Keystone has done quite a few Office 365 Migrations and here are some of the things we would like to share with you.
1. Don’t overestimate your internet connection
Poor Internet connection = poor experience. Moving to any cloud system requires a solid Internet connection. Microsoft Office 365 is one that may require the least amount of total bandwidth, but it is constantly using bandwidth and connection for your users. If you have a poor or unreliable Internet connection, you will have a poor and unreliable Microsoft Office 365 experience. Here is a link to Microsoft’s network planning and performance tuning for Office 365. Once your mail is imported, you may be able to function using it on an old DSL connection giving you 3Mbps down but depending on your import method it may bring your network to its knees.
2. Failing to understand the plans
I get it; there are a lot of plans to consider. Spend some time reading about the plans or talk to a Microsoft Partner. If you don’t have a partner, this is a link to the best Microsoft partner we know. (Yeah, it links back to our website. Cute, right?) Picking the wrong plan may result in you paying for what you don’t need and selecting the wrong services and options for your organization. Plan evaluation is a critical part of your overall strategy and should not be overlooked.
3. Deciding not to migrate your old mail
Microsoft has numerous ways to get your old email into their system whether it be through IMAP migrations or their various tools migrations methods. We have not completed a migration where old email wasn’t necessary. It’s important and the few times where we were told it wasn’t important, they came back later and said that they were wrong, and that is important after all. The problem is not incorporating this into your plan can be more troublesome and expensive to deal with in the long term. For those using Outlook pop with PST files, Microsoft has even released a tool to migrate PST files in bulk. With all of those options available, not importing your users’ mail to “save time and money” is short sighted at best.
4. Not Customizing
Just because Microsoft 365 is a cloud system and not installed in your existing infrastructure doesn’t mean you can’t customize it. Quick tip - there is a mailbox policy applied on every mailbox with Office 365, and that policy will purge your deleted items. So, if you have users that like to keep things in their deleted items (ridiculous as it may seem), then you need to either change that policy or remove it. I know a good Microsoft Partner (yep we did it again) that has written a script to quickly change these policies. Additionally, you can customize your mail flow rules, add connectors for on-site mail servers, and even integrate your Active Directory. Not taking advantage of some of these customization features is an extreme underutilization of the 365 system.
Interested in migrating to 365? Keystone can take away the worry and make sure these mistakes (and others) aren’t made.