Migration From On-prem to Microsoft 365: 10 Pointers for Businesses

On-prem to Microsoft 365 migration


Businesses planning an extensive migration from on-prem to Office 365 (local storage to Microsoft 365) need a solid strategy to transfer data and replicate the local storage workflow in Microsoft 365.

The strategy must include a proper roadmap and solutions to tackle technical challenges that come along the way.

Here are ten pointers to help Enterprises, SMBs, and MSPs plan a fail-proof strategy for on-prem to Office 365 migration.

1. Pre-migration Analysis Helps Structure the Entire Migration Project

Scheduling pre-migration analysis helps businesses of all sizes explore and identify all the on-prem data to be migrated to Microsoft 365.

Finalizing the total data size also helps businesses plan a proper scope of work which, in turn, helps ensure transparency in commercials.

Pre-migration analysis for transferring local storage to Microsoft 365

2. Planning What Not To Migrate Is Equally Important

When planning on-prem to Office 365 migration, businesses also need to identify data that must remain in the local storage and segregate them from ones to be migrated to OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online.

E.g., Data linked to on-prem applications must remain in the local storage to ensure accelerated I/O throughput and overall high performance.

3. Planning the Migration Timeline Ensures On-time Project Completion

Working with a proper timeline is necessary to migrate to OneDrive and SharePoint Online within the deadline.

Our Microsoft 365 migration timeline planner guide offers more clarity on planning a proper migration timeline that sets the right expectations.

Migration timeline

4. Preparing the Microsoft 365 Environment Is a Must

Enterprises, SMBs, and MSPs must prepare the destination environment to ensure uninterrupted migration from on-prem to Office 365.

Businesses must pre-provision OneDrive for Business for their users to activate their OneDrive accounts in Microsoft 365.

Here is an official guide from Microsoft to pre-provision OneDrive for users.

5. Mapping the Migration Paths for OneDrive and SharePoint Online

Planning what local storage data goes where helps improve business process outcomes by fully leveraging Microsoft 365.

OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online have their unique set of features that help businesses streamline workflows which, in turn, help improve end-user productivity and overall operational efficiency.

Here is a simple migration path mapping idea for strategic migration from on-prem to Microsoft 365.

Mapping the migration paths

6. Migrating Permissions and Metadata Is Critical

Migrating sharing permissions and metadata (timestamps) linked to the local storage data is crucial for retaining the collaboration structure in Microsoft 365.

CloudFuze effortlessly migrates all permissions and metadata from local storage to Microsoft 365 without slowing down the data transfer throughput.

7. Automatic Replacement of Unsupported Characters Is Critical To High-speed Migration

One of the common challenges businesses face when migrating to Microsoft 365 is modifying or replacing special characters unsupported in OneDrive and SharePoint.

Since manually replacing the unsupported characters with supported ones is out of scope for TBs/PBs of on-prem data, an automatic solution is crucial for fast migration.

CloudFuze has a built-in feature that automatically replaces unsupported special characters with underscore (_) or hyphen (-). This feature is supported for cloud-to-cloud as well as on-prem to Office 365 migration.

Unsupported special characters replacement

8. Dedicated Instances Are Required for Performing Multiple Migrations Concurrently

If your business plans to migrate multiple batches of on-prem data to Microsoft 365 concurrently, it is important to use dedicated migration instances.

Using dedicated instances is also crucial when migrating from multiple local file storage networks/systems to Microsoft 365 concurrently.

9. Preparing Users for Microsoft 365 Onboarding Smoothens the Transition

Users accustomed to using local file storage may find it challenging to initially work in a versatile cloud environment such as Microsoft 365. Therefore, a proper user onboarding plan is more important for businesses leaving on-prem storage than businesses leaving cloud storage services such as Dropbox or Box.

Here is an official Microsoft 365 adoption guide that can help businesses plan the user onboarding phase better.

10. Post-migration Validation Helps Identify and Resolve Loopholes

After the one-time migration is complete, businesses must analyze the results to ensure that the overall migration from on-prem to Office 365 is successful. Migration validation also helps companies identify and resolve loopholes, such as certain files going into conflict.

If you have read till here, you may be more interested in learning about the actual case scenarios. Reach out to our migration team via our pricing or contact us page to explore further.

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