Planning a successful move to Office 365
Office 365 from Microsoft provides businesses of all sizes with the ability to collaborate and exchange information more effectively – this is one of the many reasons why more and more companies are switching to the platform. But migrating to Office 365 is no easy feat, especially if your organization has many users and resources. If you’re considering this powerful suite for your company, make sure to follow these tips to make the migration process stress-free.
Do your research
Researching Office 365 can seem a little overwhelming at first, but it will certainly give you a good idea of how everything will work, and what you can expect before, during, and after the migration process. You should understand and anticipate how your business’s daily operations will change when you make the move to a cloud-based platform. You also need to be aware that traditional Microsoft Office programs and Office 365 applications are completely different in terms of functionality, features, and interface.
Create a checklist
Most businesses fail to create a comprehensive migration checklist, because they tend to focus on the technical aspects without addressing other areas that are critical to the migration’s success. These include elements such as training, informing users, and gathering adoption feedback. You can start by drafting a step-by-step plan that clearly defines the phases of the migration process, and then keep refining the plan until everything is covered.
Check email settings
For a seamless transition, you need to synchronize accounts between your active directory domain and Office 365, by using Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory Synchronization tool. Don’t forget to point your company’s mail exchanger record to Office 365, so new emails will be sent directly to the new mailboxes in Office 365. Misconfiguration of email sync during the migration could flag your organization’s email as spam, disrupting the communication process with your clients and partners.
Choose your migration
Each migration plan looks different, and you should choose the one that best fits your needs. Generally, Office 365 migrations can be divided into three categories:
- Cutover migration – this is a single provisioning and transfer of mailboxes, users, contacts, and mail groups to Office 365. The cutover process can handle up to 2,000 mailboxes, and the migration time depends on the number of users and mail volume.
- Staged migration – if you don’t want to migrate all your resources at once, staged migration is a good alternative. It allows you to move mailboxes in smaller batches over a much longer period of time.
- Hybrid migration – this type of migration is perfect for organizations that need to move more than 2,000 mailboxes and wish to run local Exchange servers and Office 365 simultaneously.
Once you have broken down the whole migration into various phases, it will be easy to design a testing procedure for each phase. Standard testing processes include migrating a small amount of data, sending and receiving emails, and application trials, in order to ensure that everything works as expected. The more components you can test before migrating to the platform, the less chance there is of your company facing issues afterwards.
If you’re considering an Office 365 migration, why not let our expert technicians do the job for you? We can migrate your resources seamlessly and smoothly without disrupting your business. Get in touch today.