We’re Deploying Office 365. Now What?

Major IT migrations aren’t easy. What’s especially frustrating is that while the decision to move to a new IT platform likely did not fall on the IT administrator’s plate, the responsibility for a flawless rollout does. Such is the case with an Office 365 migration, an increasingly common shift for organizations moving an on-premises Microsoft install or other enterprise messaging platform to the cloud.

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To ensure success and ease the pain of a migration, tight alignment between IT decision makers and the IT team is critical. Alignment should include discussion about scope of the deployment, accountability for staying on track, success measurements and a communication strategy for all those impacted by the migration. But that conversation and a process to set reasonable, achievable expectations for an Office 365 migration can’t really happen until the IT administrators truly understand how complex the migration will be.

Enter a pre-migration assessment.

“But won’t a pre-migration assessment take extra time?” says the CIO who wants to check Migrate to Office 365 off his 2017 to-do list. In fact it will and organizations with 500+ employees should anticipate at least 1-2 months for a proper assessment. But, the consequence of not performing an assessment would be far more disruptive. A pre-migration assessment provides the IT team with full visibility into their current IT environment, important information that enables the team to determine:

  • What critical data and users accounts should be migrated 
  • When critical data and users accounts should be migrated
  • How to simplify the IT environment to minimize the complexity of the migration

While a comprehensive pre-migration assessment includes several elements, begin with an IT asset inventory. An inventory of the IT environment includes:

  • Users accounts (login names, email addresses and delegation relationships)
  • Size of user mailboxes
  • Offline data, in third-party archives or local PST files
  • Client versions and configurations
  • Network settings
  • File storage locations
  • Online meeting and Instant Messaging systems
  • Additional third-party applications with workflows integrated into existing systems

With an inventory complete, IT teams can move on to additional steps. Stay tuned for our next blog post that provides a look at other critical assessments. 

A pre-migration assessment may be the most critical element of a successful cloud migration. But the IT team’s work doesn’t stop there.

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