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Migrating to O365? 7 Tips You Shouldn’t Miss

Posted by Indusa Admin on March 7, 2017 12:10 pm

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Cloud adoption has become the mainstay for organizations looking to reduce their operational costs and enhance security and accessibility of information. According to CIO, 93% of businesses have adopted cloud technology in some form, and it will be no surprise to see this figure reaching close to 100% by 2020.

Several enterprises are transitioning to O365 for the exceptional productivity and collaborative features it offers. However, any migration is a daunting task and a few tips, if followed methodically, could eliminate any sort of derailment during the transition process.


To ensure a successful transition to O365, keep in mind these 7 essential tips:

1. Evaluate the reasons for migrating

Any change brought into an organization needs to be done with a purpose. And a process as critical as migration requires you to meticulously evaluate the reasons for migrating. Every business has a different model, and different needs, and goals that should be met.

What’s your goal? Are you looking to improve data architecture? Or are you looking to embrace a new record retention policy? Is organizing content your main worry? Start by identifying and gauging reasons and benefits associated with migration. List, assess, and prioritize your requirements and business objectives before planning your migration strategy.

2. Involve each department, not just IT

Many organizations commit the mistake of believing that any sort of technical migration or upgrade is solely the job of the IT team. However, in reality, a migration to O365 is a team-based activity and requires you to involve all relevant departments.

Check with your legal department if you meet all the necessary compliance requirements, assess the technical changes with your IT team, evaluate bandwidth requirements with your network team – conduct cross-functional team meetings, involve third party vendors if any, evaluate needs and limitations of every department, and have discussions from top to bottom. Facilitate, communicate, and manage the transformation across functional areas and internal departments.

3. Select the right migration tools

Migrating to O365 can involve up to as many as 100 different steps – from assessment and planning to the actual migration and testing. To perform each step flawlessly, you can take advantage of the myriad of O365 migration tools from Microsoft (at no cost) and third party organizations. These tools offer distinctive features: while some are useful in moving user accounts, contacts, tasks, folders, and appointments efficiently, others offer a free pilot check before implementing a full-scale version.

To ensure you select the right tools, make requirement and readiness checklists, understand the deployment objectives, envision the processes involved, and manage the migration with ease.

4. Classify your data for transition strategy

Migrating to O365 isn’t just about moving your data and files to the cloud, but also about building a whole new infrastructure to store this data in a more organized structure. Here again, involvement from each department is important to formulate a migration plan that streamlines the process.

For instance, legacy files which are rarely used could be stored in a designated area, or recurring files which need to be regularly updated could be stored in a library within SharePoint. Having a well-planned data migration strategy is essential to cleanup your existing environment as well as save time and costs in the future.

5. Have a realistic transition schedule

No transition happens overnight and the same holds true for an O365 migration. There will be unforeseen circumstances which might delay the overall migration.

For every organization, policies, permissions, and settings are different, so configurations will have to be made accordingly. Since bottlenecks, network downtime, and other disruptions are bound to happen, make sure you set aside additional time for contingency, while setting a (realistic) migration timeframe.

6. Test your migration plan

After formulating a migration strategy, it is strongly recommended that you test it in batches. This will give you the much needed insight into the content migration rate and will help you determine a realistic timeline for the complete migration.

Also testing your migration plan in smaller units will help in identifying issues which may not be so evident in a full scale test but may have detrimental, long-term implications on your platform.

7. Share knowledge with your end-users

Before going live with O365, it is extremely important to train and educate your end-users about the new environment and its features.

Organize training sessions that help end-users become familiar with the new interface, and educate them about ways to access files and relevant tools. This will eventually help you in saving a lot of time once you go live, and will also increase the likelihood of a smooth and widespread adoption.

The Road to Success

From CTOs and CIOs, to project leads and team members – O365 is one application that’s helping every individual achieve their personal and professional goals. If you’re looking to have a smooth and seamless transition, make sure you first identify the reasons for migrating, then select the right tools, develop a content strategy, have a robust transition schedule, and train end users on O365 functionality.

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Bhavin Sankhat
About the Author – Bhavin Sankhat

Bhavin works as Sr. SharePoint Developer at Indusa and has over 5 years of strong experience, which includes enterprise portal configuration and customization, along with integration of SharePoint with MS CRM, MS AX and SAP.


Contributing Writer: Malavika Nityanandam

Topics: Office 365