With an Office 365 migration looming, now is not the time for a game of chance, to roll the dice and hope for the best. As we’ve seen time and again, successful, on-time and on-budget Office 365 migrations simply do not happen unless the IT team has full visibility into the IT environment that they plan to migrate.
In a previous post we outlined the first component of a pre-migration assessment: IT asset inventory. Read, “We’re Deploying Office 365. Now What?” here for more information. An assessment isn’t complete with inventory alone. Additional steps to round-out your pre-migration strategy:
Messaging Assessment: The core infrastructure of an Office 365 deployment is the new cloud-based Microsoft Exchange environment. As such, it’s important for IT pros to understand the footprint of an organizations messaging infrastructure on-premises in order to deploy an equitable footprint in the cloud. Messaging assessments review the number of users and mailboxes then types of and volume of data within the mailboxes.
Data Assessment: Wouldn’t your job be easier if end users kept all of the data they need to keep inside the current messaging environment? Instead, too often, end users skirt storage capacity and mailbox limits by moving data offline to an Outlook PST or other local archive (also common when migrating from Notes or GroupWise). Offline data, which might be critical and necessary to migrate, won’t move automatically move.
Storage and Archiving Policy Assessment: Speaking of storage capacity and mailbox limits, your pre-migration assessment provides an opportune time to review policies. Some users may be subject to data storage requirements for compliance purposes. Overall, Office 365 likely provides an increase in storage capacity beyond what was available via an on-premises deployment. Understanding the current policies in place today will help determine if changes should be made post-migration.
As mundane as an assessment may seem, thorough preparation better positions you for a successful migration. Getting push back from on high to just make the migration happen? Remind the C-suite that uncovering issues during migration could add months to the project. But discovering issues ahead of time will save you time down the road.
The complimentary Quest eBook: “Surviving Migration to Office 365: An IT Pros Guide to Migration, Key Considerations and Critical Processes to Ease the Pain,” outlines additional best practices. Download it today.