Microsoft 365 Migration Best Practices For Enterprises & SMBs

Microsoft 365 Migration Best Practices


Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) is one of the most preferred cloud services for enterprises and SMBs owing to its familiarity (with existing tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), integrated services suite, security, and enterprise-grade support.

If your organization is planning to migrate data to Microsoft 365, you must consider following specific proven Office 365 migration methods to ensure an optimized and smooth migration.

This blog post gives insights on curated best practices for enterprises and SMBs on how you can implement a successful Microsoft 365 migration without disruptions.

1. Partnering With a Leading Data Migration Vendor

Rather than going for manual migration methods or self-service migration tools, enterprises and SMBs must partner with a leading data migration vendor. It is because a competent cloud migration vendor will:

  • Undertake full responsibility for the migration process
  • Have expertise in handling various migration scenarios
  • Provide customization and flexible pricing
  • Seamlessly migrate TBs/PBs of data along with associated file features
  • Reduce the risks involved during the migration process with optimum security
  • Provide ongoing support

CloudFuze is one of the leading cloud data migration vendors that assists enterprises and SMBs in end-to-end Microsoft 365 migration with complete support at every stage of the process.

2. Pre-Migration Assessment

Before you move your data to Microsoft 365, it is highly recommended to perform a pre-migration assessment. It helps better understand what to expect from the migration and be prepared accordingly.
A pre-migration assessment must include the following:

  • Finalizing data size and the number of user accounts to migrate
  • Deciding which file features to migrate (timestamp, version history, embedded links, external and shared links, etc.).
  • Whether to migrate to OneDrive or SharePoint Online, or both.
  • Converting source cloud-specific files (like Box Notes) to Microsoft 365.
  • Planning the Office 365 migration timeline.

Check this post to learn more about the pre-migration assessment steps for businesses migrating to Microsoft 365.

3. Understanding Microsoft 365 Limitations

Businesses planning to move to Microsoft 365 should know its associated limitations.

For example, in Microsoft 365,

  • The length of the file path is limited to 400 characters.
  • It does not support special characters like ” * : < > ? / \ | .
  • It does not support specific file/folder names.
  • You can check out the limitations of SharePoint Online in detail and how CloudFuze helps overcome them.

4. Prepare User Mapping

During Microsoft 365 migration from any other source cloud, one of the initial steps is to map the user accounts between the two clouds. Identifying the user accounts that need to be migrated from the entire list and mapping them to the destination cloud can save time and effort and shorten the migration period.

CloudFuze’s managed migration team supports enterprises and SMBs in mapping user accounts through different methods like auto-mapping, CSV files, and folder mapping. It also helps configure the migration path according to their business needs.

5. Planning the Migration Environment

An enterprise or an SMB must decide which migration environment to use for the Microsoft 365 data transfer. You must choose to perform the data migration through on-premises dedicated servers during the following cases:

  • For businesses pertaining to specific industries like the healthcare or finance sector
  • To maintain the security of sensitive customer data
  • To comply with security laws and regulations
  • The other cases might involve transferring data through the data migration vendor’s cloud server. CloudFuze provides Microsoft 365 migration service to be carried out in private data centers as well as through cloud servers based on the user needs.

6. Finalizing the Migration Timeline

Planning the migration timeline is a crucial step that businesses must focus on.

For an enterprise, the migration timeline can be comparatively more extended than that of an SMB due to the high volume of data.

Pre-planning what to cover (delta migration, batch-wise migration, or complete migration ) within the planned timeline helps companies understand what to expect from the Microsoft 365 migration process.

7. Implementing Delta Migration

Businesses can execute large-scale data transfer to Microsoft 365 in batches through a one-time migration. However, it is also crucial to transfer the incremental changes in the source data through delta migration.

So enterprises and SMBs must ensure whether the data migration tool can perform a delta migration.

8. User Onboarding

Companies may only focus on getting the Microsoft 365 migration right while missing onboarding the users appropriately. Hence businesses must pay attention to preparing the users about the ins and outs of the new platform and giving them a hands-on experience before migration.

You must consider including the below people as part of the Early Adoption Program of Microsoft 365.

  • CTO
  • Operations Head
  • IT managers and team
  • HR managers and executives
  • Check out Microsoft’s Training site and Early Adopter Program Guide for more details.

Rather than onboarding all the users simultaneously, it is highly recommended to go for a phased approach. This involves training the users in batches for a lightweight Microsoft 365 onboarding process that is easier to track and manage.

9. Post Migration Validation & Support

Once the Microsoft 365 data migration has been completed, it is crucial to validate the process to know if it met the migration goals. This can be achieved through the post-migration validation process through the assessment of migration reports.

Checking the parameters within the report, like migration timeline, data size, number of users, etc., can ensure alignment with the desired results.

CloudFuze also offers ongoing support for companies post-migration to identify and overcome any issues.

CloudFuze is a leading migration tool in the market to transfer data to Microsoft 365 for companies of all sizes. As mentioned below, we provide a complete migration service to move data from various source clouds to Microsoft 365.

If you want to migrate your source cloud data to Microsoft 365 through a reliable migration partner, contact our data migration team.

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