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In recent years, Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) has become a popular choice for many small- and medium-sized businesses who are looking to take their operations into the cloud. Many are making the move to the cloud to cut down on costs to license desktop applications and eliminate the need to host servers and other infrastructure.
While this cloud-based solution has several advantages for growing businesses and features all the familiar Microsoft Office applications (plus some new apps), conducting a migration to the Microsoft 365 platform requires careful consideration, including weighing the benefits of having professionals perform the migration versus attempting it in-house.
The professionals at XBASE Technologies can help you move and update your Office suite and Outlook while keeping your digital assets safe in the process with our Microsoft 365 migration service (Office 365 migration). Not only are we experts in the familiar features found in Microsoft 365, but we can also introduce and implement lesser-known options and applications (like 2 Factor Authentication). Whether you’re looking to simply move your email (Outlook) to the cloud or migrate the entire Office suite, you can rely on our certifications and experience to do it right the first time.
It’s tempting to think that migrating to Microsoft 365 is as simple as flipping a switch. It’s certainly marketed that way, but there are obstacles and potential timewasters to avoid.
Consider this: even just migrating email (Outlook) is more time-consuming than most people understand. Copying mailboxes and synching the raw data up with Outlook 365 can be so time-consuming that the entire project timeline can be affected. With individual mailboxes averaging a gigabyte of data, most companies vastly underestimate this phase of the project.
Next, you’ll have to consider user connectivity. After migrating from on premise Outlook to Microsoft 365, the way your users previously connected to their email accounts will need to change on all devices—including, desktop computers, laptops, and mobile phones. You’ll have to factor in the time it takes to reconfigure the connection details on all of those devices. If you have 100 employees, and you allocate just 15 minutes per employee to this task, it will take over three business days to complete—not an inconsequential amount of time in the project timeline!
Additionally, businesses will need to consider how they want to deploy Microsoft 365. Because it’s licensed by the user rather than by the corporation (like on premise Office), administrators will need to encourage and ultimately enforce the licensing by every user (the migration won’t be finished until all users complete this step!). Should it be deployed all at once to everyone? By department? Done by increments? Your deployment choice determines both how long the migration will take and potentially its ultimate success. As for your computers, this also means that the Office suite license is not installed on every device, so users must log in to Microsoft 365 to access Office applications rather than accessing them on the device itself. If you share computers or have “floaters,” this is something to keep in mind.
Depending on how much data you have, and your Internet connection speeds, a Microsoft 365 migration may consume large amounts of bandwidth, which could affect the Internet performance your users experience. For the largest datasets, this may require that the migration happens overnight or weekends, which could affect staffing, overtime, etc. Also keep in mind that, after your data has migrated, Microsoft 365 is delivered over the Internet rather than on in-house servers, which means the demand for bandwidth will only increase. If overall Internet performance is degraded, you may have to upgrade your internet connection, which can be surprisingly expensive in some regions. With our Microsoft 365 migration service (Office 365 migration), XBASE can help you test your internet performance, so that you’re properly configured for your new life in the cloud.
Keep in mind that account passwords will need to be changed or updated, which could lead to security issues and project delays if not managed correctly. Again, factor in the time it will take to get all users up and running on the new platform.
Furthermore, while Microsoft 365 has antivirus and malware protection built in, it may not have the same level of security or features as the solution you are currently using. It’s important that you check to see if your current solution offers a version that works with Microsoft 365. If not, you may have to purchase a new solution that both works in Microsoft 365 and has the full feature set of your previous solution.
When making a major change that affects your data, like migrating to a cloud-based solution, you should always have a backup plan in place, especially if you have industry-driven rules about data retention and data governance (e.g., in regulated industries like healthcare and financial services). While Microsoft 365 has multiple layers of undelete, your data compliance rules may dictate full backups even before the migration is undertaken. Even after a successful migration, you may also want to consider backups of Microsoft 365 data, as Microsoft does not provide this service.
Lastly, you may be thinking that, because they’re accessing the same Microsoft applications and data, users will easily transition to the new environment, but that’s not always the case. Training should be part of your migration plan, so that the Microsoft 365 rollout and adoption is successful.
With XBASE’s Microsoft 365 migration service, we work with you to create a plan, including analyzing your data to see what has to be migrated and what flaws need to be corrected in advance. Once the full migration plan is finalized, we will move your data, using state-of-the-art solutions, with minimal interruptions to your business operations and users. Your migration is continuously monitored by our expert 24/7 staff, who will quickly address any issues that may arise—often before you are even aware of them.
After the migration, we are available 24/7 to ensure both your technical staff and regular employees get the assistance they need. This ongoing support is extremely important to the adoption and ultimate success of your Microsoft 365 migration project. Furthermore, XBASE can not only ensure your Microsoft 365 data is secure, but we can also keep you up to date with the ever-changing data security and compliance requirements in your industry.
A Microsoft 365 migration (formerly known as an Office 365 migration) is not something to be afraid of—XBASE Technologies is here to ensure it goes smoothly for your organization. As a Gold Certified Microsoft Partner, XBASE’s experienced team approaches the Microsoft 365 migration in a systemized, disciplined way, with years of experience across multiple industries and company sizes.
If you’re interested in conducting a Microsoft 365 migration but need support along the way, XBASE Technologies has you covered. Feel free to give us a call at (416) 340-1020 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our Microsoft 365 migration service. We can help your company be “Exponentially Better™”.