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Spark is making good progress with its plans to move its Xtra email service to New Zealand-owned email provider, SMX.


The phase to ask for Xtra customers’ permission to move their Xtra email service completed in November. Since then, Spark has developed and tested the migration approach. The process of migrating customer email accounts across to the SMX platform kicked off in February, with nearly 50,000 accounts already successfully migrated – and the project is on track to complete migration by the end of March.


There’s been a significant amount of work going on behind the scenes to prepare for this migration. Spark has had a team dedicated to the migration, with at times up to 100 people working on the project, including a customer services team of email migration specialists.


Jason Paris, CEO of Spark Home Mobile and Business says, “We are now in the process of migrating email to SMX. It’s great to be at the stage where we now have customers on the new email platform. A migration of this scale and complexity has its challenges, but overall, it’s progressing well.


“We recognize that some of our Xtra customers have had a trying time in recent weeks as we have been working through some technical challenges.


“The issue with the most impact to our customers was in relation to some work we undertook to increase the security of the new email platform. As a result of this work, we discontinued support for some older email client setups that don’t have the necessary levels of security, such as Outlook running on Windows XP. While this has better ensured the security of the affected customers’ email and personal data, it also required them to upgrade to an up to date email client and/or operating system to access their email.


“We’d like to thank those who haven’t been able to access their email at times for their patience. Many of the issues customers have been experiencing should be resolved as we migrate them away from Yahoo onto the new platform.


Over the next month, customer accounts will be migrated in batches each night. Customers with an Xtra email account will receive notification of their migration window the week before. For most people, the migration of their account will happen in the middle of the night, so they shouldn’t experience any disruption to their email service.


Paris adds, “As we enter this new stage of the project, we’d like to let our customers know that we’re doing everything we can to make this transition process as smooth as possible for them. We want to assure them that we’re working night and day to bring their email across safely and securely.


“We’re looking forward to reaching our objective – bringing Xtra email home to New Zealand. When the migration is complete, we’ll have achieved our objective of transforming Xtra into a world-class email service, protected by best-in-breed security and hosted and managed right here in New Zealand.”