If you want something to happen in business, you need to have a rock solid plan. An IT migration – of any kind – is a journey from here to there, and the key to a successful journey is to know where you’re going. To have a map, which, as every crossword solver knows, is another word for plan. Successful Office 365 migration requires a thorough Office 365 Plan.

What are we trying to achieve?

It’s helpful, when you want to form any kind of plan, to set out the objectives. It’s probably also a good idea from time to time to remind ourselves why we decided on Office 365 in the first place. Here are the goals most people say they are trying to achieve from this move:

  • To save time and to save money. Time, because people who need to work together can collaborate much more effectively. Documents are transferred easily, and several people can work on the same one at the same time. Money, because pay-as-you-go is always going to be cheaper than a big upfront outlay for licenses – to say nothing of reduced hardware and energy costs.
  • Absolute security, and availability 24/7/365, wherever you happen to be and whatever device you happen to have in your hand.
  • Budget predictability.

It looks like a big move – but your users have been familiar since they were in high school with the Microsoft tools they’re going to be using.

Steps on the way to a successful Office 365 roll-out

So, it’s the right move to make. But it won’t happen on its own. The only things that do that are disasters. And you don’t want one of those. So make a plan. Microsoft has helpfully provided what it calls a deployment planning check-list for Office 365

An Office 365 Plan breaks down like this:

  1. Current environment audit.
    You need to know how many licenses to buy, what features you’re going to be using, and whether your network and the devices connected to it are up to the task. What that actually mean is carrying out a “current environment audit,” which will tell you exactly where you are and make it a lot easier to move from where you are to where you want to be. If anything needs to be tweaked, adjusted, upgraded or replaced, this is the time to do it.
  2. Configure Office 365 the way you want it to be.
    Make sure that all users are aware of the coming change. Select your chosen migration method (there are several).
  3. Start the migration ball rolling.
    While that is in process, make sure that detailed instructions on what to do when the migrated system goes live are in the hands of every single user. You can’t force people to read those instructions, but you must make sure they have them.
  4. Now the big moment:
    Transfer DNS, fire up the new email system, and make sure that you have staff trained and on hand to deal with whatever calls for help you get from users. (However well you handle the process, there will be calls for help. Your users wouldn’t be users otherwise).

With apologies to Hannibal Smith, the reason we love it when an Office 365 plan comes together is that it enables the IT department to demonstrate to their colleagues in the company that their mission-critical processes are in safe hands. And that will make the next IT initiative that much easier to sell internally. If you need any help in this process, we are here. Get in touch.

Considering Microsoft Office 365 for your business?
If you need any Office 365 assistance, please speak to our experienced team at Stanfield IT on 1300 910 333