Microsoft has done its best to make migrating to Office 365 as simple as it can be -- but for more extensive or complex organizations, it can still seem a little overwhelming. Here are some important Office 365 migration tips, to ensure that you can complete your migration with minimal headaches.
1. Time the migration correctly. Ideally, your Office 365 migration should occur separate to any big technical changes that you're making. Isolating a single software rollout at a time is usually the best way to avoid potential problems, such as issues with integration or a lack of available resources. This will also reduce the amount of work your IT team needs to do all at once.
2. Loop in your internal and external IT teams. Your IT teams should be aware that help desk ticketing and reports are likely to go up substantially just after a migration -- after which they should quickly drop down to normal levels. In order to compensate, you may want to ensure that your IT team is fully staffed (or even over staffed), as well as brief them on the project timeline and anything else they should expect.
3. Don't forget to boost your bandwidth. Office 365 migration often requires the movement of a lot of data. Depending on your system, you may want to ensure that you have enough bandwidth and that it is stable. Plan ahead: the migration may take some time.
4. Create a pilot test program before the transition. You never want to conduct training in a live environment. Instead, your users should undergo thorough training and practice with the new system in a demo environment. Getting users acclimated to a new system is often about familiarity. As long as they don't feel that the system is entirely alien to them, they should be able to find the answers to most of their problems on their own. Creating a pilot program to test Office 365 on your users will also reveal any issues they will experience in advance.
5. Consider migrating to Office 365 in stages. That doesn't just mean moving the actual data in stages, but also moving the users over in stages. The more adaptive and tech-savvy users (or the users that interface with the system the least) can be migrated first, while users that may need additional help can be migrated separately or individually. Executives should usually be migrated towards the end stages so that any issues have already been discovered and worked out before they experience them.
Most businesses are better off migrating to Office 365 sooner rather than later. Not only does Microsoft Office 365 have an extraordinary number of advanced new productivity features, but it also allows a business to step away from having to maintain physical infrastructure. Nevertheless, it's understandable that a migration can seem difficult and complex. A managed service provider can help you draw out a game plan, so that everything can be handled step by step.