Migration can be one of the most complicated IT tasks in a business environment. Just recently, a new client got in touch with our team to get help with their move from to Microsoft 365. They made the right call – mismanaging a migration can result in a number of serious consequences:
The Alliance team of experienced IT professionals understands that problems can emerge at any time. That’s why we offer a 24-7 live chat platform. When businesses and other organizations have an obstacle or worrisome issue with their technology, prompt communication helps put your mind at ease.
This new client got in touch with a simple request: “I’m looking for pricing on a small Office 365 migration.”
Our representative replied immediately, explaining that Alliance provides custom projects, meaning more information would be necessary to quote a price for migration.
“All our projects are tailor-made to the specific needs and appropriate to the client’s business context. So it is difficult to give exact figures but if you would like to give me your information I can have one of our Client Service Representatives give you a call right away to discuss further.”
We then arranged a time to call and chat directly with the interested party. By learning more about their organization’s size, needs and goals, we were then able to lay out a plan for their migration to Microsoft 365.
Once we had learned more about the business in question, we walked them through our carefully developed migration process:
Step 1: Plan Ahead
When preparing for your migration to Microsoft 365, it’s important to plan efficiently and thoroughly.
The best way to achieve this is with an actual meeting with those who are involved in the process. You should talk through a number of key factors both in the migration, such as:
How will we train staff members on using Microsoft 365?
This is an especially vital step because, if you don’t have answers to these questions, then you probably aren’t ready to migrate. Knowing how to answer these questions means that you can avoid common pitfalls and hit the ground running with your new IT environment.
Furthermore, we make sure your entire staff understands what migration means for their work. What kind of downtime will they encounter, what are the benefits they will have access to once it’s complete, etc.
Step 2: Hardware
Migration is a great opportunity to take stock of your hardware. This is the type of consideration you need to make (and do something about) before you migrate, and not after.
Step 3: Software
As Microsoft 365 provides virtually all the software you could possibly use, there isn’t too much to take stock of in your old environment.
However, if you and your staff currently use mail-enabled applications that you’re fond of, or that are so specific to your business and industry that you’ll need them post-migration anyway, then you need to make sure they are compatible with Exchange Web Services.
Step 4: Equip A Deployment Tool
Microsoft offers a Deployment Readiness Tool to help users plan out the many aspects of a successful migration – primarily, environment discovery.
This tool can analyze and gather info on your IT system’s Active Directory and domain settings, helping to take stock of your Exchange, SharePoint, End User environment, and Skye for Business settings. In addition to the app-based features, the Deployment Readiness Tool will also log your network configurations and settings so that they are carried over in migration as well.
Furthermore, Microsoft also has an Assessment and Planning Toolkit. While it is not designed specifically for Microsoft 365, it is useful for discovery and inventory of cloud services and applications. If you’re migrating from a cloud-based or hybrid environment, the Assessment and Planning Toolkit will likely be a useful aid in determining what you need to keep track of.
Step 5: Migrate
Now that all the groundwork has been done, it’s time to migrate.
Remember, there’s no rushing this process. We want it to be effective, and we want your new Microsoft 365 environment to work as planned – that means taking the time to do it right.
It’s possible to handle a migration of this scale on your own – but it won’t be easy. As you can see, there’s a lot to consider, and this doesn’t even take into account the time and money you would spend on handling the process independently.
It’s much wiser to simply enlist the assistance of an IT company like Alliance Technology Partners, just as our new client recently did. We will be able to offer the experience and skills necessary to manage the migration end to end and avoid the common pitfalls.