After your company has wisely decided to migrate to Microsoft 365, the next thing on your to-do list is to look for a trusted Office 365 partner to manage the migration project. While migrating your mail seem like an easy task, it’s actually particularly critical—especially with the amount of business and personal data you’re about to transfer.
DIY-ing your migration may sound tempting, but keep in mind that there is a risk of losing sensitive data regarding your organization—or worse; your clients’. Given the physical demands and financial risks, clearly, your best choice is to outsource this project.
Here are seven things to help you find the best partner for Office 365 migration:
1. Professional Team
Given the stakes of this project – privacy, cost, and time – you’re entitled to work with a team of professionals. This refers to people who are well-versed in transferring databases, legacy systems, and other pieces of software with very minimal potential for failure. They must know how to deal with your specific situation and handle your project and your organization accordingly.
Apart from looking for a professional team, it’s imperative that you partner with an organization that has experience and proven service results. According to industry standards, you would want a partner with a Gold Cloud Productivity Competency or a Silver Cloud Productivity Competency, at the very least.
What do these accolades indicate? To keep it simple, Microsoft awards the Silver Cloud Productivity Competency to organizations that have deployed 2,000 active users. The Gold Cloud Productivity Competency, on the other hand, is for those who have deployed 4,000.
3. Proven Results
Experience doesn’t necessarily equate favorable results. It’s important for organizations looking to migrate their entire system to Office 365 to entrust this project to a partner company with successful results. Partners with proven results will usually have a systematic way of going through the process while simultaneously making room for the specific needs of their every client.
Apart from experience-based considerations, you must also check a potential migration partner’s resources; will they be able to satisfy your needs with their current resources? Are they equipped with enough professionals on their team? If their office is quite a ways away from yours, will they be able to address geographical gaps?
5. Communication Skills and Habits
A key characteristic to watch out for when finding a partner is identifying the level, style, and frequency of their communication behavior. Can they relay their messages, plans, and questions properly? Are they able to provide clear and concise reports on the status of your migration? Are they responsive?
Communication will always be a part of partnerships, and you wouldn’t want to be legally-bound with one that doesn’t care to notify you of the progress and issues at hand.
6. SMART Plans
Like any other project or campaign, your migration must be handled following SMART plans – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound procedures. Ideally, a trusted Office 360 migration partner will have custom deliverables that are specific to your needs and are in line with your own work calendar.
Finally, look for a partner who cares for transparency. While you always have the option to leave the task on their shoulders, it’s your right to know the activity surrounding your migration. Ask hard questions like matters of costs, progress, and status of the project.
You’ve already made the right choice by choosing Microsoft over other productivity suites; make sure you’re working with the right Office 365 partner to fully utilize it. While it takes two to tango, it’s your organizational discretion that will dictate the course of your “soiree.” In and out of this decision-making circumstance, make scrutiny a habit.