Today in random business idea #480971: a concierge migration service.
The idea is to migrate between cloud service providers, Apple, Google, Microsoft, or Amazon. Not all of them offer the same services, but there’s enough overlap where a full migration makes sense. Of course, with a bit of technical knowledge and common sense, you can migrate yourself pretty easily. Just copy all of your files/photos/emails between services. Going to/from Google, Microsoft, and Amazon is pretty easy. Services like Mover can do it in the cloud at a vastly faster speeds than can you locally. Also, you are simply copying files around, not converting them to native formats on the new cloud system. A gdoc in Office 365 isn’t going to do you much good. There are a few parts to consider:
- File migration from one “drive” to another.
- Photo/Video migration.
- Email migration.
- Document conversion.
- Music migration.
- Device synchronization.
Every service I’ve investigated can handle these 6 migrations to and from any services to varying degrees, except Apple. How do you migrate from Google/Microsoft/Amazon/Dropbox/etc to iCloud? Or vice-versa?
You do so manually and slowly (depending upon your available internet connection). From experience in migrating between these various services over the past few years, the most limiting factor is internet bandwidth. In the past, I could “cheat’ and sit in the datacenter on a 10 Gbps connection and migrate with abandon. If I had the disk space available, I could solve steps 1-3 and 5 above pretty easily. Step 4 was manual, if I decided to do it at all.
A less than elegant solution today-hence the thoughts on a concierge service-is to rent a Mac in the cloud from one of many providers. You need to connect to the desktop remotely, login to iCloud and then setup your originating service (Google/Microsoft/Amazon, etc) and manually do the migration. All in all, probably costs $100 for the month of access to the remote system and a few hours of your time to get through the bulk of the migration steps.
The value generation (the reason the business exists) is to hire someone bonded, trusted, and professional to do all of this for you and hand back everything to you when complete. I’m estimating around $300-500 per migration. It’s a niche market, but something definitely which could have appeal. Many people have their data spread across multiple services, or worse, just abandon their old data when they switch to a new cloud ecosystem. Many people have told me they simply left their files on the old provider when they switched to the new one. The biggest target is to/from Apple’s ecosystem, as most of the others are fairly automated already. The most expensive step is #4 right now, as it requires a lot of work for a proper conversion. Most people seem to skip it and hope the new apps can open the old files and convert them as needed.
I’m testing this process right now for a Microsoft to Apple migration for someone. Stay tuned.