How can we improve Kerio Connect?

Reducing the nightmare of email migration

As we've discussed in the past, there is an urgent need for a dramatic improvement in the toolset available for migrating a client from their current mail server to Kerio Connect.

I'm putting together a quote for a client of ours for a 40-user installation, and the cost breakdown is as follows:

- Kerio Connect server software: $1,700.00
- Installation and configuration of KC: $300.00
- Setup on user's computers and devices: $700.00
- Migrate mail, calendars and contacts for all user accounts: $1,200.00 to $2,000.00 (! ! !)

The last part may lose the deal for us, especially when I tell them how long it may take to complete! They may very well decided to simply endure the deficiencies of their current server than to go through the cost and pain of migrating to a Kerio server.

Not only is the migration an extremely expensive portion of the cost to implement Kerio Connect, but it's also by far the most time consuming and laborious part of the process! It can literally take weeks to fully migrate the mail, calendar, and contact data for all users! (Unless one works on it full-time!)

While the Kerio IMAP migration tool is decent, it is rudimentary at best. It often fails (not necessary due to its own fault, but often source servers get cranky), and when it does, the migration becomes a long, drawn-out tar-pit of a project!

The only way we've found to ensure that no data is lost (an absolute client requirement!) is to set up both the original and Kerio server accounts in Outlook 2011 for Mac as IMAP (EWS would crush the server!), then once they have fully populated, manually move the mail from the old account to the new. This process is extremely slow (about a message every 2 seconds - imagine how long a single 50,000 message account takes!), which is why it can take literally weeks (and much frustration on the part of the client) to finish the migration for 40 users (in this case).

And of course this doesn't deal at all with calendars or contacts.

I would think it would be a [u][i]huge[/i][/u] selling point to have an extremely robust, easy to use, and efficient migration tool which makes moving to Kerio Connect a low-impact and low-cost prospect! IceWarp uses this as a selling point in an article where they say: "[i]'After we had several Kerio customers flocking to us in a matter of just two days, we decided to do something to make their transition as painless as possible,' says Ladislav Goc, IceWarp President. 'We immediately allocated additional resources and our team rapidly developed a tool that makes the transfer fast and easy.'[/i]"

We need the transition to Kerio Connect to be "as painless as possible" with a tool that "makes the transfer fast and easy"!

What we need is an "intelligent" migration utility which:

- Has a "move" option with verification before deletion. This guarantees that no mail is left behind. It also addresses the problem of a failure before completion, since if the process doesn't complete, one can simply tell it to start again with what's left! If there is a failure during a "copy" function (as with the current IMAP migration tool), there is no way to know which messages have been completed or not, so one is forced to [i][u]delete all the data[/u][/i] copied so far and start over to insure that all mail messages are migrated.

- Has a "synchronization" option. This will tell Kerio to essentially duplicate the environment at the source server. That way if the migration is somehow interrupted, the tool will simply re-examine the source and continue copying whatever has not yet arrived on the Kerio server. There should be an error log and/or flagging to notify of any items which are not successfully copied.

- Migrates calendar and contact data. Speaks for itself.

- There should be a simple selection for the source, specifying which server (Gmail, Office 365, Exchange, etc.) is the source of the data. That way the tool knows what formats/structure to look for and adapt to for retrieving the data. There should also then be specific user instructions for each server, such as turning on the IMAP option and turning off IMAP for "Important", "All Mail", etc. on Gmail accounts.

This would not only be a huge help selling Kerio Connect, but also a major benefit for your partners and/or administrators who have to perform the migration! Conversely, the lack of this tool makes Kerio Connect a much more expensive and intimidating implementation beyond the simple cost of the software, possibly encouraging the client to choose a different solution!

Another thing that would be of great help is an export/import ability within the admin console. Gmail allows the export of calendar and contact data (I haven't investigated mail), and it would make things much easier if we could then simply import that data directly via the Admin console instead of having to configure it in iCal or Contacts, then manually move the data over. It would be easier, faster, and more reliable - all major plusses!

This is a very big deal for Kerio's sales prospects. If something's expensive and a hassle, it will sell nowhere near as well as something that makes implementation cost-effective and as painless and fast as possible!

This could be one of Kerio Connect's biggest selling points!

The best thing is that I would think that a tool of this type, even an advanced one, wouldn't be all that labor-intensive to build. If IceWarp could have "... allocated additional resources and our team rapidly developed a tool..." to do this, I would think Kerio should be able to do so as well. Given the magnitude of the almost assured return on the investment, I most strongly recommend that Kerio immediately make this an urgent priority!

Help us sell more Kerio Connect servers by giving us this very important tool!

Thank you.

Tony Dennis
TCM Consulting
Kerio Preferred Partner
San Diego, CA

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