Microsoft 365 (Office 365) Migration Checklist (Free Download)

Microsoft 365 (Office 365) Migration Checklist

Migrating data to Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) from your existing source cloud without a clear roadmap can be taxing. Therefore, it is crucial to have a proper migration checklist of what to expect from the migration process and how to be prepared to tackle various challenges during the migration process.

Prepare your internal IT team with our carefully curated migration checklist outlining best practices and actionable items for a successful Microsoft 365 migration. You can also download our free PDF checklist in this post to ease things for your IT team.

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1. Outline a Migration Strategy

Having a strategy to migrate your company’s entire users and data to Microsoft 365 provides a clear roadmap of vital aspects like timeline, the scope of work, responsibilities, choosing a cloud migration partner, etc. A migration strategy gives a deep understanding of what to expect during the migration, prepares you to handle challenges, helps plan an optimal resource allocation, and minimizes downtime.

2.Inspect the Current Environment

Before migrating to Microsoft 365, inspecting your current data environment is vital. With a 360-degree review of your current data, your IT team can deeply understand the environment and finalize the user accounts and data to migrate. It also helps plan for data archival or backup and to find efficient ways to create and synchronize user accounts in the Microsoft 365 platform.

3. Choose the Migration Infrastructure Type – On-Premises or Cloud

Finalize the migration environment by choosing whether to migrate locally in dedicated on-premises data centers or through cloud servers.

CloudFuze enables businesses to comply with data residency laws like GDPR by transferring data through servers in UK/EU region.

4. Mapping User Accounts to Microsoft 365

Precisely mapping user accounts helps maintain accuracy in the migration, which further ensures proper replication of the source cloud data in Microsoft 365.

You can map source cloud user accounts to Microsoft 365 either through CSV or folder mapping methods.

5. Understanding the User Roles and Permission Changes in Microsoft 365

User roles and data access permissions vary from one cloud to another. Understanding these variations and knowing about the existing user roles in Microsoft 365 can help avoid confusion after migrating data to the destination cloud.

For example, in Microsoft 365, user roles like ‘Uploader’, ‘Co-Owner’, ‘Previewer’ etc., are unavailable. Instead, it has roles like Edit, Owner, and View, respectively.

6. Learning About Microsoft 365 Limitations

When your company plans to transfer data to Microsoft 365, you must be well informed about its limitations in order to avoid data mismatches or loss. Microsoft does not support specific special characters and certain file/folder names and restricts the length of file/folder path names to 400 characters.

To overcome these limitations, partner with a reliable cloud data migration vendor like CloudFuze that automatically overcomes these issues through its built-in features.

7. Estimate the Migration Timeline

Plan a realistic migration timeline for the Microsoft 365 migration to be prepared to tackle several interlinked events. They include decommissioning source cloud licenses, training the employees on the new platform, and scheduling other critical business operations linked to the processes of embracing the Microsoft 365 cloud suite.

Check more in detail about this in this migration timeline guide.

8. Check the File Features to be Migrated

Yet another important aspect of the Office 365 migration checklist is deciding on which file features to migrate. Some file features include timestamps, version history, shared and embedded links, and in-line comments.

A data migration partner like CloudFuze can help transfer all the chosen file features for 100% data replication from the source cloud to Microsoft 365.

9. Configure and Set Up Microsoft 365 Account

Configuring and setting up a Microsoft 365 user account and purchasing the license to the appropriate plan is the most important step in an Office 365 migration checklist. It is a basic requirement to transfer your organizational data to OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Teams, and without this it is impossible to migrate data to Microsoft 365.

10. Pre-Provision Microsoft 365 Accounts

Before transferring data to Microsoft 365, you must cross-verify if the new user accounts are pre-provisioned in OneDrive or SharePoint Online. Without pre-provisioning, you cannot migrate data to Microsoft 365.

Check this post for more details on pre-provisioning for Microsoft 365 accounts.

11. Create Relevant SharePoint Online Sites

A proper Office 365 migration checklist should also prioritize creating SharePoint Online sites when your company decides to move data to Microsoft 365. It allows for better organization and structuring of data in libraries. By creating sites beforehand, organizations can ensure that team members have access to the necessary files and tools they need to work effectively.

12. Run a POC Migration

A POC migration to transfer data to Microsoft 365 allows organizations to test the data migration process on a smaller scale before committing to a full migration. This helps identify any potential issues or challenges early on, allowing for adjustments to be made before the actual migration occurs.

13. Managing API Throttling Risks

API throttling error can occur when the number of API calls exceeds the allowed limit during a specific time window (eg, 20 seconds). It results in temporary restriction of further requests.

Partner with a competent data migration vendor like CloudFuze that follows strategies to adhere to the latest API usage limits to lower risks. It also implements an auto-retry mechanism after a particular wait period in case of facing an API throttling error. This ensures an error-free and seamless data migration.

14. Perform One-Time and Incremental Migration

While moving large volumes of data to Microsoft 365 initially, execute a one-time full data migration in batches. Incremental data changes occur when users continue to utilize the source cloud during the full migration. Perform a delta or incremental migration to capture and reflect these changes from the source cloud to Microsoft 365.

15. Conduct Post-Migration Checks

Also include Office 365 post-migration checklist that enables your IT team to cross-verify whether the data migration has been successful with the desired results. Some of the essential post-migration checks include,

  • Validating batch migration
  • Initiating and validating delta migration
  • Verifying the data size between the source and the destination clouds
  • Performing a comparison delta (to check if all files and folders have been transferred successfully without any mismatch or data loss)

16. Communicate with Your Employees and Train Them in Microsoft 365 Tools

Migrating to Microsoft 365 can mean a shift in workflows, processes, and understanding of the new features. If your employees are not familiar with these, it can overwhelm them, causing productivity to decrease. By preparing your employees and giving hands-on training in Microsoft 365 before the migration, they will be more confident and proficient in using the new cloud suite, maximizing productivity and reducing downtime.

Check this Microsoft 365 adoption guide that simplifies the process of user onboarding.

17. Decommission Source Cloud License

Businesses planning to migrate to Microsoft 365 and leave the existing source cloud completely must consider decommissioning the source cloud license. Without decommissioning the source cloud license, your company might end up paying for both clouds, which could increase the complexity of IT operations in maintaining multiple licenses. Therefore, ensure that your IT team considers this an integral part of the Office 365 migration checklist.

From planning and preparation to execution and post-migration validation, our checklist covers all the essential steps to help you achieve a smooth and efficient data transfer to Microsoft 365. Don’t let a lack of preparation or oversight derail your migration project – let our checklist guide you toward a successful outcome.

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