Frankie's Blog

A Tale of 2 Firms: Bonded by an Office 365 Migration

When a very big accounting firm bought a very small accounting firm, the big company yawned. It was their 9th acquisition in three years, and while Conglomerate Accounting knew that Mom & Pop CPA was a solid purchase, they also knew that they had a lot of work to do. Bringing the tiny shop into the 21st century was going to be painful. (For purposes of this article and to protect the innocent, we have renamed the two companies under discussion.)

The couple who owned the smaller firm was anxious to retire sooner rather than later, but the agreement was that the owners of Mom & Pop CPA would work for Conglomerate Accounting for at least two years. Their only duties were to make sure that Mom & Pop CPA’s client base, the real value of the new purchase, remained intact and happy. 

The known attrition rate of clients belonging to a purchased practice exceeds 25% in the first year. Eventually, if these loyal clients decided to stay, they would be introduced to many additional benefits that only a larger company could offer them. From experience, Conglomerate Accounting knew that the best way to keep them was a one-two punch. 

  1. Maintain the atmosphere of that friendly, neighborhood place that their clients had experienced year after year from Mom & Pop CPA. 
  1. WOW them with new technology to make their accounting and communication tasks easier, and yes, exciting. 

So, the first call Conglomerate Accounting made after the purchase was to us, Cloud Advantage. 

Why? Because Mom & Pop CPA had only one email address for their whole company:  Mom&PopCPA@yahoo.com.   

This had been their email address since the nineties, and they had never noticed any reason to change it. In fact, they didn’t know they could change it, but tech confusion among professionals in other industries is commonplace. 

Most importantly, Mom & Pop CPA never knew that an email address could be anything other than “that same old string of letters, one symbol, and a period”. All they knew was that they typed them out, one letter at a time in the nice address box at the top of the email form and clicked “SEND”…  the message would magically “whoosh” away to their clients. They never thought about their client’s inboxes, never thought about their own, and never understood that email had evolved to be something much bigger and more fun. 

Furthermore, they never realized that working with social security numbers and tax forms bring a whole new level of liability, and the need for secure email with today’s requirements. 

As part of the merger, we at Cloud Advantage migrated the small accounting firm’s email to Office 365. We did it very gently because Mom and Pop were nervous about losing a lifetime of emails (which, of course, isn’t a possibility with our low risk strategies). When Mom and Pop first saw their brand new emails with their own name in front of the @ sign, they were very excited. Immediately, they sent an email to all their clients, friends, and frenemies. 

From: Mom@ConglomerateAccounting.com 

From: Pop@ConglomerateAccounting.com 

“Dear valued clients, 

Hope you all had a great winter! 

We have news! We have sold our company Mom & Pop CPA, and have joined the Conglomerate Accounting team. We highly recommend giving Conglomerate Accounting a chance to earn your trust. We will still be happy to come to your home, and as part of the Conglomerate Accounting team, we are excited to offer new advantages that will help you get through the dreaded and ever-looming tax season. 

Kind Regards, 

Mom and Pop” 

We showed them how their new email accounts now have calendars that actually invite them to meetings automatically, their safe and secure access to Microsoft Office 365 OneDrive for document storage, and, of course, more secure and reliable email. Mom and Pop CPA were also thrilled to know that none of their mail or calendar data was missing.  

For more information about the advantages of a custom email domain (just like Mom and Pop did), see this blog.

Interested in knowing more about email hygiene control and malware prevention? There’s a blog for that.

Want to learn more about migrating unusual environments? We wrote about that, too.

Happy Migrating!

Frankie & The Geeks at CloudAdv

 

Un-Confuse People with Frankie’s E-Whiteboards

Imagine you’re in ski country. It’s freezing cold, and you just got dumped off the top of the chairlift. You can see your breath, even though you are wrapped round and round in scarves. You are standing on top of the world, but when you look up to see the vistas, it’s snowing so hard that you only see white. Your gloves are white. Your skis are white. Your brain feels white and empty. There are no thoughts. There’s only one way to get out of the white—but you don’t even know which way down is.

I’ve experienced a very similar feeling many times when trying to explain how email migrations work. There are giant snowflakes pouring down between us. No clear paths of communication. I’m saying words that might as well be lost in a snowy cyberspace. There is snow on my eyelashes. I’m losing the battle, and just know they’ll never get it.

Innovative E-Whiteboards by Frankie are the answer.

As what we do for a living evolved into a very technical field, it became clear to us that a totally different approach was needed when speaking with clients. So, one fine snowy day, I traveled to a town which one of our clients called home, rented a conference room, and invited my clients to enjoy a high tea of sorts. No crumpets or scones. In fact, there wasn’t even tea. Just simple bagels and a big pot of decent, strong coffee. I set out the white half-and-half. White sugar. White cream cheese… and then set up my very white whiteboard.

That’s when things got interesting.

Armed with three different colored markers (none of them white, but all of them the kind that wash away easily with a white paper towel), I engaged my guests in a live demonstration. I showed them exactly what would happen to their emails once we began the process of migrating them across the great savannah.

At first, I didn’t have their attention. No surprise! They were too busy devouring my treats and wiping away the crumbs with white paper napkins. Plus, there were a few smirks about a female engineer making whitecaps into a very male-dominated industry. But soon, as I began to draw a full migration plan that I had for their firm on my whiteboard, they became mesmerized. Fascinated. Engaged. It was a miracle to me because I never imagined that anyone could be so interested in how these things work, or how we plan their migration project.

As I drew with red, orange and black markers, each representing a different aspect of the migration, I realized that I was getting my point across. Eureka! The questions that were coming forth had become more detailed, rather than broader, “what is this?” and “how does this get to that?” sort of questions. Even better, my simple arrows, circles, and rectangles had my audience laughing and, well, happy-ish. I was not getting the normal responses that confused people generally display. This was different. Did I actually find a path to that part of their mind that could, and would, accept what I was trying to explain as something other than techno-babble? That would be a miracle, and something worthy of a toast!

So, my own engineer, the talented Nick D., who had also observed this miracle from the corner of the conference room, decided to seize the moment. It was on this day that FRANKIE’S E-WHITEBOARDS reached its baby stage. It started slowly, but soon, Nick also began to draw technical diagrams on whiteboards to explain things to colleagues and customers.

I have to admit, there is a big difference between Nick’s whiteboards and mine. Nick can actually draw things other than circles and rectangles. Nick’s whiteboards are way more fun than mine. They have ships sailing away, and heads exploding with ideas, and ships coming back and… well you get the point.

But when he started working with recordable whiteboard technology, and his words and drawings came alive and in real-time, we knew we had a winner. Once our first E-Whiteboard hit YouTube, partners and colleagues were intrigued. They wanted to know where they could get one. Things took yet another turn when he added music—we started dancing… yes… engineers… dancing. What a sight!

We decided to name our new E-Whiteboard program “Frankie”, after another one of our creative, technical services that we offer to customers. It was not because we couldn’t think of a different name for our e-whiteboard endeavor. No, it was because Frankie had come to represent for us anything that was lean, mean, innovative, and highly effective.

*Our proprietary Frankie Migration Technology allows for email message conversions to be up to 200 times faster than anything else on the market.

Frankie’s E-Whiteboards are effective. Fun. Engaging. And anything but boring. And now they are for sale! You can have your very own Frankie E-Whiteboard.

Watch this…

So now you know. We are a white glove company with a brand new, original E-Whiteboard marketing tool!

Let’s talk about your e-whiteboard today.

8 Tips for Zimbra to Office 365 Email Migrations

Colleges often don’t put resources into technology.

Recently, we decided to go back to school, but not the way you think. We never argued with professors or RAs, we didn’t stand outside in the middle of the night wearing our Spiderman pajamas due to a prank pulled fire alarm. We never snuck over to the soft serve ice cream machine in the middle of the night, or drank and danced ’till dawn and hangover time. And best of all, we never needed to lie to our parents or hide under our desks about getting a grade lower than an A.

Read more…

7 Tips to Avoid a Ransomware Hack: A Tale of Mayhem

ransomware hack

Tale of a Ransomware Hack

Imagine for a few moments that you are the CTO of IT at Mega Big Corporation.

Your team’s job is to make sure everyone’s desktop computers hum seamlessly along the ol’ digital conga line. You keep their desktop applications, hardware, and email working, and make sure the users don’t kill the network or disrupt the internet connectivity’s strong, firm handshake. Read more…

Why Should I Use Dirsync?

email migrations and DirsyncToday, we are going to dig deep into email migrations and DirSync for Office 365. If you are a corporate CIO or CTO (or any other decision maker in the IT world) and are trying to figure out which direction to take your company’s cloud resources, this blog will be a page turner.

Email-Annie has this!

Working with Annie, a top guru among email migration professionals, has been exciting mostly because Annie is well-known for diving into the unknown, and mixing it up to get better results. Read more…

Welcome to the New Frankie Website!

The most powerful email archive migrationsFrankie, believe it or not, is something that was developed in order to address a very specific issue. Once upon a time (in a land that may be far, far away for some) Frankie’s proprietors, A. Fine and J.E. Sinclair, found themselves being tapped on the shoulder by a large entity of the federal government. Impressed by their credentials and reputation for inventive solutions, the Federal Government looked to Sinclair and Fine to come up with a solution for their current email-related woes. This problem is one that faces many large corporations and government entities— massive piles of old email data in need of a new home. Never a pair to bow out of a good challenge, Fine and Sinclair brought forth a one-of-a-kind solution— a brainchild that eventually came to be known as “Frankie”. Read more…

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