Is Your University Ready for an Office 365 Migration? Here Are 7 Ways to Prepare

University students in the library using laptops that went through an office 365 migration

The university experience is based on collaboration, communication, and the sharing of knowledge. Office 365 provides students, faculty, and staff with access to the tools they need to stay connected, work together and get things done—no matter where they are or what device they’re using.

Before you make the switch to Office 365 though, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure a smooth and successful transition. Here’s a recap of how to prepare for your Office 365 migration from experts who have migrated over 10,000 users!

Does an Office 365 Migration Take Much Preparation? The Consequences of a Poor Migration

Just like any big “event” or campaign, an Office 365 migration takes numerous steps and requires proper preparation. While skipping the prep work may seem like a great way to save time, it’s important to keep in mind that a poor migration can have serious consequences for your university.

With Office 365, your school welcomes new features and capabilities—but without the proper planning, these tools could become more of an obstacle than an assist in achieving your goals due to downtime, lack of proper training, or the possibility of data breaches.

7 Ways to Prepare for Your Office 365 Migration

To ensure a smooth migration, here are 7 essential things you can do to prepare.

1. Choose the Right Migration Path

There are four main types of migrations you can use when moving to Office 365: cutover, staged, IMAP, and hybrid. Each has its own advantages, depending on the size of your university and individual needs—so be sure to research each option thoroughly before selecting one.

2. Backup Your Data

Before you do anything else, make sure you have a backup of all of the university’s important files, documents, and data. This will ensure that if something unexpected happens during the migration or in its aftermath, you can easily restore everything back to normal.

3. Test Email Compatibility

One of the most common issues with an Office 365 migration is that email systems don’t always play nice with each other. To ensure your school’s email system works properly after the move, be sure to test it before you make the switch.

4. Set Up Identity Management

Identity management is one of the most important aspects of any Office 365 deployment—and something you should consider as part of your migration plan. This includes setting up single sign-on (SSO) and Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS), which will help ensure secure access to Office 365 apps and services.

5. Create a User Adoption Plan

Ensure that everyone is on board with the switchover by creating an effective user adoption strategy that focuses on training, support, and communication. This will make the transition easier for everyone involved.

6. Prepare Your Hardware

Before you initiate the migration process, check that all hardware is up to date and ready to go—this includes making sure operating systems are up to date, as well as any firewalls or other security protocols are put in place before moving to the cloud.

7. Transition Your Data

The final step is to transition all of your existing university data, including emails and documents, into Office 365. This can be done in several ways, depending on which migration path you chose—so make sure you understand the process thoroughly before starting the move!

How to Avoid Data Security Scares During Your Migration

Did that sound like a lot of work? From our experience, a university migration can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. It’s a detailed, highly technical process and without the right help, it could leave you open to security threats.

That might look a bit like this: Your migration starts off smoothly, but then suddenly important documents go missing, or you start receiving warnings about login attempts from unverified sources. You quickly realize that security protocols weren’t properly established during the move and now your data is at risk.

The good news? Your in-house IT team can get help from a cloud migration expert like us, ANC Group. We specialize in Office 365 migrations for universities, so we know what your staff and students will need during this transition.

Experience a Successful Office 365 Migration with ANC Group

From helping you choose the right migration path to securing your data at every stage, we can help make sure your university is ready to move forward—without any hiccups along the way. Our team can help you save up to $1,200 per user every year with our cloud migration services. 

Ready to get started? Contact us today and let’s discuss how we can help ensure a smooth, secure migration for your university. Let’s help you access all the benefits of Office 365!