Holy Land Experience Cut Costs & Simplified Administration By Moving to Office 365

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The Holy Land Experience is a Christian theme park in Orlando, Florida and registered non-profit corporation that holds weekly church services, biblical dramas and bible studies for the public.

The Challenge With On-Premises Exchange

Working on Exchange 2007, Systems Administrator Luis Garcia wanted a streamlined and reliable solution for the Holy Land Experience’s 48 users that didn’t require constant updates.

The nonprofit plans to add many more shared and individual mailboxes in the future, so Luis looked to Office 365 to simplify this process moving forward.

Office 365 presented other obvious business benefits for the growing nonprofit that made it an attractive option, including:

  • Advanced security features
  • Streamlined and consolidated email and scheduling
  • Reduced costs associated with hosting and maintaining Exchange
  • Improved collaboration throughout the organization
  • Automated configuration of Outlook and Skype for Business (now Microsoft Teams)

Leveraging Agile IT to Fast-Track the Migration process

To discern the best migration method for The Holy Land Experience and safely transfer the company’s data store, Luis needed a cloud migration consultant that had a proven track record of Office 365 migrations.

After a business partner recommended Agile IT, Luis met with the Agile team to discuss the nonprofit’s business needs. From there, Agile IT concluded that a Exchange migration to Office 365 made the most sense.

Through the AgileAscend migration process, Agile IT migrated all mailboxes in The Holy Land’s on-premises Exchange organization, global mail contacts and distribution groups to Exchange Online in a single migration batch. Weekly project status meeting allowed Luis and Agile IT to exchange critical information and keep the migration project moving.

By laying out common migration issues during the planning process that could potentially stall the project, Agile IT set expectations and helped the nonprofit avoid common missteps. Although Luis knew small issues were inevitable with data migration projects, his main concern was addressing these issues in a timely fashion once every component was configured.

Overcoming Office 365 Adoption Issues With IT Support

With Agile IT’s 60 days of post-migration support and video training, Luis and his team were able to get the assistance they needed to transition to Office 365 and leverage the productivity-enhancing features of the platform. For example, The Holy Land Experience encountered an issue syncing users that needed to be assigned to shared group mailboxes. Luis reached out to his dedicated Agile IT consultant who responded and resolved the issue within a matter of hours. “Any time of the day I needed to call or email, they were very quick to respond,” Luis said.

Boosting Efficiency With the Microsoft Cloud

Migrating to Office 365 provided benefits for both users and the Holy Land Experience’s IT team. Although users had adjusted to the way Exchange 2007 operates (bugs and all), they quickly picked up the Office 365 interface once they reviewed the training videos and began using it regularly.

In the end, The Holy Land also gained new functionalities that would bolster productivity:

  • Shared/delegated mailboxes: Designated users can access data and search content within shared mailboxes.
  • Mobile access: Team members are able to use mobile web apps to access Office 365 (including email) on the go.
  • Easy archive retrieval: The Holy Land Experience team can access archives through Outlook and utilize the search ability of Outlook Web App for large data searches.
  • Sharing abilities: Office 365 gives users the opportunity to easily and securely share and sync files and documents.
  • Enhanced collaboration: Team member can easily host online meetings and share presentation content to boost collaboration and productivity.

From a security standpoint, moving company data to Office 365 also enabled The Holy Land Experience to leverage Microsoft’s industry-leading security.

“With Office 365, we’re basically under Microsoft, and their email security is much more advanced than what we have here,” Luis said. “It makes us more efficient as an IT department because we don’t have to constantly worry about the email server or anything pertaining to it – it’s a great benefit.”

Now, fully migrated, Luis looks forward to utilizing other solutions within Office 365 such as SharePoint and Skype for Business that will help consolidate communication and keep the team competitive. Need help planning your Office 365 migration? Let our team of cloud consultants answer your questions, or learn more about our AgileAscend migration process today.