Microsoft Office 365 is a popular cloud-based productivity platform because it has all of our favorite Office programs, plus new apps for collaborating and simply getting things done. Additionally, organizations that want to avoid paying upfront for lifetime licenses can now enjoy Microsoft’s software via O365’s monthly subscription plans.
If you have determined that Office 365 is the right productivity solution for you, then you'll benefit from these tips on how to make the migration process as smooth as possible.
Outline how you plan to use O365 to accomplish your goals
Obviously, you don’t want your O365 subscription to become a money drain — you want to use it for business processes that directly or indirectly contribute to the bottom line. For instance, let’s say worsening traffic conditions are making staff members arrive late, exhausted, cranky, and less productive. Regaining or increasing productivity by implementing remote policies is therefore a good goal to have — and O365’s collaboration features can help your company achieve that goal.
Obtain user buy-in prior to migrating to a new system
Convey to your employees the organizational goals you want to achieve, and show them how O365 will help them attain those goals. Assure them that the new platform is not difficult to learn and will make them more efficient in the long run. Promise them that you’ll provide training so that they’ll become proficient in using O365.
The last thing you want to do is push the new platform down people’s throats and have them learn it on their own. Human beings are naturally resistant to change and will insist on doing things the old way because that’s what they’re comfortable with. Without their buy-in at the get-go, the new software will be an expensive virtual paperweight until users finally start adopting it.
Create a thorough migration plan
Migrating to O365 is an involved process because you have to:
- Prepare your operating environment, i.e., do an initial audit to determine:
- Whether your internet bandwidth and speed is suited to an all-cloud model
- Which mailbox rules and access rights need to be updated
- Which data libraries have to be cleaned up (i.e., which legacy files have to be stored, and which unused files have to be purged)
- Which hardware and software components need updates
- Other requirements you have to fulfill prior to the migration
- Appoint departmental representatives who will:
- Identify the particular needs and concerns of their teams
- Discover potholes and roadblocks that may hinder people from adopting O365
- Serve as evangelists within their respective departments
- Learn how to make the large-scale transition towards using O365 as quick and smooth as possible by finding out:
- The acceptable periods when service can be interrupted
- Anything that can be adversely impacted by the migration process
Prepare your organization for downtime
Moving your databases and processes to O365 may take a significant amount of time, considering that O365 serves many clients and therefore has daily upload limits in place. Beyond limits and bottlenecks, other issues may crop up and slow down or stop the migration, so it’s best to build in some wiggle-room when plotting your migration timelines.
Help users adopt the new system
Let users know where to find their data and files, and train them on how to use the new platform so that they can use its new and powerful tools as soon as possible.
Additionally, set a date for when you’ll shut down your legacy system for good. Having them use two systems and store files in separate repositories will lead to conflicts and inefficiencies — the very things you’re trying to solve by using a new platform in the first place! It’s therefore necessary to have a deadline for employees to complete their adoption of O365.
Adopting Microsoft Office 365 may just be the crucial step your organization needs to take to achieve its goals. Let XBASE Technologies Corporation help you — learn more about our Exponentially Better™ IT migration services today.