Business Case of Moving Back from Microsoft 365 to Exchange

 large number of organizations have chosen to move from Microsoft Exchange to Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365). The migration path is always challenging but once migrated, many organizations continue to get good service and more organizations continue to move to the cloud.

IBM Value institute mentions that 98% of all organizations will choose a ‘hybrid multi-cloud’ for their needs as it fills the right mix of requirements.

There is a definite case for some organizations to move back to Microsoft Exchange either totally or in a hybrid configuration where Exchange coexists with the Microsoft 365 cloud. This blog mentions few of them.

Reverse Migration Factors

The Integrations

Microsoft Exchange and related suite of Microsoft Enterprise applications have developed a large ecosystem of third-party applications based on Exchange. Many organizations were using quite a few of them and are unable to find the right choice with Microsoft 365.

Existing Microsoft Exchange Integrations

The Cloud Experience

Some organizations moved to Microsoft 365 because it offered a cloud experience; dashboards for all types of users, APIs, best security practices etc.

There are newer applications out there (Hosting Controller is one) which will transform Microsoft Exchange into a ‘Private Cloud’, which means having an experience very similar to Microsoft 365. All users have their feature rich dashboards. Admins have their separate dashboards. All common features are available as restful APIs. In fact, the APIs enable a level of DevOps automation difficult to achieve through the online version.

Regulatory and Security Requirements

Many government organizations especially the more sensitive ones like military are apprehensive of moving their data into a public cloud. Most others have regulatory restrictions of actually keeping their data within geographical boundaries. Such requirements may not have been there when initial migration to the cloud was proposed.

They have a binding case of bringing the mails and data back into their own data centers.

The Online Application Suite

Some organizations moved their emails and data to the cloud because they wanted some software applications e.g. Skype for Business for their users. Hybrid technologies now enable users to keep their email and data along with Microsoft Exchange in their own data centers and still subscribe to online applications for the same users. Admins can choose which applications run on-premises and which ones are activated in the cloud. This at times also comes with substantial cost savings.

The Cost

User and Device CALS

Microsoft Exchange along with its related applications like SharePoint requires a purchased license.

Exchange costs are based on hardware, Exchange server and requires CALs for user or devices accessing the server.

Online costs are per user and are different for packages which raise quickly. Organizations with larger number of users.

Large Storage

While online storage is charged per mailbox or other units, the on-premise storage is as much as you want to put. Some organizations may find that they are restricted by the limited storage offered in Microsoft online unless they are willing to pay substantially higher. Organizations may want to store the data in multiple copies instead of one.

Hybrid Cloud Technologies

Hosting Controller is a Microsoft 365 Hybrid Cloud Controller. Hybrid cloud technologies, enable users to easily move between their Exchange servers and Microsoft 365 in different configuration.

Once in place, they offer a near similar cloud experience for their existing Exchange as well. Admins can drag a mailbox from one place and drop it in the other and the user account and its related mail data is moved. This could be from the existing environment to the cloud or vice versa.

Permanent Hybrid Configurations
Permanent Hybrid Configurations

If for any of the reasons mentioned above or any other reason, you find that moving totally back to Exchange is a better idea, or coexistence between your existing Exchange and Microsoft 365 public cloud is a better idea, you are one of those 98% organizations who think Hybrid Clouds offer the most flexibility. To stay in the know with Hybrid Cloud Technologies, follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook, subscribe to our YouTube Channel or talk to our Microsoft Enterprise application experts today to discuss your unique needs.

Originally published at on January 09, 2022. 

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