Make an incremental move from Exchange to Office 365

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You don’t have to be in a rush when migrating your email accounts to Office 365.  Although the Cloud environment will offer cost savings and risk reduction, you want to make sure you take the proper steps to ensure a flawless migration. Mailboxes can be migrated from an Exchange server to an Office 365 mailbox, however, Microsoft offers limits and best practices to ensure a seamless migration.

The following highlights some of the methods Agile IT uses when performing migrations to help you understand the process involved.

Move from Exchange to Office 365 With a Hybrid Approach

A mix of on-premises Exchange and Office 365 may be an excellent long or short-term solution for your business. The hybrid solution allows for a slow migration to an Office 365 environment, but you need an expert to lead the project and avoid potential data loss. Agile IT’s experts can help you build a hybrid environment with a gradual migration to Office 365.

The hybrid approach is scalable as your organization grows and operates. A primary reason to use the hybrid model is to help avoid depending on a single environment. A full migration can take some time, and once it is complete, your service desk may find itself flooded with tickets of users who didn’t receive a proper migration.

Does a hybrid migration make sense for you?

Hybrid environments take some time to set up and can involve a bit of labor. However, it may be worth it depending on the size of your organization. Enterprise-level organizations with multiple departments, offices, and locations may benefit from the hybrid approach as the full migration can be phased into a full Cloud environment. Incremental phases can be planned out as old on-premises licenses expire, which can save money over a full Exchange to Office 365 migration.

One way Agile IT consultants can ease the pressure and stress is through a hybrid connection that is easier to convert to a full Office 365 environment. It is crucial to keep both sides interoperable. This involves planning, implementing, and monitoring to ensure minimal impact on end users.

A hybrid deployment’s success depends on the proper maintenance and control of the entire environment.  Careful implementation and monitoring will allow you to stay proactive, forecast issues and track activity.  Agile IT’s consultants have successfully deployed several hybrid deployments of Exchange and Office 365.

Migrating multiple Exchange accounts to Office 365

For organizations that don’t wish to deploy a hybrid solution, other methods are available for a successful migration to Office 365. Agile IT can assist with the following types of migration from an Exchange Server.

Cutover migration

This method involves a full migration all at once. This type of migration is recommended for Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010, or 2013 for organizations with under 2000 mailboxes. It is recommended to limit migration to 150 mailboxes at one time for length of time and size of mailbox.

Staged migration

This type of migration involves moving mailboxes over time and works with more than 2,000 mailboxes. This is recommended for companies using Exchange 2003 or 2007.  Accounts must be synchronized between the Active Directory domain and Office 365 through Azure Active Directory. Agile IT’s consultants understand the limitations and considerations for a staged migration.

Use Office 365 Import Service

For organizations that have multiple large PST files, the Office 365 Import Service can be used.  This feature should be run by a knowledgeable administrator to ensure a successful migration.  This service is used to upload PSTs via network or by mailing the files in a pre-prepared drive. Our team of cloud consultants will ensure all settings are correct when using the Office 365 Import Service to migrate large PST files.

Migration is not limited to Exchange

Organizations can migrate emails from Gmail and other systems that support Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP). When using an IMAP migration, items in an inbox or other mail folders are migrated.  Users will have to move contacts, calendars, and tasks themselves.  The IMAP method does not create mailboxes for use in Office 365.

Users can import their own email

While having your uses migrate their own email by importing it to Office 365 is an option, it may cause more harm than good.  Any time users are allowed to perform tasks on their own, they are most likely to cause issues. In small organizations, this may work, but it could pose greater risks to large enterprises.

Choose Agile IT for your migration needs

Agile IT is a cloud-first IT provider committed to helping companies leverage the cloud. Having received the prestigious Microsoft Cloud Partner of the Year the past 4 years and migrating 300,000+ users to Office 365, Agile IT has the technical expertise and best-in-class status to safely migrate your company to Office 365 and maximize your return on investment.

Ready to get started? Learn more about our AgileAscend migration process or request a free quote today.