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Businesses in a period of growth commonly find themselves in this delicate position: you are ready to begin using a more flexible and powerful business platform such as Office 365, but you’re not sure how to perform the migration, since your entire approach before this step has been ad hoc.

For instance, you might have multiple different email services being used by different departments that need to be combined — a challenging task, right? It may appear so, but it is not as challenging as you think so long as you have the proper Office 365 consulting services at hand.

Managing Your Mail During Office 365 Migration: Before and After

There are a few key steps you want to take before you begin the migration process. Microsoft and its partners have spent a great deal of energy making Office 365 easy to set up new mailboxes for, but if your company is already doing business, you could have thousands of individual mailboxes already set up through an on-premises mail platform such as Exchange or Domino. You want to make sure your data is safe, retrievable and easy to implement before and after the migration takes place.

Office 365 Migrations

The first thing you want to do is consult with an Office 365 consultant like Sterling Technology. The particulars of your email migration strategy are going to be affected by the platforms you use and their compatibility with Office 365. Importing your inbox to the platform is simple enough, but you’ll want to make sure that your calendars, notes and other business materials also get seamlessly integrated into the system.

To do this, make a quick checklist of what functions and products you want to migrate, and what ones you don’t need to spend time and resources on. This is the second step to ensuring a smooth, simple transition toward enjoying the benefits Office 365 migration offers.

Choose the Email Migration Type That Suits Your Needs

If we assume you’re migrating from an IMAP-enabled Exchange environment, you have three major options to choose from when it comes to your emails:

  • Cutover migration migrates all mailboxes at once. It offers the cleanest and smoothest experience, but works best for migrating less than 2000 mailboxes at a time. It is preferred for migrating 150 users or less in order to capitalize on the time it takes.
  • Staged migration implements the new mail system in batches. This allows you to keep business running efficiently while undergoing a transition period where certain employees use Office 365 while others await migration.
  • Hybrid migration maintains both systems simultaneously, allowing you to gradually move your userbase to Office 365. It is an ideal system for companies with more than 2,000 mailboxes, but you must set a clear cut-off date for Exchange support. Otherwise, you risk running dual systems indefinitely and possibly not even knowing about it.

These three strategies remain the same even if you’re using a different IMAP-enabled email system such as Gmail. However, in that case it is necessary to create each user’s mailbox and manually import contacts and calendar items if necessary. Professional Office 365 consulting services can help you determine the cost of such a move and assist you with determining what information needs to be prioritized.

Sterling Technology Solutions is the trusted choice when it comes to staying ahead of the latest information technology tips, tricks, and news. Contact us at (704) 271-5001 or send us an email at inquiries@sterling-technology.com for more information.

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