Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

At this juncture, it’s clear to channel players that Microsoft is anxious to accelerate the rate at which customers are making the transition to the cloud. Yet, what often gets overlooked in terms of making that shift occur is how long it takes to migrate data from an on-premise environment into an instance of Microsoft Office 365 or SharePoint running in the cloud.

On average, customers are lucky to see sustained rates of 2GB per hour. Multiply that across hundreds of users, and it’s not hard to see how a migration project winds up being a major endeavor.

To accelerate the rate at which data can be transferred into Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint in the cloud, Metalogix developed a Content Matrix tool that enables those transfer rates to reach speeds of 25 to 30GB per hour and often exceed speeds of 50GB per hour. In fact, Metalogix claims it has partners that are migrating data at a rate of 750GB per week.

To accelerate that process, Metalogix has now created a Business in a Box program for the channel that helps its partners create a repeatable set of migration processes.

Obviously, the more data that partners move into the Microsoft cloud, the more end users there will be accessing it. It’s one of those classic chicken-and-egg equations. End users are going to go where their data is. If most of that data is still on-premise, the rate at which an organization as a whole is going to move to Microsoft Office 365 drops significantly.

Joe Sullivan, director of global systems integrators and cloud alliances for Metalogix, noted that getting that data into the cloud faster equates to more recurring revenue for the partners sooner down the line. It also speaks to the number of migration projects a Microsoft cloud partner might be able to simultaneously take on. Partners may not make all that much money on cloud applications such as Microsoft Office 365. But the amount of services revenue being generated by these migration projects is substantial.

No matter the vehicle through which an application is accessed, data is now and always has been the once and future king. More importantly from the perspective of Microsoft and its partners is the simple fact that where that data resides also dictates what application is ultimately going to be used to access it.

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications, including InfoWorld, CRN and eWeek. He currently blogs daily for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, Channel Insider and Baseline.