Office 365 is an excellent, comprehensive working suite for businesses and enterprises, facilitating easy collaborations to improve day-to-day productivity and streamline actions.
In today’s day and age, it is pivotal to focus on equipping your business with a slew of latest technological resources. Office 365, developed by Microsoft, can prove to be an outstanding choice for your organisation.
However, if you do not already use Office 365 migration services, the process of switching from your current setup to Office 365 can seem quite daunting. There is a lot to do, and one wrong or missed step can lead to the erasure or loss of your precious data.
Therefore, in this article, we have created a simple step-by-step pre-migration checklist to ensure your easy, fuss-free transition to Office 365.
Step 1: Plan and Prepare in Advance
Planning and preparing everything in great detail beforehand is a sure-shot way to assure an effective, error-free transition. The first step to initiate this process effectively would be to communicate clearly to your co-workers and employees.
This step will bring everyone on the same page, clarify doubts and bestow everyone with wholesome information. This communication shall touch upon the process that will be adopted, the implementation plan, and the consequent changes that will be brought about. It will prepare every individual and entity associated with the organisation well in this migration. If you are planning to do the migration with your team in different locations then you can use remote working tools to work together.
It is critical for the success of such large-scale migration to devise such plans together with the team. Their inputs, suggestions and alternatives may metamorphose the existing draft into a solid, achievable vision. Hence, rather than dictating the idea, one must be willing to host brainstorming sessions.
Moreover, one must put forward the necessary details such as the date of execution, estimated time duration, the total requirement of diverse resources and the like. You also need to take the special precaution of data for other offices 365 project management tools.
Step 2: Prepare an On-Premises Inventory
After crafting a well-deliberated plan with the collaborative efforts of your team, the second step should be to create a detailed inventory of your business.
In this, you must incorporate a comprehensive range of items, some of which are listed as follows:
- The names and email addresses of all the users
- The number of mailboxes and their sizes, after taking shared resources into consideration.
- Data on client versions of browsers, operating systems, desktop and mobile versions
- Information on file storage locations and DNS records
- Data on online meeting and instant messaging setups established
- Information on the integration of any application with the current system like CRM and mail-enabled apps
Step 3: Examine your Existing Environment
In the third step of your pre-migration, you will need to conduct a critical analysis of your Exchange environment.
You should review the following:
- Ways of creating and synchronising accounts
- Necessary license requirements
- Setting authentication criteria for users
- Analysis of network capacities and their suitabilities
- Need for the training of end-users
- Upgrading security systems such as antivirus, firewall and the like
- Information on the type of devices needed for Office 365
Step 4: Preparation of Migration
Before beginning with the migration process, you must ensure if the data is outfitted for the same.
Here is a list of things that shall warrant the preparation of your data:
1. Updated Active Directory
This involves the removal of unused accounts, ensuring correct information, valid email addresses etc.
2. Making the data ready
Choosing which data and emails must be moved, which must be archived, and the necessity to fulfil compliance regulations are taken care of in this step.
It is crucial to note that the more the data you choose to migrate, the longer the whole process will take to complete. It is, therefore, wise to critically think of what is essential and what can be done away with.
3. Fulfilling the network requirements
It involves steps like increasing the bandwidth of the internet already put in place, upgrading routers if necessary, installing antivirus software and getting rid of any outdated devices.
Step 5: Setting Up Office 365
This is the last step in the checklist of your pre-migration preparation. At this point, you will mostly be configuring different items for Office 365.
Here is what you will be essentially required to undertake in this step:
- Configuring the Office 365 subscription along with licensing
- Adding the required domains to the suite and verifying all of them
- Configuring applications and other systems that you would need
- Configuring security setups
- Synchronising the directory, if needed
- Review and inspect your now in-place security setups
- Run test migrations on your data
- Run test migrations on your emails
- Inspect if Office 365 tools are working
If all of these function well and without any issues, you are all set to initiate your actual migration process. At the end of it, you shall find all your chosen bits of data and information exactly where you destined them to be. You can then begin working on your Office 365 system right away.