Migrating large databases is never an easy task, especially when it touches more sensitive data like financial records. E-mails are no exception to this, and
Office 365 migration can be a messy process if you don’t approach it correctly. There are many tools on the market that can help you streamline the job and get things done faster, and it’s a good idea to familiarize
yourself with your range of options before committing to this kind of operation.
Have a Plan
When you want to migrate to Office 365, you have to start with a solid plan of action. There are several options you can choose and some are aimed at more streamlined operations with a smaller number of mailboxes. Cutover can be a good option in this case,
without requiring any lengthy migration procedures. On the other hand, if you need to transfer a larger number of mailboxes – over 2000 – you will need an alternative approach. You might have to set aside several days just for the migration, which is important
when measuring the impact on your users during the operation.
Analyze User Impact
And that brings us to our next important point. You have to be sure that you know exactly what kind of impact this is going to have on your users, and who will be hit hardest by it. There are many things that factor into this, but it mostly boils down to
the size of your organization, and the way you plan in advance. When you want to migrate e-mail to Office 365, you have to anticipate that some of your users will be left without system access for some time. Sometimes there might be a need for additional user
action on each individual device that’s been affected by the change. You have to coordinate this with your IT department to figure out if it will be done by your administrators, or by the users themselves.One can take help from this
microsoft office 365 migration thread.
Migrating from Exchange
When migrating from an Exchange server, you can use the cutover option that we mentioned above, or use staged migration if there are a large number of mailboxes to go through. This will process the mailboxes in batches, and will allow you to gradually transfer
any number of them over a period of time. Note that this will take a while, especially if your infrastructure isn’t up to the task. There is also a combined option which transfers the mailboxes in small batches over time, while still using the cutover process.
Importing PST Databases Directly
Another option is to import each individual PST file directly. This is especially useful in cases where the files have grown large over time, and there is a large number of them. Exchange to Office 365 migration can work relatively well in this manner, but
you have to be sure about the data integrity of those files. Keep in mind that the process needs to be done in atomic steps too, but this is more of a positive feature as it gives you a failsafe point to come back to in case something goes wrong.
Are Manual Solutions Worth It?
All that said, the better choice when you want to migrate a complex database of Exchange mailboxes to Office 365 is to use any automated solution supported by your current setup. There is a lot that can go wrong when doing things manually, and it will also
take much more time to get through the entire database. On the other hand, manual migration does have some minor benefits in that it can give you finer control over the process, which can be useful when migrating from several different sources or Office versions.
Keep in mind that the Office 365 standard is relatively stable and you shouldn’t expect any major changes to the way this works in the future, which means that you can safely start planning for this migration from early on. When you’re ready and have a concrete
plan of action, you’ll likely know exactly what you need to do to push things forward in a safe and controlled manner. And of course, don’t forget that there are many specialists who can help you
migrate e-mail to Office 365.