Monday, May 4, 2015

Office 365 data import service rolling out

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Here’s an interesting item from the Office 365 Roadmap in development.

Drive Shipping and Network Based Data Import for Office 365

The ability to import data into Office 365 in a quick and easy manner has been a known constraint of Office 365, and a solution for this issue has emerged as a key request from customers. We are working on a solution that will allow quicker imports of data into Exchange Online Archive Mailboxes.  You will now be able to import Exchange Online data through PST files into the service without using third party tools.   Drive Shipping and Network Based Ingestion options will use Azure-based services to import data.  Over time we will be extending this to other data types across Office 365.

This option is not yet available on my Office 365 tenant but here is a blog post of someone who has it and has documented the process:

http://blogs.perficient.com/microsoft/2015/05/office-365-using-the-new-pst-import-service/

What excites me is not the PST stuff but this line:

Over time we will be extending this to other data types across Office 365.

That to me reads that soon Office 365 will support drive shipping and network based ingestion of SharePoint and OneDrive for Business data! That will be huge and save massive amounts of time for customers looking to move the bulk of their files and folder information to Office 365, who may also be somewhat bandwidth limited.

The second thing I note here is:

Drive Shipping and Network Based Ingestion options will use Azure-based services to import data.

That further reinforces to my mind the fact that if you are an Office 365 IT professional you are going to need to be comfortable with Azure.

To me it is no longer Office 365, it is now Office365/Azure combined as a skill set you must have going forward.