How a University Leveraged Synchronization for Flexibility & Change Management

Large University With On-Going Projects

Company Profile

This University is a renowned research university and academic medical center known for its innovative approach to education. Its health system is one of the largest academic medical centers in the US. The organization employs more than 53,000 between the university and health system, with more than 21,000 students enrolled. 

A Synchronized Solution for Continuous Migrations

Business Drivers

As part of ongoing infrastructure modernization projects, the university is in the process of migrating its campus content from on-premises network file servers to the cloudHowever, due to the size of the university as well as its many different needs, it is continually completing departmental migrations across on-premises servers and various cloud-based platforms, including Box, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. 

Consolidating Constant Change to a Single Cloud Platform

The Challenge

Though the university has embraced the cloud, it’s been difficult for the campus to consolidate to a single cloud platform. The university’s systems analyst expects that it’s unlikely ever to happen. “Even once we have everything moved to the cloud, we will probably always have periodic projects where someone wants to migrate from Box to OneDrive, or maybe OneDrive to DropBox,” the systems analyst said. “The end game is constantly evolving.” 

Without a desire to lock users into a single platform, the university’s systems analyst team has just one main goal in mind: to move as much content into the cloud as they can, securely and conveniently as possible. 

“The primary driver here was finding temporary on-premises file sync while we do these departmental migrations to help with the change management,” said another systems analyst at the university. “Finding this synchronization functionality was incredibly important to us.” 

Temporary On-Premises File Sync to Cloud Storage

The Solution 

One of their first targets for moving to the cloud was Box. While attending BoxWorks, the university discovered SkySync and planned only to use it to migrate its content from network file systems to Box. However, they were happy to hear about SkySync’s integration with Office 365 and OneDrive as well. 

As an Internet2 member, the university was able to run a pilot with SkySync with exclusive member pricing. After also seeing success with its initial migration, they decided to partner with SkySync as its migration tool of choice.  

“We knew we had a lot of ad hoc migrations coming up, so we just wanted to have a tool in our toolkit that could handle it all,” said the systems analyst. “And SkySync has been great. Now, we buy buckets of transfer allotment each year so that we always have it when we need it. 

Change Management Through Synchronization

The Results

SkySync’s unique ability to assist with change management through on-premises file synchronization, as well as the platform’s migration simulation and reporting capabilities, have been gamechanging for the university. “We could have probably used some simple CLI tools to do these migrations ourselves, but we wouldn’t get anywhere near the robust reporting and analysis that we get with a product like SkySync,” a systems analyst said. 

Additionally, the platform’s ease of use and accessible interface have been a great benefit to the organization.

“SkySync has made some complicated migrations very simple to manage,” the systems analyst added. “It does a clear job of explaining what is happening. And it’s very nice that the tool is web-driven. Then we can have multiple people on the team looking at it and using it, no matter how familiar they are with the platform. Overall, we are very happy with SkySync.” 

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