In today’s dynamic business landscape, embracing cloud-based solutions like Office 365 has become a strategic imperative. Businesses seeking to enhance productivity, security, and collaboration have identified Office 365 migration as a critical step towards achieving these goals.

Navigating the intricacies of Office 365 migration can be a daunting task. However, with the right guidance, not only can the businesses successfully migrate onto the platform but also reap the full reward of this powerful cloud-based suite.

FunctionEight has prepared a comprehensive guide that will help you understand what Office 365 migration really is, what factors you should consider before migrating and what are the different methods of migration.

Let’s begin!

What is Office 365 Migration?

As the name suggests, it is the process of moving your business infrastructure from an on-premises environment to the cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 platform. Over the past few years, industry standards have changed with the incorporation of cloud computing in all spheres of life, including business.

Staying up to date with technology is the only way for companies to enhance their profits and ensure continuous success. With the emergence of cloud-based platforms like Office 365, enterprises are now able to save money on the total cost of ownership. In addition, the migration has made scaling your business services easier than ever.

Factors to Consider Before Office 365 Migration

Migrating your business infrastructure to Office 365 is sure to be a profitable move. This is only possible if you manage to perfect the migration process. A poorly managed migration can suffocate a well-established business with problems such as data loss, costly delays, and downtown and service malfunctions. Below are the key factors you need to keep in mind:

Selecting the Subscription Plan

Broadly speaking, the Office 365 platform offers you three main plans, namely, Home, Business, and Enterprise. The primary difference between the three plans is the user base. If you are an individual user with basic requirements, the Home license would be the preferable option for you. The other two plans, the Business and the Enterprise are designed for startups, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and large business corporations.

When looking at the plans, you may be tempted to go for the cheaper subscriptions to save money. However, a more suitable way to choose the plan is to go through the inclusions each plan has to offer. For example, all Business plans offer you a total of 300 users, so if your company has more than 300 hundred users, you will have to go with the Enterprise license that offers unlimited user caps.

Hence, you must conduct a thorough review of the subscription plans to carefully fulfill your business requirements.

Planning the Migration

You need to evaluate your current infrastructure to plan how to move things over to Office 365 without causing disruptions. For instance, evaluating your current applications will tell you whether they are compatible with cloud computing.

To ensure a seamless integration of the applications, you may need to make adjustments. Examining your business data will help you understand how much data you can move safely at a time and if there is any confidential or fragile data that needs special handling during migration.

Moreover, the planning phase also requires you to identify concrete business goals you wish to achieve through the migration. Additionally, you must also assess the user requirements and expectations you are targeting to hit with Office 365. Lastly, the method of migration best suited for your business should also be identified during the planning phase.

Data Backup and Security

Arguably the biggest concern with the migration process is the safety of your business data. Before starting the transfer, you need to ensure the identification and backup of all the useful data. Moreover, as you move the data over to the cloud, you will need inbuilt safety features from Office 365 to ensure the safety of your data.

The Home license does not offer you any security features, so you would either have to go with the Business or the Enterprise plan. These two offer Advanced Threat Protection, Exchange Online Protection, and other security protocols.

Team Communication and Adaptability

The success of your company’s Office 365 migration is determined by your team’s performance with the new infrastructure. If you impose a drastic change onto the entire existing framework of your business, your employees will experience extreme difficulties adapting to it. Hence, keeping everyone in the loop and having clear communication can help your employees prepare for the new system and perform better.

Third-Party Application Integration

Like every other business out there, your business may also be using third-party platforms such as Customer Relation Management (CRM). To seamlessly integrate those with Office 365, you will have to purchase the right subscription plan.

Which Migration Type to Choose?

The type of migration you choose depends on your business framework. Each type has its own pros and cons; while some focus on getting the data transferred in various stages, others with the all-in-one approach. Here are the details:

Cutover Migration

If your business has less than 2000 users, cutover migration would be the most suitable option for you. It’s the simplest and easiest type of migration that allows you to transfer all the data within one go.

Staged Migration

Moving data in stages, this type focuses on minimizing downtime and disruption to your business operations. If your company has more than 2000 users, the staged migration would be an ideal choice.

Hybrid Deployment

As the name suggests, the focus here is to move some parts of the framework over to the cloud and leave some on-premises. It’s the most expensive and gradual migration process that provides a huge range of benefits.

Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP)

If your business does not have an Exchange-based mail system, you should consider using IMAP to transfer your mailboxes to Office 365.

Final Thoughts

Carrying out an Office 365 migration can be a challenge without proper guidance. Although there are tools and instructions available you can use to perform the migration, a false step here and there could put your entire business infrastructure at risk.

Luckily, you do not need to perform this daunting task all by yourself. FunctionEight has experienced IT professionals who help you plan and manage the entire Office 365 migration. Whether you need full planning or just a bit of help, reach out today. Our friendly technical support crew is ready to walk you through every step of the migration process. Let’s make your move to Office 365 hassle-free with FunctionEight’s reliable IT solutions.