Your Official Guide to Microsoft 365 Migrations

The Official Guide To Microsoft 365
(Office 365) Migrations From ECW

The software programs a company employs to operate its business is key to performance. Software for businesses is meant to make a business perform an efficient and effective manner, but it doesn’t always work out that way. In fact, it often doesn’t work out that way. Software programs can be inflexible.

It can be cost-inefficient. It can be flawed. It cannot perform the way you anticipated. It may not be able to handle all that you wanted it to handle. When these problems (as well as many others) arise, it can cost you and your business resources like time and money. It can also be stressful, and that’s good for no one.

To address these problems, companies are looking for an innovative solution. From startups to Fortune 500 companies, the change is being made: Microsoft Office 365. It is flexible and agile. It accommodates and nurtures growth. It’s cloud-based and cost-effective. It presents an array of enterprise-level functionality. It offers solutions.

But migrating a business’s existing data and system to Microsoft Office 365 is an issue in itself. It is complicated and can be made even more so if the right preparations are not undertaken. Here’s your simple guide to Microsoft 365 migration.

Microsoft 365 Migration Guide

Preparation for Microsoft 365 Migration

Migrating your system from an on-premised structure to one based in the cloud requires thorough preparation if you want to minimize or avoid pitfalls or errors during the migration process. A few things that must be considered when preparing for Microsoft Office 365 migration are enumerated below.

  1. Identify the condition of your Active Directory. For example, are there inactive user accounts? What’s the quality of the data? Are UPNs consistent or not? Good quality of your Active Directory means a smoother transition.
  2. Determine which identity model is best for your business. Basically, it’s how users are authenticated or able to log into the system. You will likely consider one of the following identity models, either cloud-based or hybrid types, offered by Office 365:
  3. Determine the quality of your network. Poor internet connectivity will make for a poor migration experience. This poor experience will extend to performance one Microsoft Office 365 has been successfully migrated.
  4. Determine how to execute the migration. Four specific strategies for Office 365 migration are:
    • Cutover migration, which is a strategy that migrates all mailboxes, contacts, and distribution groups at one time (with a limit of up to 2000 users)
    • Staged migration applicable only for Exchange versions 2003 and 2007
    • Hybrid migration, which supports Exchange 2010 or higher and allows for offboarding mailboxes from Office 365.
    • IMAP migration applicable typically only for non-Exchange systems.
  5. Determine how to address email archives and PST files. Depending on the form of email archives and PST files, you may need to use an on-premises Exchange server or utilize either Office 365’s PST collection tool or a third-party program.
  6. Identify which – if any – third-party vendors you may need to help with migration. We at ECW Network & IT Solutions can help you successfully and efficiently execute your Office 365 migration.
  7. Inform employees why and when Microsoft Office 365 migration will occur and outline expectations.

Microsoft 365 Migration Steps

The thorough preparation of Microsoft Office 365 migration is the key to a successful migration. The basic steps of the actual migration process will be specific to your company and the information you discovered during the preparation period. For a basic understanding of the migration steps, however, consider the below:

  • Assign licenses to employees via the Microsoft Online Services Portal.
  • Enable specific programs, like Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.
  • Begin the migration (typically over the weekend).
  • Change DNS records.
  • Configure all devices (e.g., mobile phones) for Office 365.

Post Microsoft 365 Migration Test

Once the migration has completed, you should run a test to make sure all Office 365 services are functioning properly. And then: start using your new cloud-based serve to save resources, scale up, and perform at optimal levels. But be sure to continue to monitor and support your Office 365 solution.

Don’t let the fear of migrating to Microsoft O365 prevent you from taking advantage of its many benefits. To schedule a no-obligation consultation and to learn how you can migrate your current on-premises system to a highly functional Microsoft 365 environment, contact us at 561-295-4421 or email us at We customize migration strategies to incorporate and fulfill your Microsoft 365 migration goals. Plus, we can provide continued support and monitor your Microsoft 365 system once it’s in place.

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