A failed email migration can be the worst nightmare come true for any organization. It can not only lead to huge loss of data but can also bring the smooth functioning of the company to a grinding halt. The worst part is the irreparable loss of reputation. Many organizations have suffered the ignominy of failed email migration – even when they have hired experts to do the project.
The biggest challenge of email migration, even bigger than the actual migration process, is the planning part. Intense and detailed planning is crucial for migrating to a platform such as Office 365. Can you imagine driving a car at high speed with blindfolds? The result of such a foolish daredevilry can be nothing but catastrophe. That’s precisely what will happen to your business if you do an email migration without proper planning.
How to plan your email migration right so that the process is completed smoothly and does not cause any major problem to your business functionality and reputation? These are the things you should focus on to get your migration right.
Do a Detailed Analysis of Your Current Mail System
Make sure you do a meticulous and detailed analysis of the current IT environment of your organization. While this can be a time-consuming process, it is nothing but a kind of investment that can repay back handsomely. By doing so, you can get your hands on information that’s detailed and accurate. Your analysis must cover aspects such as company contacts, mail distribution groups, details of shared mailboxes, settings of your existing mailbox, DNS management, and others.
Remember, there is a difference between Office 365 and other types and versions of Exchange. That’s why it is important to consider the limitations and the specific settings of your email system. You must choose an experienced host so that you are accurately guided through the process of analyzing and understanding your IT environment before the migration is planned and executed.
Get the Migration Time Frame Right
If is commonsense that the time taken for email migration will be directly proportional to the amount of data you have on your system to move to Office 365. To get the time frame of migration spot on, you will have to make a detailed and comprehensive calculation of the amount of data you have. This calculation will also enable you to warn your users well in advance of the switching to the new system and what they should expect during this transition period and process.
Minimize Service Disruption By Scheduling the Migration Right
You must ensure that the migration is scheduled in such a manner that it is least likely to cause any service disruption. The ideal migration process is one that does not miss any emails for network users or does not lock them out of the system during business operations. The best time for planning such events is after business hours on the last day of the business week. All the participants concerned can get enough time to complete the process and they can come in the next week to be greeted by a fully functional and ready to use the email system.
Never schedule email migration on weekdays as mail flow remains at a constant high on almost all working days. However, not all businesses work the same way. That’s why email migration is planned after detailed discussion with clients and careful consideration of all situations.
Taking End Users Into Confidence
The main goal of any email migration should be to make the transition as smooth and hassle-free as possible. It should not adversely impact users. To achieve this, communicate the development and plans to all users so that they are ready for the change and won’t get any unsettling surprises. They should have a fair working idea of the new IT environment. It is a good idea to communicate the potential downtime risks with users, even if you are scheduling the migration over the weekend when there will be little official email activity. Even if the migration is largely smooth and seamless, care should be taken to remove all elements of uncertainty and surprise as it can cause hardships and may bring productivity to a halt.
Never Underestimating the Efforts Needed
Email migration may seem easy but it can go wrong and create nasty situations for everyone concerned. Using the services of an expert is the best way ahead instead of doing it on your own using some self-teach tutorials. Experienced IT professionals have been there and done that. They are unlikely to mess up.
If you have ticked all the above boxes, you are ready to get started. Regardless of whether you are a small enterprise or a huge business, it is always better to utilize the services of an experienced service provider for email migration processes. Migration can be quick, easy and hassle-free when done under the guidance and supervision of an expert.