Pacific Blue Cross (PBC) is BC’s only Health Benefits Society and British Columbia’s number one health benefits provider. Based in Burnaby, BC, and in partnership with CUPE 1816, the union representing roughly three-quarters of its 750-person local workforce, the not-for-profit organization provides health, dental, life, disability, and travel coverage for 1 in 3 British Columbians through group benefits and individual plans.


Pacific Blue Cross had been utilizing an on-premises Microsoft Exchange Server for its email services for a long time. Over the years, they successfully upgraded their Exchange Server from 2010 to 2016. However, recognizing the limitations of their current setup and the benefits of modernization, they decided it was time to migrate to Exchange Online. This decision stemmed from two key factors:

  1. The transition from an outdated, unsupported Exchange Server to a newer version facilitated the migration to Exchange Online.
  2. They wanted additional features to align with their evolving requirements and modernize their overall environment.

By transitioning to Exchange Online, they aimed to leverage the advantages of cloud-based infrastructure and gain access to advanced functionalities that would facilitate their ongoing business operations.

Initially, Pacific Blue Cross attempted to undertake the migration themselves. However, they soon realized that the upgrade process was far from simple and would require expert guidance to ensure its success. They reached out to Softlanding to benefit from their knowledge and expertise in navigating the migration process smoothly and efficiently.

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Softlanding is renowned for its extensive experience in implementing, migrating, and supporting Exchange solutions. Their proven track record in successfully managing similar projects has established them as a preferred partner for organizations like Pacific Blue Cross embarking on such journeys.

Even though the original scope was just to migrate the mailboxes and move them from on-premises to the cloud, there was a lot of preparation required behind the scenes before tackling the migration.

PBC collaborated closely with Softlanding to address multiple aspects of its project, including Azure Active Directory integration, security setup, establishing connections, and maintaining uninterrupted email workflows.

This collaborative approach allowed PBC to benefit from Softlanding’s knowledge and experience, resulting in a smooth and efficient migration without any outage.

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  • Simplified IT administration

Exchange Online offers simplified IT administration, streamlining the management of email and communication systems. Tasks such as security patching, upgrades, provisioning, monitoring, and troubleshooting are now more straightforward, allowing the PBC IT team to focus on strategic initiatives rather than keeping the lights on with routine administrative tasks.

  • Improved Security and Compliance

Moving to Exchange Online enabled PBC to enhance email security through Exchange Online Protection (EOP). EOP offers advanced features surpassing their previous spam filters, providing superior defense against malicious emails. EOP also simplifies email tracking and investigation and helps streamline issue resolution. Moreover, Exchange Online incorporates robust privacy protection with Data Loss Prevention (DLP) capabilities, ensuring sensitive data remains protected.

  • Improved Communication & Collaboration  

By migrating to Exchange Online, users now enjoy an increased mailbox storage capacity and an increased attachment size (from 10MB to 50MB). This enhancement significantly facilitates collaboration and communication among staff.

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