Office 365 migration can be a daunting task, especially if your business currently has a lot of data to transfer. However, it’s not impossible. With the right guidance and enough preparation, your organization should be able to transition smoothly from whatever you currently have on-premise to your new Office 365 platform.
Here’s how to get your Office 365 migration started:
Choose Your Migration Method
There are several methods to migrating mail over to Office 365. The best one depends on what you need, how much you’re planning to transfer, and what suits your schedule best. The most common Office 365 migration methods are:
- Cutover Migration—use this method if you want to move all your mailboxes at the same time. Note that this is best used if you’re operating with 2000 mailboxes or less and your highest priority is speed. Cutover migration is actually considered the easiest and most user-friendly of all the methods. However, it is a little riskier than most, as it’s still essentially moving a good amount of sensitive data in one go
- Hybrid Exchange Development—this method is best if you want to gradually move mailboxes in small increments at a time. During the course of the migration, you will essentially be handling a mix of on-premise mailboxes and Office 365 mailboxes at the same time. This can still strain your IT resources, but the pressure is considerably eased due to the gradual movement
- Third-Party Migration—there are third-party tools and services available online that can help migrate your mailboxes to Office 365 using systems they deem the most convenient and effective. You will, of course, have to pay an extra fee for use, but this is the best option for companies that aren’t sure how to begin migrating or don’t have the resources and reserves to pull it off in-office
Collect every bit of data and business-related content you have in your current environment. Files, folders, contracts, agreements … everything that has something to do with your organization or contains sensitive information about your organization should be gathered and deposited in one place for sorting and organization. Paper documents and texts are important but don’t forget other must-haves, such as:
- Business Network Settings (i.e. firewall settings, proxy settings, DNS hosts, etc.)
- Online Communication Platforms (i.e. programs your office uses for in-office communication, like chatboxes or instant messaging apps)
- User Account Details/Login Credentials (for all mailboxes, communication channels, etc.)
- Browsers, Operating Systems, Applications
- Integrated Applications (i.e. CRM)
Sort Through and Eliminate as Necessary
Once you’ve collected everything you need via the previous step, you should begin sorting through the data. Decide which files, documents, folders, contracts, and any other business-related content needs to be moved or kept, and which ones you can afford to get rid of—outdated agreements, old drafts, irrelevant content, and the like.
Once you’ve whittled it all down, you’ll have significantly less data migrate. This cuts down on the actual data transfer time (even a few minutes saved is still a few minutes extra) and it assures you’ve got a nice, fresh start on your new platform.
Trust us when we tell you that you’re making the right choice. Office 365 is perhaps the best productivity suite available on the market, and it can give you a distinct competitive advantage in your industry.