Mention migration at Microsoft's Ignite conference in Chicago this week — and the nearest software vendor is likely to start talking about its tools to help customers speed up and simplify the move to Office 365.

Jersey City, N.J.-based AvePoint is no exception.

Using Microsoft Azure technologies, AvePoint Solutions for Office 365 can speed the migration to Microsoft Office 365 as well as ensure sustainable user adoption and effective management of critical business data on the platform, the company boasted.

Making Customers Comfortable

John Peluso, vice president of product management at AvePoint, told us AvePoint has always had a strong migration and data governance around on-premises Microsoft products like SharePoint and Exchange. But Office 365 poses different challenges for enterprises that are planning either a move to the cloud or adoption of a hybrid solution.

AvePoint's solutions for Office 365 combine a path the cloud with capabilities to manage data to meet compliance and governance initiatives, he said.

"Microsoft is trying to help customers understand what happens when they get up there [into the cloud]. The need to know who is doing what, who has looked at what ... all that kinds of stuff to feel comfortable with the move," he said.

AvePoint has a long history with Microsoft. In fact, it was one of the early partners to work with the Microsoft APIs.

What AvePoint came up with is a new feature called High Speed Migration, which will be in its DocAve software. DocAve enables centralized or delegated management of SharePoint farms hosted on-premises or in private and public clouds such as Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure.

Through an integration with Microsoft’s new SharePoint Online Migration API and Azure technologies, it will enable customers to overcome technical limitations including bandwidth throttling, network latency and information security concerns, Peluso said. He estimates that it could speed migration into SharePoint Online by a factor of nine.

But it’s not just about SharePoint, it’s about migrating information to the whole Office 365 suite. The High Speed Migration functionality will be available for DocAve Migrator for File Systems this fall. In fact, if you are interested in this, AvePoint is now accepting applications for a preview program.

Peluso said there is a much wider application of this migration tool with the application of polices across other apps for tighter governance. "In the long term, customers can use this to not just set policies in SharePoint, but to also set policies against Exchange or Yammer,” he said.

This makes sense, he continued, "because people don’t buy SharePoint Online. They buy Enterprise 2 or Enterprise 3 subscriptions in Office 365 and Microsoft wants to make sure that they are making the mechanisms available let their customers control their costs."

Migration Space

Peluso called the releases response to “the undeniable coolness of the thing” where the "thing" is Office 365.

Customers are generally very positive about the development of Office 365, he said. Once the initial deployment takes place, they start to ask themselves how to connect all the elements that exist in their environment to each other.

He added that there is a lot more pressure for Microsoft partners to be nimble about Office 365 and Microsoft's fast release program, which involves as-they-happen upgrades as opposed to yearly or bi-annual release cycles.

AvePoint's Online Services, a 100 percent Azure-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform for Office 365, enables onboarding, data management and archiving, he said.

Everyone Wants In

Over the past few days, a number of different vendors have been boasting about their migration capabilities. Metalogix announced an Office 365 solution that it claims dramatically cuts the time it takes to migrate content. Sharegate and Nintex are partnering to speed Office 365 migration, and Dell has been talking up a storm around its migration governance capabilities.

There is massive business potential here, especially as enterprises consider their options once SharePoint 2016 is released next year.