4 min read

Migrating to Office 365

Many businesses have been using Microsoft related products for years without moving to cloud, but this stance is changing. According to ZDNet, there are over 120 million users of Office 365, as many businesses migrate to the cloud platform. Migrating to Office 365 is the way forward for businesses, but why? What is involved in migrating to Microsoft’s cloud platform? Cryoserver will explore migrating to Office 365 for you in this blog.

Why Migrate to Office 365?

There are various reasons why a business should migrate to Office 365. They include:

1. You Know What You’re Paying For

Office 365’s subscription plans have fixed price plans, giving you exactly what you need for your budget. Microsoft also adds new innovations and upgrades periodically, so you’ll always have the best version and you don’t have to worry about spending money on such changes. 

2. Flexible Business

With Office 365 operating in the cloud, users can log into the system from anywhere on any compatible device that’s connected to the internet. It also makes it easier to bring new people in and build a bigger business, if you start to have locations across the world.

3. Enhanced Collaboration and Communication

Teams can work together on important documents, no matter where they are in the world. More than one person can be in a document at any one time, allowing colleagues to communicate instantly to complete tasks. With integration to tools such as Microsoft Teams available, all staff members will be kept in the loop on all business developments.

4. Boost to Productivity

With all O365 users in your company being able to work from anywhere, productivity is boosted, as work can be completed in locations they feel most comfortable.

5. Streamlined IT

Building your own IT infrastructure is expensive, and can take up a huge amount of space in your offices. Take this away with a streamlined, cloud-based system managed by Microsoft, which your administrators can monitor to ensure it’s running well for all staff.

Planning your Office 365 Migration

Migrating to Office 365 isn’t an easy process, which is why you need to plan exactly what you’re taking over to O365 to ensure a smooth transition. There are a few steps to do to complete the process.

1. Know What You’re Migrating

With a mail migration, it’s important to understand exactly what’s being migrated and what needs to be configured. You will need a list, including items such as:

  • User mailbox data – This includes emails, contacts, calendars and tasks. These items are a high risk because your users will not be able to continue without them if things go wrong. A migration should ensure there is zero interruption to any data found in mailboxes. 
  • System mailboxes or application mailbox data – If you use an email marketing platform to send automated messages, it will be affected by the migration. The same will be said of CRM, ERP, MRP, Mobile App and e-commerce platforms.
  • Shared mailbox – Many businesses use generic email addresses – including info@ or sales@ – which bring in leads and enquiries. They must be able to work properly during and after the migration.
  • Distribution lists – If you’re using distribution lists to send emails to users, you will want to keep them and not have to waste time recreating them.
  • DNS Records – These must be reconfigured to ensure email flows of Office 365 and not your legacy system.
  • User devices and endpoints – Laptops, desktops, tables and smart phones must be connected to the new mailboxes in Office 365.

2. Make and Share the Migration Plan

You need your email migration to complete with no downtime or loss of data, and little impact on your users. This isn’t easy to do, as you may have users across multiple locations and time zones, in the case of large businesses. Users will have access to various devices and different email clients. It’s possible that you have different email domains on different hosting providers. That’s why you need various sub-plans.

Licensing Plan

You will need to map your old emails onto Office 365 and confirm what happens with each email account. Licensing skills are required here to ensure you control costs and complete a smooth transition.

User Plans

A user-by-user plan is a great opportunity to tidy up emails currently in your system. All regular employees typically migrate using the same username and password, but a line manager may receive ex-employees’ mailboxes, so you can avoid purchasing additional licenses. Some employees may have multiple email addresses, which can be consolidated as you migrate users.

Cutting down on how many mailboxes and addresses you have will be better in the long-run in terms of security. The more wasteful email addresses you have, the more opportunities it gives hackers to cause a cyber security breach.

Spam and Malware Filtering Plan

If you’re already using your own spam filtering service, you’ll likely be able to carry this over to Office 365. However, Microsoft designed O365 with layers of anti-spam and anti-malware features, so customers didn’t have to spend money on a separate service.Device Plans<h3>

Those in charge of migrations should catalogue current devices and the mail client landscape, and instigate a plan for moving clients if needed. Office 365 integrates well with various devices, so it’s unlikely that you’ll have to change tools. Users could also adopt Outlook, which is the email platform in Office 365, which is available on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS devices.

Team Resources Plan

You must decide who will complete the migration in your team. Some will trust that their in-house department will complete it as they know all users on the network best, but they may not have all the resources required to complete the migration. You could seek help from a third-party, such as Cryoserver, who can support your team with the Office 365 migration.

3. Execute the Migration

Once the project is in full flow, your users shouldn’t be affected at all, with everything happening in the background. Your users will continue to use their current email provider until a migration cut-off point is reached and everyone moves over. This will be when all email, calendar and contact options have been migrated and up-to-date.

Everything else should be completed by the migration team, either in-house or with their third-party partner. With Cryoserver’s email archiving software, you can move every single mailbox over to our archive, where you can easily decide what should and shouldn’t be kept. Search for items in seconds, making the whole process of migration faster than you originally forecasted.

For expert email migration service support to Office 365 from your current email provider, get in touch with Cryoserver today.


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