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Seven steps to help you plan your Office 365 migration

Posted May 17, 2017
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A customised migration plan should be developed to make sure your business continues to run smoothly during and after the Office 365 migration cut-off.

By Chad Gowrea, Director - Solutions and Strategy

migration to the cloudA Microsoft Office 365 migration is a major undertaking for any business. Even though your employees will continue to work on familiar applications, they will need to adjust to a new environment.

Change is always scary; however, the rewards for migrating to Office 365 are considerable, from cost savings to greater productivity and higher availability.

A customised migration plan should be developed to make sure your business continues to run smoothly during the migration and after the cutover. For a seamless transition, it’s important to pay close attention to your network, directories and clients before you begin. You should also consider the applications which will be used, as well as the ongoing security and support of the Office 365 environment.

Seven Tips for Successful Office 365 Migration:

1.    Know if your business requires single sign-in (Active directory)

Users should be able to log into Office 365 using their normal credentials and access the same directories from the cloud as when using internal resources. If users require a single sign-on, their active directory must be synchronised with Office 365 during setup, which will require additional servers to function correctly. Bremmar, can do the planning and setup for your business, making sure everything is linked and synchronised. We ensure a seamless migration that avoids minimal impact for your users.

2.    Research cloud services

There are multiple components within the Office 365 suite. These include SharePoint, OneDrive, Exchange Online, Yammer, Skype for Business and more. The migration procedure for each service differs in terms of time and complexity.

Microsoft offers several business plans that incorporate a range of these services. Plans include Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 Business Premium, Enterprise E1, Enterprise E3 and Enterprise E5. If you don’t know which plan suits your business, or would like to discover the new solutions available in Office 365, such as document management through SharePoint, Bremmar can help.

3.    Check your network

Be prepared. Before beginning your Office 365 migration, check that your network has sufficient bandwidth to run cloud-based software. Also, consider the impact of firewalls and proxies that could potentially block communication between your network and the cloud.

Before you start the migration to Office 365, Bremmar can complete the checks for your business and advise the best option moving forward. We commit to only recommending and delivering the most suitable solutions for your business.

4.    Protect your business

If your business doesn’t have a password policy, you may be using simple and insecure passwords. When you move to Office 365, complex passwords are required and the option of changing the password every 90 days can be set as a default. Office 365 also includes antivirus, anti-spam, encryption and archiving solutions to keep your data safe.

At Bremmar, we recommend protecting your business with SkyKick, a solution that backs up all data from Office 365. While Microsoft does include a backup strategy for Office 365, it doesn’t cover data loss by human error (deleting files).

5.    Equip your team

Even though Office 365 has been designed with a focus on being user-friendly, your employees may also need to be trained on the new services and features. Often people are resistant to change and struggle to embrace it, particularly when they are not confident in using it. We recommend training your staff to understand how to use Office 365.

Our consultants can help with demo sessions or staff training to ensure everyone is up to speed and getting the most out of Office 365.

6.    Determine your Office 365 migration approach

Microsoft offers multiple transition options – Staged Migration, Cutover Migration, Hybrid migrations, IMAP Migration and Remote Move Migration.

At Bremmar, we recommend hybrid migrations as they cause fewer interruptions, and often offer the most seamless approach for all users. However, as our recommendations are based on your current infrastructure and requirements, we’ll evaluate your business and determine the optimum approach for your business’ requirements.

7.    Consider the “what-ifs”

What if you get stuck and encounter technical problems during your migration? Where can you turn for support? It’s ideal to be backed up by specialists who you can call 24×7. With Bremmar, your business will always have a friendly consultant ready to help. So why take risks and do the migration yourself when you can relax and transfer the risk to us?

Is your business ready to move up?

Bremmar can assess your business readiness and recommend the most effective Office 365 migration strategy for your business. We’ll evaluate your infrastructure, flag any system or app incompatibilities and present a customised plan to help your business move up.

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Migrating to Office 365 is a complex task that requires careful planning to ensure a smooth and successful transition. Every organisation is different, and the most effective transition path for your business will depend on the readiness of your infrastructure and the services you intend to use.

To find out more, simply contact us today on 1300 991 351 or email help@bremmar.com.au.

By Chad Gowrea, Director - Solutions and Strategy

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