Transitioning to Office 365 is not a race and needs appropriate analysis and structured approach.

Office 365 provides amazing set of services and applications that supports working with information as individuals and as teams.The process of migrating to office 365 can be a difficult task. Like anything, this needs to carefully planned and executed with a well thought plan. The implications of a failed migration can be catastrophic.

Here are a few things we found contribute towards ensuring your migration is successful.

Take an account – Moving to a cloud infrastructure has numerous dependencies on organisation’s current environment, including but not limited to –

  • Existing SOE
  • Dependencies (of office and other) on current applications
  • Approach of pushing/rolling out updates
  • Current processes and the gaps upon moving to O365 (e.g. support, on boarding and off boarding processes etc.)
  • Backup and Restore mechanism (and the desired future state) and many more

Create a solid migration plan – Plan and finalise the scope of the project. Every migration project is different so make sure you analyse your organisation’s scope, roadmap and strategy but apply that as part of the roll your plan.

Adoption – Create a detailed communication plan for the end users. Identify and leverage various channels within the organisation. Use variety of mechanisms available to support them during this journey. Each organisation has a unique appetite for adoption services. Be creative and

Correct tenancy name is registered – employees of a company will frequently obtain a trial of Office 365 and forget about renewing the domain name. When it comes time to obtain the production tenancy, the desired tenant name (companyname.onmicrosoft.com) is taken (used and discarded in a trial a while ago) and Microsoft Online Support is not of much help in getting that tenancy name back.

Office 365 licenses and storage requirements– sometimes the office 365 licenses are little confusing. Make sure you get the right one for you.

Analyse your current on environment – Collect facts and figures about your existing IT environment to capture an up-to-date snapshot of the technology solutions implemented by your company. Take stock and check if your on-premises environment meets the requirements for an Office 365 setup:

  • Servers and components
  • Network architecture and DNS
  • Authentication solutions
  • Directory design
  • Bandwidth
  • Mail routing
  • Certificates
  • Hardware and software
  • Mail and other client applications
  • Mail archiving and compliance
  • Mail box sizes

Decide on the migration strategy – Decide if this is going to be a Cutover, Hybrid, Staged or Third Party? There are pros/cons with all these options and therefore decide which one will suit your organisation.

  • Cutover – This is considered the easiest of all the migration methods. It’s also the migration of choice for many small business owners. All mailboxes, users, contacts and mail groups are transferred to Office 365 in one shot.
  • Hybrid migration – Doing a hybrid migration involves moving some on-premises capabilities to Office 365 and leaving others to be managed in-house.
  • Staged migration Staged migration – This method involves transferring mailboxes to Office 365 in smaller batches over several days or weeks.

Doing it yourself or engaging a cloud partner – Moving to cloud requires a mix of skills. It all depends on what type of technical resources you have in your organisation. Microsoft may offer you support via their fasttrack program (https://fasttrack.microsoft.com/)

SOE and office clients – Office 365 rollout also involves upgrading to the office client tools and there for the operating system versions updates to be considered. This should also be included as part of the migration plan.

Legal and compliance policies – moving email/content “to the cloud” is new for organisations is about addressing security and especially adhering to regulatory compliance policies. Make sure all the approvals are taken before the migration process starts.

Third party add-ons – Test and confirm all the third party add-ons like fax service, voice mail service, trim add-ons work fine. In some instances the latest version of the products to be purchased which you may not accounted for.

About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.

For more information on our success stories please feel free to call us on (02) 8072 0666 or email enquiries@prometix.com.au

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