Guide to easing the migration to Office 365

Last updated:April 2017

Editor's note

Migrating an enterprise's content from on-premises Microsoft applications, such as Lync, Exchange or SharePoint, to Office 365 can be a complicated process. That's especially true for organizations with legacy SharePoint networks or critical content spread across multiple applications to far-flung corners of their networks.

The tough part isn't necessarily moving all that content and related data to the cloud as part of a migration to Office 365. Instead, it's maintaining the data connections and search functionality essential to keeping employees productive via Active Directory synchronization.

That is sometimes easier said than done: Some 44% of IT professionals experience the difficulty of a failed migration each year, and 43% of those experienced some system downtime as a result, according to a survey by Vision Solutions. If organizations don't plan their migrations well, this pain can translate into unwanted, unplanned costs for putting all the network pieces back together on the cloud side of the fence.

Another consideration is licensing, which has its own complexities. Microsoft has incentivized migration to Office 365 in this regard, making the subscription model easier to embrace. Yet, the economics of old per-device, perpetual licensing will make the calculus more difficult if you are a large enterprise on the Client Access License Bridge program.

In fact, as the experts in this guide point out, maybe it's not a complete cloud migration that will ultimately work for your organization, but a hybrid on-premises/cloud migration that keeps some data elements at home synced with the cloud side. This guide helps outline the best strategies to consider when migrating to Office 365.

1Getting caught up with Office 365 licensing

Understanding the nuances of licensing can be tricky. With migration to Office 365 becoming more popular, companies need to get caught up on Office 365 licensing quickly, which can come with many challenges. In this section, articles cover the gritty details of subscriptions, free trials and licensing for businesses.

2Strategies for an Office 365 migration

Figuring out the best strategy to take during the migration to Office 365 can be the key to success. As companies take on this endeavor, it is important to consider what can benefit them, as well as what can hinder them. This section covers the best Office 365 strategies to help ease the transition from on-premises to the cloud.