One of the more annoying aspects of starting a new jobs recently was switching email accounts — I tried figure out an easy way to transfer messages and contacts, but after a few minutes of fumbling around with my email client, I gave up, forwarded a few key messages, and then set to work rebuilding my contact list (mostly) from scratch.
In other words, I could really have used something like YippieMove, a product from startup WireLoad that promises to make the email migration process as easy as possible. You just enter your account details (the company supports more than 100 email providers — co-founder and CEO Viktor Petersson says it should work with pretty much any email service that uses IMAP) and YippieMove handles the rest of the process, no software installation or constant babysitting required.
Petersson says the company just reinvented YippieMove in a way that could turn a cool technology into a significant business. The YippieMove site has been redesigned, but more importantly, the company has developed an API that should help it work with larger clients and partners.
Originally, Petersson says YippieMove was designed to address his own needs as a Santa Clara University graduate who need to move his mail from his student account before everything was deleted. He quickly realized that college students aren’t a great customer base, at least if you expect them to pay, so he refocused his attention on businesses, where the email migration process can be a big headache. YippieMove started working directly with IT departments (the company’s testimonials page includes a comment from an IT support manager at Kiva.org, for example), but there were still challenges to the business model — as Petersson puts it, “People tend not to do email migration all that often. It’s not a repeat purchase thing.”
So the company also works with Google Apps resellers who manage their clients’ transition to Google, and who use YippieMove to handle the email migration. And with the API, Petersson is hoping to partner with any company (some Internet Service Providers have express interest), that offers email migration services. The big vision, he says, is to become “the Twilio of email migration” — in other words, to become the underlying, often invisible technology powering email migration wherever you find it.
YippieMove is already using the API to power the email migrations on its own website. It will be available to beta testers in the second quarter of the year, Petersson says.