a company of 10 users.. + you will be able to get extra products at a fraction of the price such as archiving (Google Vault) Only thing to mention is that from time to time you will have to update Google Apps Sync if you continue to use Outlook, and sometimes depending on PC it can be a bit slow to SYNC form Google to Outlook, no need to worry if you always leave it open

iPhones.
http://support.google.com/mobile/bin/answer.py?hl=en&topic=14252&answer=138740
As you can see , Iphones are setup primary using Exchange ActiveSync the same protocal in use with exchange server allowing you to receive mail, contacts calendar, as well as your mail "pushed"

Outlook 2007
https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gappssync
Use the above link to install google apps sync, to sync your outlook profile with your google apps account, quite seamless.

Migration of data -
Easiest way will be to use - https://tools.google.com/dlpage/outlookmigration.
Use this on every machine to upload your profile data to each account on Google Apps

MAC -
Downside to using OSX is that you will have to connect up to Google via IMAP - or even better use to browser / Google interface.

For a team of 10 GAPPS is perfect enterprise soltuion for your business
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Andrew, thank you very much for your thorough response. Looks like moving to Google Apps is a good option for my client.

Would be happy to hear from others who have also made the transition to Google Apps.
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NetfloCommented:
Hi,

We have done many migrations from third part companies to Google Apps for Business. It's a great value product for small organisations in terms of security and product offering.

In addition to @andrewpriceau comments which are all valid. A few comments to add which we've found our users that are a little annoying is as follows:

- Out of Office cannot be set via Outlook, users will have to login to Gmail online and set it via there.

- Emails sent to a distribution group get delivered to all users except the sender - assuming the sender is a member of this group. This is because Google archives the message automatically. This can be found by browsing to the ALL MAIL folder and copying it across.

- Every so often Google will update the Sync tool for Outlook https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gappssync. When the user opens up Outlook, it will prompt them for their password, if the user presses cancel to that prompt, Outlook will go offline. This will require manual intervention, authentication and a little education that a password is required when prompted. Typically all users will see this prompt across the office.

- When performing the migration to Google, I would advise planning your migration carefully and over a weekend, as your email is on a providers network, your only option will be to switch MX records and get those who need their previous emails uploading ASAP.
If any of your users use laptops, get them to take their laptops home, as this will not chew into the company upload and something you can manage remotely.

- If you currently use Public Folders, you will lose that functionality and may need to purchase an extra seat on Google Apps, to function as your central public folder.

- Ensure your current DNS provider in the cloud, supports adding multiple MX records (5 to be exact), as this can be a limiting factor and something to take into account, especially if you need to move to another DNS provider.

- You can install Google Talk on client machines, which acts similar to MSN Messenger / MS Lync for users to be able to collaborate across the office, all conversations are logged and searchable too.

- You can grant access to additional mailboxes / calendars too, like in Exchange. This is known as the delegate feature on Google Apps.

- Sync of emails / calendar is not brilliant if you want to use the native BlackBerry apps. If you want to use the default apps, you need to configure IMAP and Calendar sync. Alternatively use app provided by Google for email sync. For all other devices which support ActiveSync, its perfect!

Apart from that, the product works brilliantly, support is great and uptime is fairly respectable too. Our own company uses Google Apps for Business, if you need more assurance than that. If you need any further assistance, get in touch.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the additional comments, Netflo.

I'm going to do the migration to Google Apps this afternoon.

The domain name is registered with GoDaddy. Do I have to change the MX record there or will Google do that once I sign up for the service?
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NetfloCommented:
Glad to hear. Google will advise you of the necessary steps required to change your MX records within GoDaddy.

Just work step by step through the initial process and if you have any further questions, be sure to fire a new question via EE.

Best of luck!
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
I made the change-over. Now I can access my email via Gmail, but I'm not able to set up my  email account in Mac Mail. When I enter in the user name and password in the "Add Account" wizard in Mac Mail, I get this error:
"Trying to log in to the Exchange 2007 server “owa020.serverdata.net” failed. Make sure the email address and password you entered are correct, then click Continue."

Mac Mail is still trying to use the old server settings. owa020.serverdata.net is the Intermedia server.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Also can't get Exchange ActiveSync account set up on my Android phone. I need to enter in the "Server address" and "Exchange domain name" and I can't find that info in the Google Apps help.
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Allen FalconCEO & Pragmatic EvangelistCommented:
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NetfloCommented:
Hi,

In reply to your question about Mac Mail, see the following link:

http://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=81379

For your Android phone, follow the link specified by @allenfalcon. Most of the setting up guides and questions are available in your Google Apps portal, or click here: http://support.google.com/a/users/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=164211&rd=1

Best of luck!
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
In the Settings there is this option/question:
"If you plan to use Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook to import email to Google Apps, you'll need to..."

Do I need to use Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook?
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Allen FalconCEO & Pragmatic EvangelistCommented:
It is preferred!
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
As far as getting mail migrated over for a Mac user, this support document suggests doing the migration using Google Apps Sync on a PC.
http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1366854

I don't understand how running Google Apps Sync on a PC would carry over to the particular user's Mac Mail??
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NetfloCommented:
This is a recommendation if the users mailbox is in sync with an Exchange server.

Otherwise any of the three other options:

1. Email Uploader for Mac
2. Mail Fetcher. Note: This tool doesn't migrate folders.
3. 3rd party tools on the Google Apps Marketplace
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Allen FalconCEO & Pragmatic EvangelistCommented:
My apologies.  I missed the MacMail component.

For that, use the google tool.  You will also want to run calendar sync.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Have come across another issue. One of my users had multiple email accounts in her Outlook 2010. But Google Apps Migration created a completely separate profile. So now when she is in the Google Apps account in Outlook, she cannot see any of her other email accounts, since they are part of the old profile.

Is there a way to merge the 2 profiles together? Or maybe just migrate those 2 personal email accounts from the original profile over to the new profile created by Google Apps?
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NetfloCommented:
The Google migration tool for Outlook will only look at the default profile and default email account at the top. Not additionally configured accounts.

I would suggest logging back into the old profile which will still be on the machine and manually migrate that across into the new profile.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
I have another problem.  Some of the users cannot see all their emails and folders in Outlook under the new Google Apps profile. If they log into their original Outlook profile, they can see all their emails, but not when logged into the new Google Apps profile.

I'm not sure what went wrong in the migration process to cause this to happen, but I think the best thing for me to do now is to merge the contents of the user's original Outlook profile with the new Google Apps profile. That way the user's entire history of emails will be available to them without having to switch profiles.

How do I merge the two profiles without creating unnecessary duplication of emails? Keep in mind that the users have thousands of emails in their original profiles. Every user is on Outlook 2007, except for one using Outlook 2010.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
For one of the users, I did an email export from the old profile and then imported it into the Google Apps profile. Now when the user logs into the Google Apps profile, no new emails are coming in. Google Apps Sync kicks in and the Synchronization Status shows that a download of mail is in progress. But new messages are not coming in. I was able to send out a test email, so outgoing seems to be OK.

I know it's not any sort of server-side issue b/c I created this same profile on a test system and today's emails are coming in no problem on my test system.
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Allen FalconCEO & Pragmatic EvangelistCommented:
It sounds like you have an issue with the forward in dual delivery and/or MX records.
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NetfloCommented:
Simplest way is to check the users Gmail portal logon via the web. Can you send and receive emails via there? Yes or no. If yes, you've clearly uploaded a large amount of emails and it will take time to sync.

If no, there is another problem altogether.

Plus with regard to some of the items missing this will be because when you create a default profile via Google Apps sync for Outlook, the default profile will be capped on how much data is sync'd to the local profile. If you want to increase that, see the following article: http://support.google.com/a/users/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=184126

I'll ask again, are you following the Google documentation and progressing through correctly, or skipping steps?
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Yes, webmail is working fine.

I have increased the amount of data synced for this user to Unlimited.

As far as I know, I did follow the instructions from Google.
http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=148484
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NetfloCommented:
Okay, so you're issue is just with Outlook tying to sync the data. I would be patient and allow the machine to sync the data with Google. Typically this process would be staged and done over a weekend, that way you don't have all your machines fighting for bandwidth.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Having a problem with one of the users. Her Tasks or Notes did not migrate over properly. It only migrated the title of Notes, but not the content.

Anyone know of a good solution to migrate Notes & Tasks?
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NetfloCommented:
It's all fully documented via your admin portal, just gotta have a look...

Are notes and tasks migrated?

Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange does not migrate notes or tasks.
You can use Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook® for that purpose. Notes and tasks are then available in the Microsoft Outlook® client, but not in Google Apps.


Reference: http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=179197
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Thanks Netflo. Yes, I was referring to accessing them specifically in Outlook.  I was able to get the title of her Notes migrated, but not the contents of each Note.
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NetfloCommented:
They should remain in Outlook untouched, not available on Gmail though, which is normal. You could always log back into the old profile and copy them into a temp PST and then copy back into the Google profile.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Sorry guys to let this go for so long. I will go ahead and assign points and close this shortly.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys.
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