IT Managed Services
1Path recently held a webinar concerning the difficulties moving to Office 365 can pose. It’s not a cutting-edge topic, but one that we deal with frequently as a Managed Service Provider (MSP).
After all, evaluating whether cloud is right for your business is key to strengthening the maturity level of your IT organization.
When it comes to technology, the best thing to do is almost never the easiest. Migrations can be hard. Not only is the setup and transfer of data challenging, but user adoption is a big concern too. After all, changing the environment and tools your employees use every day is not the best way to make friends.
Despite the higher total cost of ownership and potential pain of migration, the adoption of SaaS-based cloud products continues to rise. That should tell you it’s worth considering.
Here are common issues we see when working with clients moving to Office 365 and recommendations for a smoother transition:
No Experience with Hybrid Solutions
If your environment isn’t complex and your plan to use Office 365 straight out of the box, you’ll likely have a simple migration.
However, migrations become more challenging when an organization wants to retain aspects of their on-premise environment. Hybrid solutions make sense for companies who have a large mobile workforce, but want to maintain on-premise solutions for their employees working from the office.
It’s important to thoroughly understand your current architecture before implementing new solutions.
Migrating from Legacy Enterprise Content Management Solutions
When migrating from solution A to solution B, things do not always work the exact same way. It’s like putting a square peg in a round hole-it doesn’t work.
For example, linked Excel spreadsheets or permission models from legacy enterprise content management (ECM) systems do not use concepts like inheritance.
To combat issues like this, provide detailed reports with information such as file source locations, file names, or SharePoint Online locations to minimize confusion.
Migrating Large Amounts of Data
Imagine trying to squeeze a watermelon through a small funnel. That’s what it’s like when businesses with inadequate bandwidth need to migrate large amounts of data.
If you have large amounts of data, expect to have a lengthy migration. Allow yourself enough time and set expectations correctly.
Breaking Legacy Archive Relation During Export
Moving archives to cloud can break the relation between archive and user mailboxes, leaving the users unable to access archived email.
If you need to export or extract any data, remember to allot time when migrating mailboxes to Office 365.
Understanding Retention Policies in Office 365
When organizations migrate from on-premise to Office 365, it’s important to ensure the proper retention policies are in place to meet the various governance requirements of your organization.
Be sure you understand them and how to implement them before starting your migration. Without doing this, you could quickly become out of compliance without realizing until it is too late.
Hindering User Adoption with Poor Design
Encouraging user adoption is a big reason why businesses avoid migrating to cloud-based SaaS suites.
Not only do you have to nail the infrastructure and integration right the first time for adoption to naturally occur, you must have a strategy for roll out. It’s unlikely that your internal IT department will have enough time to train every team member individually.
To encourage user adoption, segment out your early adopters and cheerleaders first to receive training. These people are naturally on the cutting edge of technology and will help support adoption across the organization. Also, be sure to roll out the software changes slowly, so the switch seems gradual and less jarring to your end users.
Addressing Security Concerns About Office 365
When a company transitions one or more services to the cloud, security is a concern.
Microsoft takes their security offerings seriously and Office 365 is no exception.
A good vendor will get you setup properly to make full use of the Microsoft security and compliance portal.