An email migration gone wrong can lead to significant business costs, lost productivity, and frustration between you and customers. We’ve seen several businesses throughout the years who have tried to migrate on their own, or who have had issues working with providers who don’t truly understand their needs or Office 365. To help you avoid some of those mishaps, we’d like to share the top five mistakes to avoid when migrating to Office 365.

  1. Going in Blind

Performing a thorough discovery of your current IT environment is a crucial first step in any migration process. The discovery should be considered an investment of time, because the accuracy of information plays a significant part in the migration timeline. Further, the discovery should investigate:

Because of the differences between Office 365 and the various versions of Exchange, there may also be some limitations or specific settings to keep in mind. By working with an experienced hosting provider who can guide you through a thorough discovery of your current IT environment prior to the migration, you can avoid hiccups or delays during the migration process.

  1. Misjudging the Amount of Time Needed

The amount of time your migration will take is largely determined by the amount of data you need to move. This means that without a complete calculation of the amount of data you have, you will not be able to properly estimate the completion time or forewarn your users of when the switch to the new system is taking place.
For instance, Hostway recently performed a migration for a client with 1,000+ mailboxes and approximately 2 TB of data to move. Based on this information, we were able to inform the customer that the migration would run for 20 days in the background of their IT system, allowing them to make arrangements for the final switchover.
Because the customer provided an accurate data amount, we were able to properly estimate the time frame and schedule their migration outside of regular business hours.

  1. Service Disruption

It’s important to schedule the migration for a time when it is least likely to cause an email service disruption so that network users won’t miss emails or be locked out of the system during normal business hours, which can lead to lost productivity and higher costs. For this reason, the DNS cutover is usually best planned in the evening on the last day of the business week. This allows everyone to prepare for the change and come in the following week to a new email system.
Because mail flow is highest Monday to Friday, Hostway usually schedules migrations to occur over the weekend, with the DNS cutover taking place late Friday or early Saturday. Not all business are alike, however, which is why Hostway's specialists work with each client to find a migration time that works best for each organization.

  1. Surprising End Users

In any migration, the main goal should be a smooth transition with little to no impact on your users. In order to make this happen, your IT department should communicate with all employees to prepare them for the change, set expectations, and communicate next steps. Introduce your users to the new environment (which could include a new Outlook client), then provide the URL to use for browser access to Outlook and new login credentials if those have been changed.
Users should also be aware that for a limited time, Outlook will not offer autocomplete suggestions for recipient email addresses until the new cache builds up. While all other features of the new system should work right away, there may be some minor configurations necessary, such as Outlook client settings. Finally, be sure to set expectations about potential downtime, even if it will occur over the weekend. Even if the migration itself is seamless, surprising end users about these facets has the potential to bring productivity to a halt.

  1. Underestimating the Time and Effort Involved

Migration always seems easier than it really is. For that reason, we always recommend getting help from an expert rather than learning for yourself and risking costly mistakes. With so many factors to consider, it’s likely that something will be missed by all but the most experienced IT professionals.
For example, if an organization is using custom user permissions, these new permissions need to be set up in Office 365 well in advance. This is part of the complete discovery of your current environment that an experienced hosting provider will guide you through so they can replicate your current environment as closely as possible in Office 365. Other things that can easily be missed include global contacts, distribution groups, and resource mailboxes, like those used for room or equipment booking.
Ready to Get Started?
From small businesses to enterprise organizations, Hostway has helped customers of all sizes migrate their email systems to Microsoft Office 365. While any big change is bound to result in challenges or surprises, migration can be relatively easy if you work with a hosting provider who has the experience, know-how, and skill set in-house. To leverage our 15+ years of Microsoft expertise and get start-to-finish guidance through the entire migration process, call us for a free consultation at 1-888-545-8591.

By Beth Hrusch

Are you thinking about launching your business blog? You're not alone. A recent study by GuideWireGroup revealed that approximately 89 percent of businesses polled use blogs as a way to communicate with their customers. In another survey, Burson-Marsteller found that 15% of Fortune 500 companies have blogs. A successful business blog can generate tens of thousands of dollars in revenue each year, with figures for large corporations typically much higher. (more…)

By Simon Wright

There are almost as many new blogs created every second as there are babies born around the world, with the relative stats being four babies per second versus two blogs per second.

I mention this not just because these are mind-blowing stats, but also because many people view their blogs as being like their babies. They are their pride and joy, their passion, and they hope to see their blogs grow up and become hugely successful. And, for many, linkbacks (trackback links and pingbacks) are regarded as essential to ensure this success. (more…)

By Hostway

You already know that having a business blog is an excellent marketing opportunity. Blogs allow you to establish yourself as an expert, increase your business’s visibility on search engines and give your business a marketing boost. But to make your blog as effective as possible, be sure to include these essential elements. (more…)

By Hostway

If you mention other blogs in your posts, you have a great opportunity to get noticed (and linked to) by the other blogger. All you have to do is include a trackback link to other blogs' posts in your post, and a notification will be sent to the writers showing your link. It's sure to get their attention and maybe move them to consider linking back to you in return. (more…)

By Jason O'Connor

If your business Web site doesn't have a blog, get one. A blog, if done right, can act as a direct and indirect mechanism that brings large amounts of qualified visitors to your site, many of whom may become customers. (more…)

By Hostway

There are many reasons to write a blog: to share your experiences, offer support to others facing the challenges you face, drive traffic to your business or to build a personal brand. But what about turning your blog into your business? (more…)

By Hostway

WordPress is one of the most commonly used blogging tools on the Web today. It’s a powerful , open source publishing platform with an administrative interface that doesn’t require a lot of experience to use—making it one of the more attractive blogging options on the market. (more…)

More people than ever are reading blogs. According to a 2007 eMarketer study, 94 million people— half of all Internet users — read at least one blog post a month. The company forecasts that 105 million people will read at least one blog post per month in 2008, and by 2012, that number will jump to 145 million people, or 67 percent of all Internet users. (more…)

If done right, a blog is the perfect place to learn interesting things in an entertaining way. Read on for 10 tips on writing a blog that people will want to read regularly. (more…)

© Copyright 2021 Hostway. All rights reserved.