Organizations big and small are quickly migrating their email to Microsoft’s Office 365 to take advantage of the many benefits of Cloud-hosted email. An Office 365 migration is a big move however and should not be taken lightly or you could experience IT problems for weeks or even months afterwards.
Here are six ways a move to Office 365 can go horribly wrong and what you can do to avoid problems.
1.Internet Connection is Too Slow
Moving your email to cloud-based Office 365 is going to put more pressure on your internet connection in two ways. If your email was hosted onsite with an Exchange Server, much of the day to day in-house communications that used to run running internally on your network, will now flow in and out over your internet connection.
Your initial migration to Office 365 will also heavily tax your internet connection because everyone’s email will need to be uploaded to the Cloud.
There is a simple solution to this – make sure you have a fast internet connection. Fibre with a 10X10 Mbps connection is ideal but depending on how many staff you have a fast ADSL or Cable connection might be sufficient.
2.User Mailboxes are too Big
Office 365 allows user mailboxes of up to 50 GB, which is great for people who don’t like deleting email. The problem is getting your email there. The larger the mailboxes of you and your colleagues, the longer your Office 365 migration will take and the bigger the risk of migration challenges.
Have people archive their email, delete messages with large attachments and do a general cleanup before moving to Office 365.
3.Poor Communication to End Users
It will be a challenge for some of your colleagues to understand what is happening to their email and what they need to know during the migration. As email gets uploaded to Office 365, users may not have access to their old email right away and may need to temporarily use webmail for access.
Don’t proceed with an Office 365 migration until you have communicated to everyone in your office what to expect and what they need to do during the 1-3 days the Office 365 migration is taking place.
4.Old Versions of Microsoft Office
If any computers are running versions of Microsoft Office that are earlier than Office 2010, they will not be able to properly use Office 365. These users will need to use webmail or upgrade their version of Office.
Have your IT service provider run a software inventory (this should be simple if they’re properly managing your environment) and see what versions of Microsoft Office are on each of your computers.
5.Buying the Wrong Office 365 Licenses
There are many, many different versions of Office 365. Some are just hosted email, others come with SharePoint, Lync and Cloud services like OneDrive. Some Office 365 plans also include desktop versions of Microsoft Office.
Spend the time researching your options and ensure you understand the limitations of each.
6.Not Engaging an Experienced Company to Plan and Migrate Your Email
An Office 365 migration can be very straightforward for someone who is experienced and has done a number of them. Like any IT change, using an IT service provider who has seen what can go wrong and how to avoid problems is your best way to go.
Any company you rely on should have experience doing numerous Office 365 migrations and should be able to provide you with a strong plan to avoid the issues mentioned here.