How to Decide Which Office 365 Migration Method is Right for You

Office 365 supports different types of migration methods available to customers. Several factors can influence your choice, including the amount of data to be transferred to Office 365, the number of objects involved in the migration, co-existence requirements, the Exchange Server running on-premises if any, and so on. You also need to think about the available budget for the migration project.

Still not sure which Office 365 migration method will work for you? Check out these tips:

1. Hybrid Migration

A hybrid migration requires you to move certain on-premises capabilities to Office 365 and leaving the others to be managed by the in-house team. The complexity lies in deciding what should be moved. Although it may be a difficult method, hybrid migrations can handle over 2,000 mailboxes – something that could be ideal for bigger enterprises.

2. Third-party Migration

There are providers that have their own Office 365 migration tools in order to assist resellers. This typically involves a team of dedicated experts that will ensure a smooth onboarding and migration for free as included in their service. This is contrary to other providers that will migrate your customers’ data for you at a specific price.

3. Cutover Migration

Considered the easiest of all migration methods, this is also the most popular method for a lot of small business owners. All users, mail groups, contacts, and mailboxes are moved to Office 365 in one shot. It’s widely considered as the easiest way to get your company’s existing email into Office 365.

What’s great is that it’s very useful for organizations that want to transfer their complete email organization and manage all user accounts there. The only drawbacks are the delay and the low mailbox capacity. Cutover migrations can handle only up to 1,000 mailboxes and may take several days to complete.

The time it takes ultimately depends on the volume of the mail to be transferred as well as the number of users and contacts. As a result, some small businesses prefer to do the migration in stages instead of waiting for a complete transfer to be done.

4. Staged Migration

If you have a client who does not want to migrate everything at once, staged migration would be your best bet. Using this method, mailboxes can be transferred to Office 365 in smaller batches over a period of several hours or days.

Similar to the other methods, the migration time will depend on the volume of content and the number of mailboxes to be transferred. Take note that a staged migration is limited to less than 1,000 mailboxes. There is also little disruption for users since no email is being received at the older server. Once the migration is done, users may be required to change their passwords and restart Outlook.

When done correctly, an Office 365 migration can be as simple as any other migration process. Expect to deal with some planning, configuration of certain prerequisites, quirks that need to be sorted out, and selecting mailboxes before you start completely migrating all users to Office 365.

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