What to consider when migrating to MS 365

Simon
Director

When it comes to communication, be that with clients, customers or suppliers, most SMEs will tell you that the number one way they stay in touch is via email. With data being so business-critical, it is essential that businesses select the right provider when migrating over to Microsoft. Having said this, it isn’t the only factor to consider. 365 is about so much more than emails. Here we’re going to dive into the things to think about before your own migration.

Migrating to Office 365

A big draw for many to make the switch to 365 is the flexibility offered, thanks to it being hosted in the Cloud. Users only need an internet connection to be able to access their files, emails and Office programs wherever they are. This is ideal for a workforce that is becoming more agile, with remote work becoming key to survival for businesses.

The benefits of this flexibility? Well, firstly, it allows employers to offer staff more flexibility themselves. This helps with achieving work/life balances, enabling them to work from home when needed; a capability needed now more than ever. This, combined with the ability to work anywhere, allows for greater productivity too; employees no longer need to be chained to the office to work.

So, what other benefits are there?


Firstly, it offers lower upfront costs; a huge factor for most businesses as we come out of 2020 and head into recovery. Not only are the upfronts lower; the pricing works like a subscription. So, managing the spend is easy and transparent, as well as being agile. This helps with budgeting too, as monthly and annual spend is clearer and can be managed depending on your IT budget.

This moves us onto our next benefit; MS 365 offers simpler licensing for multiple computers and products.

On its website, Microsoft says “When you buy a subscription, you specify the number of licenses that you need, based on how many people you have in your organisation. After you buy a subscription, you create accounts for people in your organization, and then assign a license to each person. As your organisational needs change, you can buy more licenses to accommodate new people, or reassign licenses to other users when someone leaves your organisation.”

This method of licensing is, again, easy and agile. It allows for flexibility, whether your team is growing or shrinking, and there are many levels to choose from to suit your business needs.

And the cons?


As with most modern products, it is designed to be easy. But, as it is still a complex change, the step-by-step migration wizard is still pretty tricky. There’s are potential pitfalls and a few places where it is easy to trip up. That’s where it’s always a good idea to hire an expert experienced in ensuring a smooth transition.

Planning for a migration

So, what do you need to do in order to plan for a smooth and successful transition?

1. Understand your current solutions

To ensure a seamless transition, knowing exactly what needs to be migrated is the first step. This means having a good understanding of your current email solutions, including platforms, user locations and devices. Broken down, this means knowing:

  • How many mailboxes you want to migrate
  • If users are across multiple locations
  • If users are under different email domains
  • If users are using different devices

This isn’t something you have to wrap your head around alone, NPIT can carry out a thorough audit of your current setup. This is not only to get to grips with the above. It is also to be able to recommend the best migration path for your organization based on your current mail system. This includes:

  • The number of mailboxes you want to migrate
  • Managing users locally or in multiple locations
  • Managing different email domains

No Problem IT are experts in full migrations with minimal disruption to you and your organisation. We can migrate mailboxes from Exchange Server or migrate email from other IMAP-enabled email systems such as Enterprise Vault, EmailXtender, SourceOne, Quest and more.

2. Data clean-up


It is important to use your migration plan as an opportunity to archive outdated data and ensure everything is and remains GDPR compliant.

This can feel like a daunting task, but we can help. We can offer support and advice with what to migrate and what to retain in your archives. And you won’t need to worry about the unnecessary or outdated data; we will manage and migrate this elsewhere.

3. Plan for synced apps and platforms


A 365 migration isn’t solely based around email, calendars and tasks. Chances are you have countless other apps synced with your email, from your email marketing platform to your CRM, as well as devices like printers and scanners.

We plan for these, cataloguing them during our initial audit and ensuring they are part of your personalised migration strategy.

4. Mitigate the risk


As with any kind of switchover, there is risk associated with a migration of this kind. This isn’t something that should stop you undertaking a transition; as long as you mitigate the risks involved, your migration should be fast and minimally disruptive.

The first step in mitigating risk is ensuring your spam and malware solutions are installed and current. The second step is undertaking a full audit of all the data migrated and archived.

A thorough review of these risks by experts in the sector will give you peace of mind. No Problem IT prides ourselves on our diligence in ensuring that your migration is safe, secure and simple, thanks to our expertise and experience in these full migrations.

365 Migration Services

These are the steps to undertake to plan for a migration, and we agree – it isn’t simple! That’s where we can help. At No Problem IT, we provide full migration planning and support, based on your unique business requirements and GDPR compliance.

NPIT provides fast migration and zero disruption to mailbox data – including emails, contacts, calendars, and tasks.

We maintain best practices for Exchange Online for the ultimate performance.

Read here about our Microsoft 365 migration services or contact us to begin your Microsoft 365 migration.

From maintaining your IT Infrastructure to helping you transition to the Cloud, we are experts in a range of IT Support services.

Simple. Secure. Sorted.