Office 365 in the cloud offers all the benefits of a Hosted Exchange solution with additional collaboration tools that can further increase your business’s productivity. Businesses recognize this: in the first quarter of this year, adoption rates for Office 365 grew 128%, compared to the same quarter in the previous year.
Preparing the Foundation of Your Migration
Migrating to Office 365 takes preparation. A smooth migration may require changes to network capacity, firewall topology, security practice, compliance practice, and email management. An Office 365 Migration Assistant can help with these considerations, and more.
Reliable Network Infrastructure Must Be in Place Before a Migration Can Start
Businesses planning to build their infrastructure in-house need a historical understanding of current network traffic. Then they must estimate the additional capacity that will be needed when the entire organization is accessing the cloud to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other business productivity software. A busy organization may even require redundant network links and a revision of their current telecom contract.
Organizations with More Than One Office Location Will Probably Have to Redesign Their Firewalls
Most organizations currently use a centralized firewall topology, but a decentralized topology will deliver better results for a distributed business. A decentralized firewall has its own additional requirements, such as central management of multiple firewalls and a way to keep the firewall rules consistent across each location. The use of virtual private networks (VPNs) will add another level of complexity.
Security Approaches May Need Adjustment
Any special rules a business has built for its email security are not likely to transfer over; instead, alternative measures as strong as or stronger than the original rules have to be developed.
Compliance with Industry Regulations is Another Consideration
Office 365 has many compliance features built in, such as HIPAA Business Associate agreements, PCI DSS Level One, FISMA Authority to Operate, and SSAE 16 certification, among others, but even these may not be enough for some businesses. The way that data is managed and migrated, as well as the chain of custody of documents and the length of time that records are retained, will create challenges when planning a migration. For instance, when moving records from a legacy system to Office 365, attribute mapping between the old system and the new must match, or the data will become corrupted and the chain of custody will be broken.
Email Presents the Thorniest Migration Problem
Since email is mission-critical, a strong disaster recovery process has to be in place. That normally requires some redundancy in access and backup so that users can access email in case the email server is offline, and so that email records are not lost if a server fails. There are four paths to email migration, and choosing the right one is pivotal to a successful migration.
An Office 365 Migration Assistant is Critical
With all of these complicated processes and concerns, a migration to Office 365 may seem out of reach for SMBs. This is especially true for most businesses that try to conduct a migration in-house. Fortunately, there is an option with a solid business case to support it: outsource the migration to a host that can provide an Office 365 migration assistant.
The advantages of choosing a service provider to manage your migration are so strong that Microsoft itself recommends this route. A service provider knows the pitfalls that can befall a business like yours—with your network configuration, security requirements, industry regulations, and email needs—and has the experience to know the best way to avoid problems and deliver the fastest and most reliable migration for your unique business. Knowing the right questions to ask is key, and unless you’ve implemented previous migrations, it’s best to enlist the help of an experienced adviser.
Learn How GetCloudServices Can Help You Upgrade with an Office 365 Migration Assistant
Getting the migration assistance you need boils down to two criteria: cost and experience.
GetCloudServices performs your migration at no charge. We can do this because we have a proprietary Migration Assistant methodology that has been tested and refined over many migrations.
GetCloudServices is focused solely on IT and has over 17,000 clients in 100 countries, so we can achieve economies of scale that are beyond the reach of other providers. Because of our experience, our migrations are predictable and straightforward. Whatever your migration needs, we have the experience to meet them.
Talk to us today for a personalized evaluation of the migration strategy that will serve your business best.