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Office 365 Migration Checklist

With the newest emphasis on remote work, Office 365 migration has never been more important to help small to medium-sized businesses thrive in Denver. Microsoft remains the leader in cloud product offerings that keep remote employees connected.

A business owner can prepare for the transition from Exchange Servers to Office 365 on his or her own, though, and it may not be as complicated as you think. Here is an Office 365 migration checklist to help you make the switch.

Office 365 or Microsoft 365?

Recently, Microsoft changed the name of its product offerings to Microsoft 365. The major differences between Office 365 and Microsoft 365 is that Microsoft 365 offers all the benefits of Office 365 but adds Windows 10 licenses and Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS) tools. This means an increased layer of security for your users. Microsoft 365 is a bit pricier than Office 365 but is a more complete package of services.

The change in name is still rather new, and many people still refer to the newer product as Office 365. It’s important to understand, however, that Microsoft 365 packs more value overall than Office 365.

In the past, small to medium-sized businesses who wanted to use Office 365 would have needed to buy Windows 10 Pro and then subscribe to a security service, making sure all users were connected and secured under that subscription.

Microsoft 365 covers everything upfront, saving businesses valuable resources and making it easier to implement for end users.

While all Microsoft 365 plans offer increased security, choosing Microsoft 365 Business Premium adds a few extra layers such as multi-factor identification, Windows update management, Defender, and Firewall policies.

Microsoft 365 plan pricing ranges from $5 per user per month for the most basic that includes limited services, $12.50 per user per month for Business Standard, and up to $20 per user per month for Business Premium. Iconic IT recommends spending the additional $8 per month to upgrade to business premium for its advanced security and device management features.

Not sure an Office 365 migration is right for your office? Check out A 360° Look at Office 365 to see if it’s the right choice for you.

Your Do-It-Yourself Office 365 Migration Checklist

Here is a step by step guide to moving your network off the server and into the cloud.

Make Sure Your Server is Healthy

Before you start migrating to the cloud, you need to check that your server is healthy. This allows you to find any potential issues that will create roadblocks in your transition. Your hardware still must meet certain requirements before it can migrate.

Microsoft offers a downloadable app that will check your systems for you, a pre Office 365 Migration checklist. At the end of this assessment you will receive a “passed,” “warning,” and “error” report to show you the potential hurdles to a successful transition so they can be corrected.

Audit Your Current Infrastructure

It’s time to get an understanding of the components of your infrastructure and create a spreadsheet including:

  • Number of Servers
  • Bandwidth
  • DNS and Network Architecture
  • Authentication Strategies
  • Email Routing and Clients
  • Directory Design
  • The current version of the old platform
  • Number of Users

This is the time for you to decide what information and data needs to move to the cloud.

Add Your Domain

Next, add your domain to Office/Microsoft 365 by accessing the Microsoft Online Services portal. Create DNS records to reroute your domain traffic to Office/Microsoft 365.

Synchronize Your Servers

Install on-premises Directory synchronization servers and configure them. For an Exchange hybrid deployment, activate the Directory synchronization to provision your user accounts. Lastly, update and ready your on-premises Active Directory to synchronize it with Office/Microsoft 365.

Deploy Your Applications

The final step in your Office 365 migration checklist is to install your applications and deploy the new Office/Microsoft 365 desktop. Check to make sure everything seems to be properly configured, updated, and running smoothly.

Don’t Forget the Mobile Devices

Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync lets your employees synch mobile devices with their Exchange Online mailboxes.  Set up mobile devices for remote access to Office documents and email.

Office 365 Migration Checklist: After the Migration

It’s go-time! Test the entire Microsoft Office/365 suite for functionality, including your frequently used templates. Check for changes in formatting and style, as some settings may have changed during the Office 365 migration.

Office 365 Migration: We Can Help

Microsoft 365 is designed to be intuitive, but even with an Office 365 migration checklist it can seem overwhelming. Iconic IT has been both using and recommending Microsoft products for years, having seen the future of cloud services. We know Microsoft and can help your business migrate in far less time than it takes if you go it alone.

Ready to chat? Contact us for a free Microsoft Migration Readiness Assessment and see how our friendly experts can help you transition quickly and easily.

If you’re not ready to chat, check out our eBook, A 360° Look at Office 365, to find out all you need to know to decide if an Office 365 migration is right for your business.


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