7 Major Pitfalls to Avoid While Migrating from Box to OneDrive

Many organizations have switched to Microsoft 365 in the recent years as their primary cloud office suite. The demand for Microsoft’s cloud products has led to thousands of cloud storage migrations with the help of solutions like CloudFuze.

If you are an IT leader or a senior executive who is responsible for migrating your company’s data from Box to OneDrive, we strongly recommend checking these 7 very important points.

Here are the 7 major pitfalls to avoid while migrating from Box to OneDrive (and how to avoid them).

1. Under or Overestimating Migration Costs

Migrating to Office 365 can save companies a lot of money in the long run. It is one of the main reasons why the push to Microsoft 365 migration often begins at the senior management level.

While it is true that Microsoft 365 helps enterprises and large organizations save a lot of money in the long run, the initial migration cost can be pricey.

Depending upon the size of data and the number of users your organization is trying to transfer, Microsoft 365 migration can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to a few hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How to avoid it?

  • Understand what influences the migration costs such as the data size, number of users, migration timelines, security, compliance, etc.
  • Get ballpark pricing estimates from migration service providers.
  • Convey the price range to the senior management very early in the exploration phase.
  • Do not settle with a quote from one or two migration providers.
  • Do not assume that expensive service always delivers results.

2. Choosing a Wrong Migration Partner

Companies need to be extremely cautious while choosing a Microsoft 365 migration provider. Choosing the wrong provider can not only wreck your ambitious migration project but also mess up Box data.

Ideally, IT teams should reach out to all the leading migration providers and set up demos to test their platforms.

Every Box to OneDrive migration tool that is available on the market right now has its own unique advantages and weaknesses. Only thorough research and testing help you understand which tool suits your migration needs the best. For example, not all migration providers support being deployed in your own cloud like the way CloudFuze does.

How to avoid it?

  • List down your company’s migration needs, generic and specific.
  • Conduct thorough research of Box to OneDrive migration solutions.
  • Let IT admins test migration platforms in real-time.
  • Request case studies.
  • Read reviews of migration providers on the internet.

3. Making IT Teams Responsible for the Entire Migration

Cloud office migration is often seen as a technical task. In most cases, IT admins and managers are responsible for the entire migration including strategy, execution, and post-migration activities.

Please keep in mind that migrating from Box to OneDrive and also from Box to SharePoint Online is an organization-wide activity. The migration impacts every function and every employee directly.

Instead of leaving everything to IT, senior management should form a special team with at least one representative from each function. This would not only reduce the miscommunication between internal teams but also help speed up the migration project.

How to avoid it?

  • Name a project leader during the very early phases of migration.
  • Form a migration committee with one senior person representing their function like finance & accounting, engineering, sales, human resources, etc.
  • Prevent IT admins from making non-technical decisions.
  • Inform every employee in the organization about the migration beforehand.
  • Create a framework for end-users to help IT teams in all phases of migration.

4. Not Understanding the Platform Differences

Unlike Box, Microsoft 365 offers two different products for storing data and collaboration. One is OneDrive for Business and the other is SharePoint. IT teams should be able to decide what content should go to OneDrive and SharePoint Online.

Box Notes is a feature native to Box and does not work elsewhere. What happens to these Box Notes when migrated to Microsoft 365? Shared Links is another feature that does not have a technical existence out of Box.

Box uses a ‘waterfall’ design for permission levels. A Box user with access to a folder automatically has access to every other subfolder within the folder. SharePoint, on the other hand, does not work this way.

Besides these, Microsoft does not allow certain characters to be in the file names. It even blocks files with some extensions whereas Box does not have such restrictions.

IT teams should be aware of all the differences between Box and Microsoft 365 pertaining to platform, storage, and sharing.

How to avoid it?

  • Study Box and Office platforms deeply.
  • Have at least one Microsoft 365 expert in your migration team or choose a migration provider that offers managed migrations.
  • Prepare a list of questions for migration providers based on your needs.
  • Do a thorough pre-migration content analysis in your Box account.
  • Choose a migration partner that can migrate Box-native features to supported Microsoft 365 formats. (E.g., Box Notes to Microsoft Word)

5. DIY Methods, Manual Migrations, or Free Tools

“Why can’t we do it ourselves?” Well, technically, companies can migrate their own data if their network infrastructure is good. What is difficult to migrate is permissions. Depending upon the size of a company, it may take months or even years for an IT team to rewire the sharing permissions manually.

Some migration providers offer DIY solutions with basic features and support. They are ideal for startups and small companies but not enterprises and large organizations. Remember, your data and the company’s productivity are at stake.

There are some free Office 365 migration tools on the market that never managed to impress an enterprise customer. As someone said, If you are not paying for it, you are the product being sold.

How to avoid it?

  • IT teams must understand and explain to internal stakeholders why manual migrations are unproductive.
  • Research free tools and services for their performance, features, and security.
  • Prioritize Box to OneDrive as one of the most important company’s initiatives this year.
  • Understand how managed migrations work.
  • Say no to incompetent tools and services.

6. Opting for a Big Bang Migration Approach

Speed is important; but accuracy, consistency, reliability, and security are even more important. If you put the speed at the center of your migration strategy, the focus on many critical aspects of the migration will be lost.

Migrating thousands of users and terabytes of data should ideally be planned in a phased manner. It is nearly impossible to transfer petabytes of data overnight magically.

IT teams should explain and set the right expectations to key stakeholders, especially the non-technical ones.

How to avoid it?

  • Understand what influences migration speeds, including API rate-limiting from vendors like Box, Microsoft, Dropbox, Google, etc.
  • Understand why consistent and reliable performance is more important than speed.
  • Set right and realistic expectations for senior management.
  • Work closely with migration providers for accurate migration timelines.
  • Prioritize data security.

7. Not Informing or Training End Users

End users should always be a part of your migration strategy from the day one your company thought of migrating to Office 365. They should be informed about the change to avoid surprises.

There were many instances where companies switched back to their old cloud storage services just because their employees were reluctant to use a new cloud suite.

Compared to Box, Microsoft 365 is complex and feature-rich. End-users in your company must be trained to use Microsoft 365 products securely and efficiently.

How to avoid it?

  • Inform end users about the change and educate them why your company is moving to Microsoft 365
  • Provide Microsoft 365 training to all employees by certified experts.
  • Build an internal knowledgebase and set a process to address their concerns or solve problems.
  • Make them a part of the content validation exercise after migration

Lastly, don’t forget to work on a cut-off strategy for the Box subscription.

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