Migrating Mailboxes Without Admin Access

There may be situations where administrative login to mailboxes may be unavailable. This can be a challenge issue if you need to migrate a large number of mailboxes.

Some possible scenarios:

  • Your hosted provider requires administrators to use a management console to make configuration changes. Administrators can alter various configuration parameters (ex: max message size), but there is not way to programmatically login to user mailboxes.
  • Your e-mail system does not support any type of administrative access. For example, most IMAP servers do not have any administrative login capability because this was never been part of the protocol’s core specification (RFC 3501, etc.).
  • Your email administrator cannot provide administrative credentials because of compliance or security issues. For example, you’re responsible for migrating 500 users but should not be able to access mailboxes of HR employees.

Some possible strategies:

  • You can ask each user for a password, write it on a piece of paper, and use each set of credentials to migrate each mailbox. This is obviously error-prone, quite risky, and does not scale very well.
  • You can reset each user’s password to the same value and use that. If you give away the shared password, everybody can access anybody’s mailbox. And if you don’t, all users are locked out.

There has to be a better way! Besides supporting administrative access for Exchange, Gmail, etc., MigrationWiz implements patent-pending technology which automates the process of gathering credentials and initiating migrations. Using this option is actually quite simple. When configuring a mailbox in MigrationWiz, simply indicate that you do not know the password as shown below. You can do this for the source, the destination, or both.

gathering credentials screenshot

Once you submit the migration, you’ll notice that the state changes to “Waiting for Credentials” as shown below. This means that an email was sent to the user, asking the user to provide credentials on a secure form hosted by MigrationWiz. You can even customize emails to include your own instructions and reference tags such as the user’s name or email address. As soon as the user completes this step, MigrationWiz verifies credentials and initiates a migration. The bottom line is that administrators do not need to gather or reset passwords. Instead, administrators tell users they should receive an email requesting credentials and should verify the identity of the website before entering them.

credentials request screenshot

Here is a simplified overview of our patent-pending process:

migrating mailboxes process


Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of