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Office 365 Migration Guide

We offer full-spectrum migration services for Office 365 that cover anything from the most basic needs of micro-business, to streamlined and afforable SharePoint implemtations within reach of small to mid-sized businesses, and even advanced security and SharePoint development needs of larger organizations.

We've put together this comprehensive information guide that you can use as a resource while planning out your migration project. The information you find here will help you to fully understand the advantages, variables, and risks involved in migrating. We explain our technical approach in detail, to help shed light on everything involved. 

We hope this guide will help you make an informed decision about whether to leverage assistance from an Office 365 consultant when making your move, and how to differentiate and evaluate different Microsoft Partners who provide this type of service. Even if you haven't fully commited to moving into Office 365, there's probably something of value to you here.

Characterizing Office 365 Migrations

Office 365 migrations are a collaborative effort. Even if the project is small and your needs are modest, we'll need your help to make your move a successful one. As part of our process, we've identified exactly what we'll require from you in terms of time commitment and specific tasks or information.

Every Office 365 migration is a bit different. While many parts of the process have been standardized, no two migrations are 100% alike – just like each of our clients is also unique.

Here's an abridged list of some variables that can affect the migration cost:

  • Will you be using the full Office 365 suite, or just parts of it?
    • Windows Azure Active Directory (a.k.a. AD Connect)
    • SharePoint Online + OneDrive for Business
    • Exchange Online
    • Skype for Business
    • Microsoft Access, Visio, or Project
  • How about your network?
    • What kind of Internet connection do you have? How much bandwidth?
    • How do people connect to the office network when working from home or on the road? Do you have VPN, Terminal Server, or something else?
  • What is the state of your server infrastructure?
    • How well maintained are the currently operation e-mail, file, and Windows directory servers?
    • What version of Windows Server are you running?
    • What is your current e-mail platform? If Exchange Server, what version?
  • What are the employees using?
    • What version of Windows is being used on workstations?
    • Do employees have more than one device?
    • Are mobiles and tablets part of your fleet, or is it "BYOD"?
    • Are staff familiar with the latest Microsoft tools, or a few versions behind?
  • How about your files?
    • Are your files organized now or are they in chaos?
    • Will you move everything over all at once, or just a few things to start?
    • How do you want your files to be organized in the future?
    • How are you planning to use SharePoint?

If you'd like a complete understanding of all the factors involved, please review our Discovery Checklist.

All of these factors make standardizing the migration a challenge. However, over time we've established a process that helps to make it a smooth transition for you. By the time you've decided to start your migration, we'll have already collected answers to many of these questions, and we're prepared to help you figure out the rest.

Over the years, we've done enough migrations that we can typically estimate the cost based on just a few key variables. This lets us offer fixed prices that are extremely competitive.

To avoid disrupting your business operations, the majority of the email, DNS changes, document moves, etc. must happen at night or over a weekend. Our staff is available to perform these tasks during off-peak hours. Nobody likes working through the night – but when the situation demands it we're there to help you.

With sufficient planning, and a little luck, we can typically move a small company into Office 365 in just a few weeks. Larger organizations and more complex needs do take longer, but in most cases, it's reasonable to expect some benefits to making the switch within the first month after we begin work.

If you have needs for full service consulting or development that go beyond our established migration process, these services can be provided as premium add-ons at reasonable prices. For example, we love doing custom SharePoint branding and application development work. These things are normally done as follow-on projects after the initial migration is complete, but specific timing can vary. Please let us know if you think you'll need these services which go beyond the standard migration plan.