​Spark finally severs troublesome Yahoo ties

​Spark finally severs troublesome Yahoo ties

Telco brings over 800,000 email accounts home with SMX partnership.

Spark has completed the process of migrating its Xtra email service to New Zealand-owned email platform provider SMX, ending a problematic Yahoo partnership that spanned a decade.

Since striking a deal with the tech giant in 2007, Spark’s email platform has been plagued with issues, specifically around security and performance.

In severing ties however, over 800,000 Xtra email accounts are up and running on the new email platform, provided by SMX.

“We’re really happy to be celebrating this milestone, we’re officially off the Yahoo platform and Xtra Mail is now hosted at home here in New Zealand,” Spark CEO of home mobile and business Jason Paris said.

“From an overall perspective, the migration project went well. We’ve moved more than 800,000 email accounts containing 1.4 billion messages, safely and securely, in the timeline we originally committed to. This has been one of the biggest IT migration projects in New Zealand’s history.”

During the process, Paris said 12 per cent of Xtra customers contacted Spark during the migration with a query about email, with “nearly all” customer issues resolved during first contact with the company.

“While we know a small percentage of customers experienced issues both on the Yahoo side and due to migration activities, the large majority of customers had a seamless experience as we migrated their email to the new platform. 9 out of 10 customers* had a smooth transition,” Paris added.

Six months since Spark announced the move away from Yahoo, Paris said the telco went through three phases of work to move accounts across.

From September to November, the focus was on gaining permission from customers to bring their data across with the project team preparing for migration during December and January.

Then from February to April, SMX ran the actual migration process, which ended with customers having their email set up in the new, New Zealand-based mail system.

“The migration did have some challenges, particularly when dealing with Yahoo,” Paris explained.

“It’s great to complete the transition away from an email provider who’s been dealing with big issues on a global basis, and has kept us very much at arm’s length, to an email partner here in New Zealand that operates with real transparency.”

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