4 Steps to a Successful Office 365 Migration

 In Office 365

Email is how business communicates. Take these steps to make sure your migration to Office 365 is successful:

1. Plan, plan, and plan some more.

When your employees can’t communicate with each other, vendors, or customers, business is at a standstill. It’s important not to rush into an Office 365 migration but to take time to carefully plan it. Assess your existing environment and identify all users, mailboxes, public folders, and other relevant assets. That helps you determine the scope of your migration will be. Also identify potential challenges, such as bandwidth and budget. Then spend time evaluating the measures you can take to overcome those challenges.

Along with technical considerations, migration planning should address compliance concerns regarding retention of email.

Your plan should also minimize impact on users. Migrate associated groups together, and time migrations so any disruptions will have minimal impact on business functions. Don’t forget about shared mailboxes.

2. Clean up before you migrate.

It’s better to correct existing problems in your accounts before you migrate rather than allowing them to create problems during migration. Take time to identify unneeded accounts and mailboxes and remove them rather than including them in the migration. Make note of items that may need to be handled manually, such as rules, filters, and distribution groups. In addition, make sure users all have appropriate versions of Outlook with any patches required and that all platforms will be able to connect to Office 365.

3. Execute migration fast and successfully.

Although the goal should be to migrate fast, it’s a good ideal to have a pilot before the wide rollout. Use automation to minimize errors and speed up the migration process.

Network bandwidth has a significant impact on migration speed. You may be able to effectively gain some bandwidth by scheduling data migration during a low-usage time of day.

You can also make your migration faster by migrating only the data you need, rather than migrating everything. In addition to identifying unused accounts that don’t need to be migrated at all, consider deferring the migration of older data that’s rarely accessed so that recent, critical data isn’t impacted.

4. Plan for failure as well as success.

All of your plans are intended to help your migration succeed. Nevertheless, it’s important to have a plan in case there are unexpected problems and things go badly. Know how to backout users and restore their email service on your current system. Part of your premigration testing should include testing this recovery process.

Achieving a successful Office 365 migration requires a lot of planning and skill in the execution. Work with Prescient Solutions to make sure your migration succeeds. As a Microsoft Partner, our experienced, certified professionals help businesses in Chicago and Schaumburg successfully make the transition to Office 365. Contact us to learn more about our email migration and other Office 365 support.

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