We split our planning into 3 basic steps: Know what to Migrate, the plan for migration, and performing the migration. This is a relative process, which is why we resemble them as “steps”.
Step 1: Know what to Migrate.
All thriving projects begin with a proper plan. With mail migrations, the understanding of what requires migration or reconfiguration is the initial step. Consider the checklist below and you will instantly realize it is very a complicated task.
- User mailbox data traditionally consists of calendars, tasks, emails, contacts, etc. These are your most crucial risk factors because users suffer the most when things go sideways. You should plan your migration in such a way that there is no interruption to mailbox data. No data loss, no interruption, and importantly no downtime.
- System mailboxes or Application mailbox data. If you actively use emails to send out automated messages, they are most likely to get hit by the migration too. They are often neglected by migration amateurs.
- Distribution lists are utilized to send email to pre-designed lists and avoids a loss of time. If you have gone through the difficulty of constructing them in the first place, you do not require to do it again!
- A reconfiguration is required to the DNS records so that your email moves to Office 365 instead of your old system.
- Another reconfiguration is required for the user devices to connect to their new mailboxes in Office 365. This involves phones, desktops, tablets, laptops, etc.
Step 2: Making the plan for Migration.
Your email migration is supposed to finish with no data loss or downtime and have minimum impact on your users. Hence, this requires a proper and well-designed plan. In case, your users may be scattered over various places and time zones, they will be using various devices and email clients. You might also have several email domains hosted by diverse providers. You also have a variety of different migration services such as to Migrate from Gmail to Office 365, SharePoint Online Tenant to Tenant Migration etc.
So, your planning should involve all of the following aspects:
1. Licensing strategy
As an element of the planning process, you will need to draft old emails on your new Office 365 tenant and establish what you want to do to each of the accounts. This is where licensing skills are required. You can manage your expenses here by designing a hybrid licensing setup.
2. User planning
An email migration provides you an excellent possibility to clean up your email. Regular users can migrate normally with a similar username and password, but ex-employees’ mailboxes can be migrated to shared mailboxes that do not need a different license and can be used as per requirement. If there are employees with multiple email addresses, they can be combined as an element of the migration process. You also get an additional benefit of working on a Hosted Virtual Desktop.
From a security viewpoint, this migration activity enables you to evaluate how many email accounts you possess. You have to recognize here that the more email addresses you possess, the more possibilities others have to breach your security and cause you damage.
3. Device clients planning
Your migration team would require recording the current device and mail client scenario and then plan for moving to new clients if required. You can utilize a broad variety of devices and mail clients to work with Office 365, so your users can seemingly keep using their traditional tools.
Step 3: Performing the migration by executing the Plan.
When the migration process starts, your users should not notice because all of the work will take place in the backend. To make it simple, they should be capable to keep on using their current email like they are used to. Then when the migration process reaches the cut-over point, they start working on Office 365 alternately. All of their email inboxes, calendars, and contact lists will have been moved and will stay up to date. You just have to make sure there is no data loss, and the migration process is smooth and successful.