Office 365

10 Ways to Make a Smooth Transition to Office 365 for Enterprise

Did you know that 70% of Fortune 500 companies made the transition to Office 365 in 2020? In addition, there has been a ...


Did you know that 70% of Fortune 500 companies made the transition to Office 365 in 2020? In addition, there has been a 21% growth in Office 365 users in 2020. Transitioning to any new program can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. You need to ensure that your staff are trained and have the right resources to assist with the transition to Office 365. Not having a plan for Office 365 migration can lead to a loss in revenue, decrease in employee productivity and increase in errors.

If you are an enterprise-sized customer and want to transition to Office 365, you've come to the right place. Keep on reading for 10 ways to make Office 365 migration plans for Enterprises smooth.

1. Understand Your Organization's Needs 

Powerful businesswoman standing with back with business team at background-1Before you take any steps towards changing to a cloud software like Office 365, you should conduct a thorough analysis of your organization's needs. Each organization has different data and Office 365 migration needs.

This includes conducting a review of your current IT infrastructure. You need to ensure that the security and compliance requirements are aligned, allowing for a smoother transition to Office 365. A thorough review will tell you whether your current systems can support an Office 365 migration.

Gather information on your systems, including:

  • Server information
  • Network architecture
  • Directory design
  • Security solutions
  • Email software

Once you have all this information, you can ensure that you comply with Office 365 migration requirements. You might need expert support to help confirm this. You can also use Microsoft Setup Assistant to support your analysis. 

2. Develop a Communication and Change Management Plan for the Transition to Office 365

Once you've confirmed compatibility, you need to have an Office 365 migration plan in place. This is the first draft that will address communications and change management. At this stage, you want to dig deeper and analyze how you will communicate and manage the Office 365 transition with your staff and systems.

A communications plan will address how you'll introduce the new system to your employees. The change to your employees will be the most significant factor you need to consider as they will use the applications and tools. Rather than dealing with dissatisfied employees, make sure that you have a communication plan that tells them about the change and provides a timeline for the transition to Office 365.

A change management plan is critical when introducing any change into an organization to help you think through, plan and execute organizational change. It will help you evaluate change impact and organizational readiness. You will clearly define the change and your vision for the future.

These Office 365 migration plans will address risk factors, strengths, and weaknesses. Before you go any further, you can handle any significant risk factors and plan for them. If you've done your work beforehand, you will not be blindsided by any issues during the transition.

3. Put Together a Cross-Functional Team 

The Office 365 migration steps should include the creation of a cross-functional team. A cross-functional team promotes cohesion across your organization. A change as significant as the transition to Office 365 requires cohesion across all departments in your organization.

The use of Office 365 in your payroll department will be very different from the use in the legal department. Certain privacy and confidentiality considerations need to be understood for the legal department, whereas marketing may need more collaborative tools.

Consider including members from business, engineering, marketing, sales, accounting, and legal. A cross-functional team with people from different departments can bring light and innovation to the thinking and planning process. 

4. Consider Which Office 365 Features You Need

Office 365 has several features, from office apps to email and calendar. Depending on the features your employees need, you need to decide which features work well for your organization.

Some features are included, while others are partially included. For example, Microsoft Outlook is included in the base price. Microsoft also offers a separate Booking app if your business requires a more straightforward way to organize schedules and manage appointments.

Understand each of the different apps to figure out how best your organization can transition to Office 365. You can understand which features work best by knowing how your employees work and what tasks they do regularly. If you end up getting features that sound useful, but no one uses, you'll not be using your resources efficiently.

Basics like Outlook and Word are essential to any business, but there are features that you can learn more about and determine best practices for your organization. Project management can be challenging for any organization. Discovering the benefits of the Microsoft Project program and how your staff can be trained on its benefits can help you save money in the future. 

If you'd like to find out more about bringing cloudficiency to your project, reach out to us.

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5. Consult Office 365 Migration Experts 

Office 365 migration can be a complex and time-consuming task. It requires an understanding of change management as well as software expertise. There are benefits to transitioning to cloud software that you may not be aware of. This is where migration experts come into play.

By working with the right experts, you can help your organization leverage the power of Office 365 migration services in a flexible and automated way.

During the initial stages of Office 365 migration, you can be paying the fees for Office 365 licenses when your employees are not using the services. Rather than spending money to length the transition period, consult Office 365 migration experts to help you transition smoothly.  

6. Develop a Migration Strategy and an Office 365 Implementation Checklist

Office 365 migration can be very complex and time-consuming. A migration strategy can help make the process more efficient.

You could consider transitioning Office 365 to a smaller group that will use the system for a few months and find any issues. Based on their feedback, you can transition the whole organization.

You can transition to Office 365 in stages over several months. Choosing which features you want to transition over allows you to manage the communications and errors. For example, you can transition email first and then move all documents to OneDrive after several months.

The particular migration strategy should meet your organization's needs. Microsoft also provides details on the deployment process to help transition to Office 365 for Enterprises. 

Your Office 365 migration strategy should also contain plans for unexpected outages. You want to make sure that you deal with the unexpected.

Ask the right question to design your Office 365 migration plan, such as:

  • Do you want to move all your users at once or in stages?
  • Do you want to move all your data at once or over time?
  • Who are your primary users, and how can you ease the transition for them?
  • What data does not need to be migrated?

A well-defined Office 365 migration strategy will include an analysis of future processes. A security strategy that identifies specific roles and security restrictions is an essential element of the migration strategy. It will give you control over who has access to your secure data during the transition process. 

7. Manage Your Records

As a separate step that may be a part of your migration strategy, you need to consider how to manage your records. This can be part of your information governance strategy.

First, you need to understand what type of records you will be migrating, including emails, calendars, client documents, and other files. If you have confidential data, then this needs to be considered as well.

Your information plan should set these out and your plan to migrate these records. You can also add details on how your organization and departments will save information. This plan will constantly evolve as you get more feedback over time.

Remember that you don't want to move all of your documents to the cloud and then figure out a way to rearrange them later. You want to make sure that you spend the time to organize your information before transitioning. This can save you a lot of time and work.

You can also maintain consistency by setting out a protocol that your employees must follow during the transition. You should also analyze your records and determine what needs to be transitioned and what the organization can get rid of.

All the data that you have is not the same. You may end up struggling to deal with legacy data during the transition. You may have to consider migrating the data to the new platform or determine where the data will be stored. With hundreds of TBs or PBs of data, you may want to consider Office 365 migration services to deal with data expiration.

8. Prep and Train Your Employees

This is likely the most important aspect to ensure a smooth transition. You want to make sure your employees are trained. You want to make sure to ease the transition to Office 365 as much as you can. One of the ways to ease their transition is to enable single sign-on without multiple prompts. Employees should be automatically logged into Office 365 when they sign into the network. Creating more barriers will lead to reduced user adoption.

You can also consider appointing an internal champion. This person can use Office 365 extensively and champion it to other employees. They can act as a point person for feedback and training.

Remember to ease your employees into the onboarding process. This can include simple tutorials, including video tutorials. It can consist of emails with detailed step-by-step procedures for employees to follow to transition smoothly. Consider cheat sheets and FAQs to train employees.

Introducing the changes incrementally will help ensure that your employees are not overwhelmed by the transition while maintaining their regular workload. The idea here is to make the process as easy as possible. A dedicated helpline and even in-person technical support can make the Office 365 migration process smoother.

Highlight the features of the various Office 365 apps. Help your employees understand the benefits of the software and how they can use it in their everyday work.

If your organization is not collaborative, sharing documents and working on the same file can be a difficult transition. It can take some time before your employees start using the programs to their full extent. You can support your employees through training sessions and ongoing learning.

9. Get Feedback

Get feedback from your employees on an ongoing basis. If you are transitioning to Office 365 in stages, it is especially important to get feedback and change your plan accordingly. If you're working with migration experts, they can assist you with the transition and feedback. 

It is especially important to remain flexible during this process. You need to adapt to feedback from your employees and change the process as needed.

Having users that test out the software in the first stage of the transition can provide you with feedback that you can integrate into the Office 365 migration plan. Identifying and assessing service issues can help you smooth the transition to Office 365.

10. Errors Happen, Prepare Accordingly 

Human error is the main cause of 95% of cyber security breaches. Errors happen. It's a part of all transitions. Rather than pretending otherwise, it's in the organization's best interest to accept that errors happen and prepare accordingly.

When you work with experts, they can guide you through the transition to reduce any errors. They can also provide technical support during the process.

While Office 365 has an advanced disaster recovery, you still want to make sure that you are prepared. You can end up with folders and documents deleted in error, syncing errors, or malware. These errors can end up delaying or ending the migration process immediately.

Another way to support the transition to Office 365 is to train your employees. For example, consider helping your employees understand how to keep data secure even when they're working from home. By training them, you can reduce the risks of significant errors.

Get Expert Help to Transition to Office 365

These 10 ways can help you smooth the transition to Office 365. With an Office 365 implementation checklist in place, you're ready to start your Office 365 migration. To support your Office 365 migration plan, reach out to Cloudficient, who can assist you with everything from onboarding to offboarding.

Cloudificient can help you with advanced orchestration solutions seamlessly moving your employees and your data to the cloud. You can get assistance with Office 365 backup and cloud storage. We're here to help you make your transition to Office 365 efficient and effective.

With unmatched next generation migration technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on client needs and creating product offerings that match them. We provide affordable services that are scalable, fast and seamless.

If you would like to learn more about how to bring Cloudficiency to your migration project, visit our website, or contact us.

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