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GAL Syncing: The Secret Sauce

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Undertaking a recipe always involves three key things – planning, ingredients, and execution. But pulling off a really good recipe, one that pleases everyone is an accomplishment, and that typically involves a proprietary method or ‘secret sauce’ to make it a success. The same methodology applies to GAL Syncing scenarios and achieving a successful sync according to project scope and expected outcomes. Seems simple, right?

Discover the secrets to effortless Global Address List (GAL) syncing! 

Unfortunately, the reality is that there are many ways a GAL sync can go wrong. In many instances, IT teams suddenly find themselves in a situation where they’re under enormous pressure to quickly pivot and pull off this massive undertaking according to an aggressive timeline while still maintaining day-to-day operations. And often, this is the first mistake – trying to take on that magnitude of a project, when it’s not something the IT team does daily and is outside of their purview in most cases.  

This is a common theme and how many GAL syncing scenarios start off - in the same exact way - where the IT department is the last to know about a merger or acquisition. When in retrospect (and in a perfect world) they would be looped in sooner than later, because they are the department that must take the most immediate action, updating address lists and so forth, to enable effective collaboration with the new entity. But in reality, this is almost always happens….and when “this” happens, when IT is the last to know it seems – this scenario sends IT teams scrambling and puts them behind the curve from the beginning because now they’ve now been robbed of effectively doing the first key thing for success – which is extensive, proper planning. Oh, and time. But that’s the reality of how most of these MAD scenarios go down, and you’re left with no choice but to deal with the minutiae.  

Nightmares from the field 

Often, clients come to us in the middle of a situation where they’re stuck. Let’s say they had the luxury of ‘planning’ to the best of their ability. Even with the most detailed planning, there are considerations that come to light – Do I need to modify these objects in transit? Do I need to give it a new primary SMTP address? Even just specific custom attributes that need to be brought across. So, in these instances, they lack the second key thing – good, clean ingredients.  

That’s right, the organization probably has some nasty, rotten ingredients, and many objects that need to be sanitized – like public folders. This can be a very painful process, especially from on-premises Microsoft Exchange to the cloud, and if they aren’t handled properly, they’ll spoil the whole operation. And what about scripts? Since these types of scripts are probably not used very often by your average IT team, there could have been updates made (let’s face it Microsoft changes the name of everything all the time) and so the proverbial ‘recipe’ an admin might be trying to use could be all wrong from the very get-go. 

Then there are also the compliance considerations, and distribution list security groups…and all these factors can and probably will have their scope changed at the last minute, and you must be able to pivot. You also must ensure you conduct adequate testing, which usually doesn’t happen. Because by testing, we mean not just syncing one or a few objects and calling it good; we mean testing the functionality of those objects to ensure they will accomplish the goal of the sync, whether it’s sending emails back and forth, calendar invites, or testing access. Otherwise, there are huge costs to pay as far as loss of productivity if the sync isn’t completed within scope and on time. 

The Business Impact 

If you find yourself at this point – where you realize either one or both of the first two key steps are missing, or lacking, or screwed up - either your department or your organization is probably doing a cost/benefit analysis around continuing down this manual path internally; maybe considering it a test recipe ‘fail,’ tossing it out and moving on to a third-party automated solution. This happens often, so don’t feel too bad. 

If you take a step back and look at the costs associated with doing a sync manually, especially one that involves adding additional forests – let's say five or six, or like one of our larger enterprise clients who had 84 – and/or a sync involving many objects, say over 1000, the whole scenario becomes infinitely more complicated. The effort it would take to clean up incorrect attributes or account sync incorrectly for whatever reason can be monumental. Now imagine a larger scale scenario with 5000 or objects or more. That’s potentially more lost productivity in doing damage control, and thousands of users experiencing difficulties in doing something as simple as sending an email or creating a calendar invite for a meeting. Clearly, this will and does have a massive impact on the business, because when those calendar invites start to fail, and those tickets start to build up – it can become almost catastrophic. 

And it can easily be prevented. 

The Secret Sauce: Automation for MA&D, Migration, & Communications Protocols 

Join us for a webinar on Wed, Feb 28th at 10 am PST that unveils the hidden challenges associated with manual GAL syncing, and the secret to executing a successful, seamless GAL sync. Simplify GAL Sync: 3 Tips for Quick and Easy Integration is hosted by Garth Fisher, ENow’s seasoned technical pre-sales engineer, who has over two decades of experience that have equipped him with insights into the nightmares that await those who dare to tread the manual path.  

In this exclusive session, Garth and co-host Robert Hinger, ENow’s Enterprise Technical CSM, will guide you through real-world scenarios and showcase how ENow’s GAL Sync tool simplifies syncing woes into a streamlined and successful endeavor. You'll gain invaluable knowledge, including:  

  • Tales of GAL syncing gone awry – straight from the field.  
  • The critical importance of nailing GAL syncing right from the start.  
  • Important considerations for a hybrid environment.  
  • The transformative power of automation in scenarios like Mergers, Acquisitions, Divestitures, migrations, and across various communication protocols.  
  • How the ENow GAL Sync solution makes sense for your organization. 

If your organization is undergoing corporate M&A or migration waters, this webinar is your lifeline to success. ENow can help you properly navigate and provide essential tips for steering clear of pitfalls, thereby positioning your company for a seamless integration that meets your project scope timeline! 


The Importance of Microsoft 365 Monitoring

In a cloud-world, outages are bound to happen. While Microsoft is responsible for restoring service during outages, IT needs to take ownership of their environment and user experience. It is crucial to have greater visibility into business impacts during a service outage the moment it happens.

ENow’s Microsoft 365 Monitoring and Reporting solution enables IT Pros to pinpoint the exact services affected and root cause of the issues an organization is experiencing during a service outage by providing:

  • The ability to monitor entire environments in one place with ENow’s OneLook dashboard which makes identifying a problem fast and easy without having to scramble through Twitter and the Service Health Dashboard looking for answers.
  • A full picture of all services and subset of services affected during an outage with ENow’s remote probes which covers several Microsoft 365 apps and other cloud-based collaboration services.

Identify the scope of Microsoft 365 service outage impacts and restore workplace productivity with ENow’s Microsoft 365 Monitoring and Reporting solution. Access your free 14-day trial today!

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