Merger-friendly Tenant Names

Merger and Acquisition is the new name of the game in the last couple of years. Companies are buying each other, divesting parts, and spinning off departments and renaming themselves according to the latest fashion trends in the business world. By the end of the year of 2017, we are seeing that large number companies are fully deployed in the Office 365.
Tenant name is one of the system names, that is chosen before the company is migrated into office 365 and hardly visible to an outside world. Yet, one of the current limiting factors of the Office 365 tenants is the inability to be renamed. Once %tenant%.onmicrosoft.com name has been reserved it is there to stay perpetually (very much like the NT 4.0 back in the stone ages. Pardon me, I didn’t mean to make anyone feel old). Since the tenant rename is not possible, full content migration must happen during M&A. Moreover, Microsoft’s tools, at this point in time, will not allow you to move content from one tenant to another due to several limiting factors.
While we cannot go back in time (at least not just yet), we can contemplate about what could have been done to avoid the vanity-driven renames. The answer is surprisingly easy, if we have known that Contoso will merge with Fabrikam and new venture will be called Litware we would have not named Contoso’s tenant the contoso.onmicrosoft.com and Fabrikam’s tenant the fabrikam.onmicrosoft.com nor we will step on the same rake again and will not name the new tenant the litware.onmicrosoft.com, but rather create something disambiguated from the business name in case our newly created Litware will be purchased by the Northwind company a year or so from now, and you’ll have to start this dance all over again.
It seems that naming your tenant with a generic GUID is a better option than binding it to an actual brand name that is in no longer a constant in the business world but rather a variable.
While GUID idea is pretty darn good from the point of view of uniqueness and will provide you with full disambiguation from any business name, it will likely to drive you, the IT guy, to madness, when you’ll have to log-in into the tenant with the not-so-human-friendly name. So, I would suggest looking into other industries and sources for an inspiration for a naming convention, providing you with some human-friendly, yet generic names for your tenant(s).

Weather:
One thing comes to mind is hurricane naming. Each new oceanic weather system of a significant size is now named by a mixture of female and name names and destructive hurricane names are not re-used.
Therefore martha.onmicrosoft.com or david.onmicrosoft.com sounds like an attractive name regardless of the business or current brand name.

Greek Alphabet:
Care to start your own fraternity or sorority of sorts: alpha-delta.onmicrosoft.com is a better choice than acme.onmicrosoft.com when it comes to the merger and acquisition.

Gods:
While modern gods are probably the inappropriate way to name your tenant zeus-venus.onmicrosoft.com sounds like a match made in heaven.

Phonetics:
And what about the phonetic alphabet? WhiskyTango.onmicrosoft.com could be a fun name to use, while keeping the Foxtrot as Plan B option.

It’s Elementary:
While diamonds are forever, they are just plain carbon. And, no surprise there, C.onmicrosoft.com is no longer available. So, we have to settle for the gold and platinum Au-Pt.onmicrosoft.com or you can have fun and celebrate with C2H5OH.onmicrosoft.com

So, there you have it, ambiguous, yet humanly-usable names assigned to the tenant could be a better way to hedge your IT investment against apparently inevitable business changes.

Cheers to that!

#Office365 #O365 #TenantName #TenantRename #Merger #Acquisition #MnA #M&A #MergerAndAcquisition #NamingConvention

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