With remote work now firmly in the global business mainstream, Office 365 migration has become a key strategy companies are using to stay connected, productive, and transparent. Microsoft remains the leader in cloud product offerings that keep remote employees feeling like they are part of the team..
A business owner can prepare for the transition from Exchange Servers to Office 365 on his or her own, though, and it may not be as complicated as you think. Here is an Office 365 migration checklist to help you make the switch.
Office 365 or Microsoft 365?
Recently, Microsoft changed the name of its product offerings to Microsoft 365. The major differences between Office 365 and Microsoft 365 is that Microsoft 365 offers all the benefits of Office 365 but adds Windows 10 licenses and Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS) tools. This means an increased layer of security for your users. Microsoft 365 is a bit pricier than Office 365 but is a more complete package of services.
While all Microsoft 365 plans offer increased security, choosing Microsoft 365 Business Premium adds a few extra layers such as multi-factor identification, Windows update management, Defender, and Firewall policies.
Microsoft 365 plan pricing ranges from $5 per user per month for the most basic that includes limited services, $12.50 per user per month for Business Standard, and up to $20 per user per month for Business Premium. Integris recommends spending the additional $8 per month to upgrade to business premium for its advanced security and device management features.
For more information, check out our resource, A 360° Look at Office 365 , to see if it’s the right choice for you.
Your Do-It-Yourself Office 365 Migration Checklist
Here is a step by step guide to moving your network off the server and into the cloud.
Make Sure Your Server is Healthy
Before you start migrating to the cloud, your hardware must meet certain requirements. Luckily, Microsoft offers a downloadable app that will check your systems for you, a kind of Office 365 Migration checklist. At the end of this assessment you will receive a “passed,” “warning,” and “error” report to show you the potential hurdles to a successful transition so they can be corrected.
Audit Your Current Infrastructure
It’s time to get an understanding of the components of your infrastructure and create a spreadsheet including:
- Number of Servers
- DNS and Network Architecture
- Authentication Strategies
- Email Routing and Clients
- Directory Design
- The current version of the old platform
- Number of Users
This is the time for you to decide what information and data needs to move to the cloud.
Add Your Domain
Next, add your domain to Office/Microsoft 365 by accessing the Microsoft Online Services portal. Create DNS records to reroute your domain traffic to Office/Microsoft 365.
Synchronize Your Servers
Install on-premises Directory synchronization servers and configure them. For an Exchange hybrid deployment, activate the Directory synchronization to provision your user accounts. Lastly, update and ready your on-premises Active Directory to synchronize it with Office/Microsoft 365.
Deploy Your Applications
The final step in your Office 365 migration checklist is to install your applications and deploy the new Office/Microsoft 365 desktop. Check to make sure everything seems to be properly configured, updated, and running smoothly.
Don’t Forget the Mobile Devices
Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync lets your employees synch mobile devices with their Exchange Online mailboxes. Set up mobile devices for remote access to Office documents and email.
Office 365 Migration Checklist: After the Migration
It’s go-time! Test the entire Microsoft Office/365 suite for functionality, including your frequently used templates. Check for changes in formatting and style, as some settings may have changed during the Office 365 migration.
Office 365 Migration: We Can Help
Microsoft 365 is designed to be intuitive, but even with an Office 365 migration checklist it can seem overwhelming. Integris has been both using and recommending Microsoft products for years, having seen the future of cloud services. We know Microsoft and can help your business migrate in far less time than it takes if you go it alone.
Ready to chat? Contact us for a free Microsoft Migration Readiness Assessment and see how our friendly experts can help you transition quickly and easily.
If you’re not ready, check out our FREE eBook, A 360° Look at Office 365, for a deeper dive on the information. It’s part of our free and very comprehensive Modern Workplace Journey Essentials Kit, available now!