We’ve mentioned in previous blogs that Office 365 offers great incentives for businesses of any size. Once you make the move, you’ll see a big change in the way you do business. You and your staff will be able to work from almost anywhere, using any device, and securely share files, calendars, and contacts with your team and your customers. While there are many reasons to take advantage of this cloud computing option, migrating can be tricky. Here are some questions you need to consider before your email migration begins.

What is your current email solution?

Many businesses are already using Windows applications like Outlook, but this can have a huge impact on what your options are for migrating. There are ways to integrate almost any service, such as user mailboxes, but knowing this answer is an excellent place to start to ensure a successful migration.    

Do all users have up-to-date licenses for Office 365?

Understanding which Office licenses you are currently working with is important because older versions of Microsoft Office might need to be upgraded before your migration begins. If you have an older version like Office 2007, you can run into calendar issues or have other data that will be tricky to transfer.

What other devices do you have that depend on your current setup?

It’s important to take inventory of the other devices you have, like scanners or printers that are networked into your current system. If you migrate your email platform without thinking about those devices, they can end up unresponsive, and you’ll waste time wondering what went wrong.  

Do you have access to change your Domain Name System (DNS) records?

When making the switch to Office 365, you will need to access your DNS records to prove you own the domain and direct email to your new mailbox server. This is a fairly straightforward part of an email migration, but when you do not have access to your DNS records, the process can come to a screeching halt.

Do you have strict password regulations in place already? 

Office 365 allows for excellent mobility and access, but that also means there is a cyberthreat, and hackers can try to guess your password to gain access to your data. Luckily, complex passwords are required in Office 365. Your password will have to be at least 8 characters, including each of the following categories: upper case, lower case, numbers, and symbols. Also, by default, you will be asked to change your password every 90 days. It is important to prepare your staff for a new password policy and train them on what constitutes a strong password.

Here our previous blog with more information on what makes a good password. 

Is calendar sharing a significant part of your operations?

There is no need to worry if calendar sharing is heavily used in your organization, but you will need to plan for this as well. Some permissions for sharing your calendar with others may not transfer to Office 365 automatically. You should carefully map out calendar sharing before starting your migration and ensure that you have a backup, just in case. The same goes for contacts. Many users have no idea where their contacts are coming from (Office 365? Gmail? iCloud? Rolodex?), so it’s smart to get those questions answered before you pull any migration triggers.

What new features are you looking to take advantage of?

When you migrate to Office 365, it is a great opportunity to audit and overhaul your e-mail services with new features and security. You may want to take advantage of features like encrypted email, data loss prevention (DLP), and archiving, to name a few. These can be purchased individually, but package plans would get you more bang for your buck.

Also, consider your shared file and folder structures. Do you want to bring everything into SharePoint? Who should have access to what data? Again, taking the time to plan out a strategy will make this process go much more smoothly. There are tools available that can help you get your data ready to import into SharePoint and OneDrive.

At GTS, we can help you answer these questions and give you a free demo on using these powerful tools. Understanding your business goals beforehand is essential to planning your successful migration. To learn more about our services, give us a call at (904) 606-6011 or email info@helpgts.com.

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