Over the past several years, the adoption of Office 365 has steadily increased, from 60 million monthly active users in November of 2015 to 258 million as of April 2020. While this can be attributed in part to the growth of existing customers, it’s also a reflection of the rising number of new companies (from small to large) migrating over to the cloud-based subscription service.
While the path for Office 365 migration is paved with opportunities — from improved operations to greater scalability — the migration itself is known to come with some speed bumps. This can come in the form of glitches mid-process or performance issues encountered after the fact.
Rather than be bogged down by these kinds of disruptions in an Office 365 migration, we’ve got some useful tips on how to minimize their impact and keep your team productive (and satisfied).
1. Conduct an Infrastructure Discovery Phase
Before an Office 365 migration, IT personnel need to have a clear understanding of their current IT footprint so they know what they’re migrating and if the requirements of the new environment are met. Think of this as a gap analysis that highlights potential issues before they have a chance to cause disruption.
To illustrate this, let’s use the example of a bandwidth assessment. When businesses migrate over to Office 365, they tend to increase the use of their internet circuit. This means that they need to make sure the bandwidth they have now can account for this increase, with the capacity to spare for busier days (at least 20% leftover capacity, as Microsoft recommends). Otherwise, a lack of bandwidth will slow down the migration process and negatively impact the end-user experience.
A bandwidth assessment should be one of many steps in the infrastructure discovery phase. Other important factors to analyze include:
- Current servers and components
- Current network architecture and DNS
- Current authentication solutions
- Active Directory design
- Mail routing
- Hardware and software
- Client applications
- Mail archiving and compliance
- Mailbox size and item counts
2. Develop a Migration Communication Strategy
While it’s important for businesses to communicate to employees why they’re transitioning to Office 365 in the first place, this should only be the start of the conversation. Communication plans should be established to keep users aware of the project timeline, steps they need to take before/after migration and any planned disruptions they should anticipate during this process.
Consider the frustrations that can mount when these communications are not in place. It could be that an employee loses temporary access while in the middle of a task and loses their work, or they lack the instructions needed to set up their mobile device once the migration is complete. Both scenarios interfere with the productivity of employees, and in turn, create dissatisfaction.
With a well-structured and documented communication plan, you’ll make your Office 365 migration smoother for users, and in doing so, remove subsequent hurdles for IT personnel who have to address user concerns.
3. Perform Post-Migration Tests & Checks
Businesses can take all of the right steps to ensure proper functionality in the Office 365 environment, but there’s always comfort in knowing everything has transferred over as intended. That’s why it’s recommended, after an Office 365 migration is complete, to take a series of steps to verify that performance requirements have been met.
On one hand, there’s post-migration service tests to confirm proper business workflows. Let’s think about this in terms of mail migration. From a functionality standpoint, you’ll want to verify that emails can successfully be sent between migrated and on-premise recipients, as well as that both parties can book meetings too. Simple service tests can offer you these answers.
On the other hand, there’s the need to check Office 365 templates. You’ll want to make sure these templates launch correctly when opened, and that their styles and format render properly.
Gearing up for an Office 365 migration? As a provider of IT consulting services, TecSetGo can walk you through every step of the process to optimize your environment, minimize user impact and confirm proper functionality. Find more information on our Office 365 services here.