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Office 365 Migration Checklist

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February 4, 2019


Checklist for O365Migration

Depending on the size and complexity of the migration, there are a variety of actions that you will need to perform. Most of these are performed within the Migration Planner, in response to Alerts in the Migration Dashboard, or as directed by Help Center articles. Now You’ve done your research and have decided that to move your company’s on-premise content to the cloud. What’s Next? This article will look at answering that question.

Whether you are thinking of going all in on Office 365 or implementing a hybrid solution, don’t fall into bling action and jump rashly into the migration process. A stress-free Office 365 implementation is no small feat. Take on step at a time. As you generally should with any new project, start planning your transition to Office 365 by creating a set of priorities to get started. 

You must factor in sufficient time to properly plan, prepare, and push the move through. There is no use in tackling all implementation tasks at once. Rather, break up the migration process into different work streams with dedicated time-frames that allow you to have a lock on the pace of the deployment while keeping individual tasks serialized.

Don’t necessarily think of the individual migration phases as self-contained stages – tasks you have outlined in the planning and preparation phase may occur simultaneously while preparation tasks and those scheduled in your migration phase will quite likely overlap some of the time.


Schedule a kickoff meeting to launch your Office 365implementation project and familiarize your deployment team members with the overall goals and scope of the project. Clarify and communicate responsibilities so everyone knows what they’ve signed up for.


Collect facts and figures about your existing IT environment to capture and up-to-date snapshot of the technology solutions implemented by your company. Take stock and check if your on-premises environment meets the requirements for an Office 365 setup:

  • Servers and components
  • Network architecture and DNS
  • Authentication solutions
  • Directory design
  • Bandwidth
  • Mail routing
  • Certificates
  • Hardware and software
  • Mail and other client applications
  • Mail archiving and compliance

Don’t necessarily think of the individual migration phases as selfcontained stages. Tasks you have outlined in the planning andpreparation phase may occur simultaneously while preparation tasksand those scheduled in your migration phase will quite likely overlapsome of the time.To assist you with the inventory, Microsoft provides Office 365 readiness checks.

The automated tool gathers configuration requirements for the services you want to set up and performs readiness checks against your on-premises environment to ensure that requirements are met, informing you of any issues in your environment that might impede the deployment of Office 365.


Outline an implementation agenda
Come up with a migration agenda to schedule your Office 365 implementation tasks and track the workstream progress. 

Decide on a mailbox migration strategy
Evaluate if your need to purchase any third-party email migration toolsets and check on hardware requirements. 

Assess mailbox size and item count
Identify the size of mailboxes and number of items in mailboxes that you will migrate to Office 365 (mailbox size and item count, along with available network bandwidth, will impact your migration velocity).

Identify content that needs to be migrated
Decide which files, folders or any other existing business-related content need to be moved from your on-premises environment to Office 365. In case you plan to migrate Office templates, be aware that upgrading your Office client could possibly lead to file format changes and, as a result, to issues when trying to launch built-in macros in a template. 

Learn about different options for user identity
Office 365 provides several mechanisms to add employees to the service and manage user accounts.

Define your email coexistence strategy
Email coexistence is a key feature offered by Office 365. For companies with Exchange Server environments, email coexistence allows a connection to be established between the on-premises environment and Exchange Online.

Test network bandwith
Test the bandwidth of your company network to calculate migration velocity.

Choose your mobile platforms
Plan for any changes required to the mobile platforms used by your company with the move to Office 365. Microsoft ExchangeActiveSync allows employees to synchronize their mobile devices with their Exchange Online mailboxes.

Come up with a communication strategy
Schedule notifications for employees to inform them of when they will need to start working with Office 365 and provide clear instructions regarding what they will need to do to switch to the cloud environment smoothly.


Add and verify your domain name with Office 365
Add your domain to Office 365 through the Microsoft OnlineServices Portal and create the DNS records to route domain traffic to Office 365.

Clean up your on-premises Active Directory
Prepare your on-premises Active Directory (and update, if necessary) for synchronization with Office 365.

Enable single sign-on
Install and configure identity federation servers on-premises and activate the single sign-on service.

Install the Directory Synchronization Tool
Install and configure Directory synchronization servers on-premises and activate Directory synchronization to provision user accounts for an Exchange hybrid deployment.

Configure your email coexistence
Install and configure Exchange hybrid servers on-premises to enable communication between your existing Exchange servers and Exchange Online.

Configure SharePoint Online
Prepare for deployment of any custom SharePoint solutions and migration of existing SharePoint content.

Configure Skype for Business
Configure domain federation and public IM connectivity settings to boost your network for Lync conferencing. Install client applications

Install client applications and deploy the Office 365 desktop
setup to ensure everything is properly updated and configured for Office 365.

Finish Up

Assign licenses
If you have not already done so in the preparation phase, assign licenses to employees through the Microsoft Online ServicesPortal to grant access to Office 365. Enable Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online.

Inform employees
Get the word out to employees on when the migration is going to happen, how long the process will take, and what they need to do on their part to switch to the new platform.

Change DNS records
Once you have completed all migrations, change your DNS records to your domain registrar.

Configure mobile phones and devices for Office365
Set up user-mobile phones along with any other mobile devices to access emails and Office documents on the go. Alternatively, send out clear instructions to employees on how to connect to Office 365 from their mobile devices. One piece of advice: Spend some portion of your budget on the purchase of certified headphones in order to avoid experiencing poor call quality.

Perform a post-migration service testing
After migrations are completed, perform a full-scale testing ofthe Office 365 service functionality.

Check your Office templates
Test your most important Office templates. See if they launch correctly upon the move and examine whether there have been any faulty changes in style and formatting. If some of your Office templates link to other Office files or integrate with CRM or ERP systems, test those connections too (you might experience security warnings that you need to take care of).

If you require assistance in Migrating mailboxes or entire infrastructures to the Cloud, please feel free to contact our team for an obligation free consultation.

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