6 Steps to flawless O365 migration

6 Steps to flawless O365 migration by Aravindan Anandan, Consulting Systems Engineer, Asia Pacific, Barracuda Network 

Cloud is becoming a strategic part of every IT managers plans. Whether the IT you run is big or small, cloud is likely a serious part of your forward thinking strategy. In my experience the first serious starting point in the move to cloud computing for many companies is moving personal productivity applications to a cloud based offering. In the vast majority of cases that I come across this means moving to Office 365.
Much analysts research that I come across backs up my own field based litmus test, with the first wave of cloud adoption being driven very much by SaaS, and Office 365 sits firmly in this category.
For myself and the team at Barracuda, we have a lot of experience in helping our customers understand the time and preparation involved in executing a flawless Office 365 mitigation.

  1. what you have got – assess the applications and associated data are currently in use, then decide what needs to be migrated.
  2. Look at your email applications, especially local message stores in outlook clients and understand what needs to remain active and what can be archived.
  3. Use these “backward” looking steps as a chance to find unnecessary accounts and possible wasted resource.
  4. Consider the time the migration will take given the amount of data you will need to move and applications you will need to support.
  5. Assess any potential risks in data loss or application consistency that might occur during the migration and plan to mitigate this risk.
  6. Build a plan in advance for how you will protect and secure your Office 365 environment once it is live.

The key advice that I recommend to every potential client I speak to is they must assess and plan.  Doing this will ensure they understand the timeline, resource requirements and cost of the project.
One of the critical areas we often come across in the assessment phase is messaging stores, specifically PST from outlook clients. It can be a real challenge to simply track where PST files are located across the organization, which of them should be archived for compliance purposes and which needs to be kept in an easy to access state. There are privacy, security and cost risks associated with not doing this thoroughly and frankly speaking it is a near impossible task if tools that automate the process are not used.
The great news is that once our clients have completed the planning aspect of an Office 365 migration project. Often with our help. Barracuda can offer a complete suite of tools and products that I will discuss in my future blogs that help in minimizing risk as well as simplifying and speeding up the entire migration process.

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