Thanks to the efficiency of cloud computing software, many are now turning their backs on conventional desktop work tools. In both current and traditional arenas, Microsoft has proven its flexibility with the development of Office 365. It is, undeniably, a game changer. For businesses thinking of switching over to the more powerful, cost-effective productivity suite, you need to conduct a proper Office 365 migration to fully enjoy the benefits of Microsoft’s cloud-based software.
Just knowing the basics of transitioning from your current system to Office 365 isn’t enough. If you want a smooth, painless migration, you should consider the following advice:
1. Know the Scope of the Migration
Consider the nature of your business and identify the documents you need to migrate in the process. This can range from emails, calendars, client documents, company files, and the like. Ensure that the information you wish to transfer over aligns with your business requirements for easy access and seamless integration.
Also, bear in mind that migration means temporarily relinquishing some level of control over your files. The once locally-stored items will be remotely stored with Microsoft for the duration of the transfer. But, as earlier mentioned, you at least get to decide what kind of information gets stored.
2. Evaluate the System
Prior to migrating, check that security and compliance requirements are aligned. You can use a cross-functional team to cover the migration requirements and map the information flow. You should also decide on which migration method you’re going with. There are several different approaches, each with their own advantages tailored for different situation. The method you choose will largely depend on the number of users and files you decide to include in the transition.
3. Prepare Your IT Infrastructure and Employees
It’s important to know whether or not your current systems can even support an Office 365 migration. To confirm the compatibility, gather the essential info i.e., server information, network architecture, DNS, directory design, mail and client software, security solutions, and so on. Match all pieces of information against official guidelines or call in an expert and get their endorsement. Microsoft may also have an automatic readiness checker tool you can use for quicker confirmation.
Keep in mind that you also need to upgrade desktop versions of your Microsoft software for a smoother transfer. In the process, clearing your directory for active accounts may be needed. It will be helpful to train a support team to cater to inquiries and assistance requests during the migration process.
4. Call for a Migration Partner
Doing the migration by yourself can be risky; especially if all you have, at best, is superficial IT knowledge and troubleshooting experience. Having a migration partner will help you through the process and ensure the safety of your documents.
Depending on the size of your business, you may have to transfer thousands of files. The slightest interruption may damage or erase your data.
Hiring a migration partner will also help streamline the transfer process. Ideally, you want a partner that provides realistic and specific deliverables. Of course, you’ll also want one that provides the most cost-effective service.
5. Account for Human/Network Error and Prepare Accordingly
With a migration partner, the process should be relatively easier on you. Professionals have the experience and expertise needed to correctly identify the best migration settings for your business. They are also capable of offering technical support during the progress. In most cases, they’ll usually help you create a backup and restoration point on your behalf.
While Office 365 is known for its advanced disaster recovery, it doesn’t 100% shield you from any mishaps on your system’s part. Problems with network or human error can cause deletions, malware, or sync errors on your files. This can either delay the migration or put a stop to it altogether.
Office 365 migration is a major decision for any business. While you may have done a great job so far in choosing the best cloud computing service on the market, you can still easily hurt your business if you toy with the transition. Contact a professional migration partner to get your systems up and running with Office 365 in no time.