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March 1, 2018

Four Common Office 365 Migration Pitfalls

Christopher Pierdominici

You’re upgrading to Office 365 and think you can do it on your own.

We’ve seen it before.

Moving an entirely on-premises email solution to the cloud is a smart decision. By 2019, 83% of data will be housed in the cloud. Staying ahead of the game will keep your costs lower than paying for expensive licenses and waiting for local servers to break down or become obsolete.

Plus, you want to give your company a competitive advantage in today’s fast-paced economy. That means providing your employees with the tools to be more productive, to collaborate more efficiently, and to add value to your company from anywhere, at any time.

But embarking on a solo migration is risky – it can easily offset the cost-savings you can expect to achieve in the cloud.

Committing vast resources to learning about and migrating to Office 365 works against that goal. This should be your one and only migration to the cloud. We’ve done it thousands of times, for all kinds of companies, with ever more complex scenarios.

But if you absolutely must go at it alone, why not benefit from the wisdom we’ve gained over the years?

These four common pitfalls have proved disastrous for organizations that failed to prepare for the task at hand. Avoid them, for the sake of your bottom line…and your sanity.

Pitfall #1 | Failure to Assess Your Current Situation

“That app can’t be moved to the cloud?”

Migrating an entire enterprise to Office 365 involves many moving parts. You have legacy applications that may not function in the cloud. End-users will need to buy in to the new solution for the upgrade to have any effect. What’s more, your IT will have to add management of the new cloud-based email to their list of responsibilities.

Take a moment to fully assess your current situation – it will save you headaches in the near future. For instance, you should determine which data are used the least and migrate those first, so you don’t halt critical operations for any great amount of time.

If you’re taking a hybrid approach to your cloud migration, check that legacy applications will work with the cloud-based applications before you move – that way, you can design a way to reconcile the disparate systems. Also, set measurable goals for the actual implementation of Office 365—this will become crucial farther down the road.

When Navisite facilitates complex migrations, we use a fully-documented RACI as part of our ITIL-based framework for IT process management, and work with your team extensively before moving any data. It’s the most efficient way to handle migrations, and ensures you know what’s going on every step of the way. We also work to meet regulatory compliance standards such as PII/PHI.

Pitfall #2 | Unaware of the Hidden Costs

“We didn’t expect to pay for that!”

When migrating alone, the true cost might surprise you. Are you sure you chose the right plan with the features you will truly need? Are there add-on features like Visio Pro or Yammer Enterprise that you didn’t know cost extra? Is the single layer of security offered by Office 365 enough to protect you from an expensive data breach? And don’t forget the opportunity cost of committing your IT department to the break/fix rabbit hole. With email management on their plate, they may be distracted from mission-critical tasks and fail account for all cost variables.

We’ve been there—many times over. Having worked with all kinds of organizations, we can help you find the right mix of Office 365 features, so that you only pay for what you need. Our partnership with Proofpoint ensures your email is wrapped in multiple layers of protection, at no additional cost to you. Plus, with 450+ Microsoft-certified specialists managing your migration, your IT will be free to accomplish more strategic initiatives.

Our experience allows us to deliver an efficient, comprehensive migration at a fixed price.

Pitfall #3 | Underestimating Your Migration Timeline

“We thought we’d have our data by now!”

No matter how well you plan, migrating vast amounts of data will always come with curveballs and delays.  In fact, 50% of migrations to Office 365 run over budget and off schedule. Factors such as bandwidth, system load, and average item size, among numerous other variables, can delay your timeline.

With our extensive experience migrating all sizes of organizations to the cloud, we’ve seen it all, and know how to anticipate what roadblocks are likely to occur. We have the expertise and technological capabilities to adjust quickly to unpredictable obstacles, with minimal disruption to your business. Plus, our transparent, ITIL-based process, makes it so that you are always updated when speed bumps do appear.

Pitfall #4 | Overlooking your Post-Migration Strategy

“Where are the productivity benefits we were promised?”

Office 365 equips your employees with state-of-the-art tools and collaboration features. Are they prepared to use them?

Many companies struggle to look beyond the migration process, assuming that once their data is moved to the cloud, the promised benefits magically come to fruition.

Realizing the full potential of Office 365, however, requires more than just flipping a switch. You need a help desk that knows the software inside and out. Plus, your end-users will need some level of training to bring them up to speed with the new collaborative capabilities. This is where the planning stage comes full circle, and where a managed service provider like Navisite can help your organization.

Once we’ve got you migrated to the cloud, Navisite offers Office 365 training for your workforce. And we’ll lend our expertise to your IT team to manage your company’s email. From there, it’s easy to benchmark improvements in productivity and collaboration.

Migration is tough. Don’t go at it alone.

As a Microsoft Gold-Certified Partner, Navisite knows the hidden costs and obstacles in migrating your email to the cloud. We don’t just get you to the cloud with peace of mind—we also manage your email, monitor your mailboxes, secure your data, and supercharge your support capabilities.

Sure, you could migrate alone. But is it really worth the massive investment of time and energy?

If you’re ready to migrate right, try Navisite.

Our experts would love to help you on your journey to the cloud.

To learn more, contact us here

Or call us at 866.362.7871

About Christopher Pierdominici

Chris Pierdominici is a senior product marketing professional with more than 20 years of experience leveraging a passion for and deep understanding of the intricacies of technology to distill out companies key value propositions into messaging, content and go-to-market positioning, as part of designing product/solution marketing strategy and implementing tactics that have consistently helped numerous enterprise technology companies drive multimillion dollar product line growth and increased market recognition. His experience spans internal product marketing roles with companies like Power-One and RISI, to running his own marketing consulting firm working with a wide range of hardware, SaaS and traditional software companies of all sizes, as well as marketing agency expertise working with companies as diverse as Dell, Juniper, IBM and many others. In his spare time, Chris is an avid mountain biker, hiker and mountaineer, and former wilderness guide. He lives in New Hampshire with his adopted yellow Labrador Retriever, Bella. Connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.

Christopher Pierdominici  
- January 31, 2018