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Microsoft Office 365 Migration

A local integrated solutions provider was in an IT support contract with a national managed service provider that was over-charging them and not delivering the level of service they needed. They turned to Techants Solutions to help lower costs by migrating on-premises messaging platforms to the Cloud. The first step in that process was to migrate from their aging Exchange 2013 server to Office 365 tenancy:

  • Setup relationship with Microsoft
  • Create a single-sign-on experience for the users
  • Seamlessly migrate emails from on-premise to Cloud
  • Terminate lease on Exchange server after migration

The client needs to migrate all the users mailboxes from on-premise exchange server to office 365. They had multiple domains and exchange had 3 TB multiple databases

Stages of Work

Stage 1 – Discover and Evaluation

The discovery and assessment stage ensures we don’t waste time or money migrating data and IT assets we don’t need. One Gartner study found that 80 percent of its client’s data was redundant during a deployment.

The discovery assessment what we used are:

  • The number of user accounts
  • The number and size of mailboxes
  • Client versions and configurations
  • Network setting details
  • File storage locations
  • Intranet site information (if used)
  • Online meeting and Instant Messaging platform details
  • Any applications like CRM or workflows you use

Stage 2 Create our Strategic Plan

Once we have a complete picture of the client’s IT environment, it was the time to create the Office 365 migration plan.

In this process, we had a few concerns that we addressed:

  • Which mailbox migration strategy we used?
  • Are you doing a staged or cutover migration? Hybrid approach? Select the migration strategy that works with your business. (Not sure? We can help you with that.)
  • Who are the key players in the migration?
  • You need management and power users in your organization on board to complete a successful migration.
  • How do we carry out the migration without disrupting workflow?
  • Make sure you consider how the migration will affect business continuity and adjust for it.


Stage 3 Test your Plan with a Pilot Migration

Testing before migrating can avoid downtime due to issues with bandwidth, servers, certificates, and more.

We conducted a pilot migration by migrating only a small amount of data and verifying the results. This allowed us to test permissions and access, capture and address any errors, document the findings, and gather statistics on our migration and also allowed us to tweak our plan based on our learnings from this pilot migration.

Stage 4 Migrate

After working out any kinks in the testing stage, we are now ready to complete the Office 365 migration.

Stage 5 Validate & Remediate

Finally, validated the migration. Collected feedback from users to learn what was working well and what was not to rectify any unseen issue. It was addressed any problems that may need fixing after the migration. We communicated to the end-users how to customize preferences and verify their information is intact.

The post-migration follow-up is crucial. Migrating data to the Cloud without implementing the processes and tools to support Office 365 will drive up costs and complicate support in the future.

Business benefits and outcome

  • Increased mailbox size for all users – All users now have a default mailbox size of 50GB (the standard mailbox size included with Office 365 Business Premium).
  • Successful transition to Microsoft Applications – The staff are pleased because they are now using Microsoft’s latest suite of applications included with Office 365 Business Premium. These applications include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access, all of which can be accessed directly from the Cloud via a web browser or downloaded and used locally. Local documents are synchronised with SharePoint in Office 365, so they are saved in the Cloud.
  • Coauthoring has provided an additional value as many of the staff were working remotely.
  • The client’s costs remain controlled – The decision to continue using a subscription-based service in Office 365 has allowed the client to keep their costs controlled and gain access to a full suite of Microsoft Applications and Microsoft exchange without any Capital Expenditure required.
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