MS Online Archiving or ‘a pain in the archive’.
May 27, 2010 3 Comments
Providing for Exchange archiving for Online Exchange
A new customer referral out of the blue, direct from Microsoft looking for archiving for online exchange, only 5 licenses so the sales guys don’t flutter an eyebrow, but we are here to help, and this should be a rudimentary task, the service details are:
£3 PCM per seat (min 12 months) plus the optional cost for archiving data that already exists on a volume basis.
This archives the data for 10 years satisfying all current compliance regulations.
It can also capture IM and Bloomberg messaging.
It is described and available on the MS website, surely click and add and away you go? Not quite….
FROM MS website
- Contact your Microsoft Partner and request EHA activation. (that’s us!!)
- The following steps will be performed for your company:
Your partner will contact Microsoft Online Services Technical Support. Etc. (Easy ..)
Technical Support will create EHA credentials for your service administrator, a special contact which contains the journal address for your archived e-mail, and a new distribution list called ArchivingGroup. Etc… (in theory… see below)
As a MS partner and a fully-fledged BPOS provider this should be straight forward, not this time. Archiving is part of the BPOS family isn’t it ?
Not really – an estranged cousin perhaps, it is effectively classed as a third party solution so is not available from the standard BPOS console.
So the reality was
- Follow the obvious paths – verify on our own BPOS test systems, but nothing obvious there. Surely this is straight forward ?
- Speak to MS, confirm this is not archiving for a hosted solution from an on-site Exchange server – which is Exchange hosted services, specifically archiving – but Exchange hosted archiving for Online services. So no confusion there.
- Tech support, – “you need customer service” to discover how to order this online.
- customer service “ you need licensing” to be able to purchase this.
- licensing “no not this kind of licensing, you need Volume licensing, you need tech support” to show you how to do this.
- tech support (hang on!) – “customer services”, feeling dizzy.
- be placed in limbo/engaged tone/loose the will to live/have to do some real work.
- Finally have a very helpful customer support lady (Thanks Joanne) confirm I need to speak to an official Microsoft reseller. We are a Partner, but not a reseller and cannot provide this service directly. So no benefit in that regard.
- Speak to our preferred reseller (well 3 actually before anyone has the answer to allow me to confidently direct the client to them). It must be sold straight to the customer, and in selling the service the ticket for setup is automatically created directly with the customer. So no partner benefit here either
- Speak to the customer, apologies for the delay, discover he has spoken to 20 other companies to try and resolve this without success and he is happy to have finally found someone capable of providing a solution.
- We are happy that we have delivered said solution, albeit for zero business benefit and several hours on the phone, but we now know for next time.
So the outcome, a standard partner cannot provide the service, most MS support personnel are unaware the archiving solution falls between two camps.
So unless you are a Volume reseller you must pass this on. Exposing your customer to a new provider/supplier and putting your reputation at risk, while enabling a software solution you cannot control.
It is also worth noting journaling can be enabled with other third party vendors, but again a new supplier, unknown SLA’s technologies, and messing with a live mail system so why would you without significant diligence to protect the customer ?
Incorporation into the standard offering options would be simple for clients, partners and support teams, or have we missed something?
If you are experiencing the same problem I hope this helps shortcut to a solution