There are a number of key steps that go into a successful Office 365 migration. Here we list out some of they key points in completing a successful Office 365 migration.

Microsoft Office 365 Migration Checklist

1. Check the prerequisites

Before even considering an Office 365 migration, make sure your systems meet the Office 365 requirements. You need to ensure your systems are able to support the various products that are part of the Office 365 platform. Microsoft has provided a comprehensive overview of all system requirements here

2. Check your bandwidth

You should check your Internet speed and bandwidth before a migration. You will need adequate bandwidth to move email from your current system into Office 365, as well as for downloading mail into Outlook clients. Microsoft applications may also require updates. You also need to ensure adequate bandwidth for the ongoing use of Office 365 services. Microsoft provides the Exchange Client Network Bandwidth Calculator tool to approximate how much bandwidth a certain number of email clients would consume. Microsoft also provides a number of network and Internet tips and tools here.

3. Setting up the Office 365 platform

Set up your Office 365 subscription before you migrate. This involves signing up for a plan, verifying your domain, setting up DNS records, creating users and mailboxes and activating licenses. Also make sure you have administrative access to your current email system.

4. Assess your current mail environment

You need to take a look at your current email environment and understand what you have, how it is setup and what you will be migrating. Find out how many and what types of mailboxes you have (e.g user, shared), and if you have other mail objects such as distribution lists, contacts and Public Folders. Also consider email archives.

5. Decide on a migration path

This is usually the most challenging aspect of an Office 365 migration. If you have an on-premise Exchange server there are three ways to perform a migration: cutover, staged and hybrid. Choosing the right one will depend on your current environment.

A cutover migration is for Exchange Server 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013 with fewer than 2000 mailboxes. In this migration you are migrating all mailboxes to Office 365 at once, and then switching email routing to Office 365 as your mail provider.

A staged migration is for Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2007 servers with more than 2000 mailboxes. In this scenario mailboxes are migrated to Office 365 in batches, with the migrated users connecting to Office 365 and others still working from the Exchange server. The cutover is complete when all mailboxes are migrated.

In a hybrid migration, your organization runs both the on-premise Exchange server and Office 365 while gradually migrating mailboxes across. This migration is supported for Exchange 2010 and 2013 with over 2000 mailboxes.

If your email is hosted through another provider, you may perform an IMAP migration using the Office 365 Setup wizard, Powershell or a 3rd party tool.

Finally, for small organizations, you may simply have users import their own mail by using Outlook to export their current mailbox and import it into their Office 365 mailbox.

Obviously the migration path can involve a great deal of complexity and technical skill. Microsoft provide much more detail on all the options here.

6. Cutover mail flow

Once the migration is complete you will need to update your DNS records to redirect mail flow to Office 365. As DNS records can take some time to propagate, you will need to plan it for a suitable time, and ensure you catch any mail which might still be directed to your old email system.

7. Setup new mail profiles

Once the mail is flowing into Office 365 staff will need to update their mail clients to connect to Office 365. They may also need to update bookmarks for things such as Webmail. Be prepared to assist staff with troubleshooting as well as with any questions they may have regarding features and functionality.

Considering an Office 365 Migration?
Speak to the experienced team at Stanfield IT on 1300 910 333