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5 Ways to Get to the Cloud Faster

8 May 2020 by Nigel Williams

A man looking up to a cloud, wondering how to migrate his IT services there.

The reasons not to migrate to the cloud have rapidly diminished over the last few years. One by one, the security, cost transparency, compliance and regulatory concerns have been addressed, whilst the benefits of flexibility, scale and subscription terms have become more evident and proven.

This year, the Coronavirus has increased the urgency of planned migrations and caused a re-think for some on-prem installations that were not planned to move for some time. The difficulties of physical staffing during the pandemic are now making the move to the cloud part of the response to COVID-19 for some organizations.

Migrating to Office 365

In 2020, a year characterized by intense change in the workplace, no one wants their IT Operations team tied up in a lengthy migration project, so how do you get your Office 365 migration completed as quickly as possible with minimal disruption?

Here is our take on the top five ways to get to the cloud faster, with the smallest impact on both your users and IT operations:

1. Build a realistic plan. Migrations should happen at a pace that does not compromise business as usual for users. That means your help desk needs to be able to keep pace with the inevitable exceptions that will cause users to raise a ticket. With many hundreds of successful migration projects under our belt, we can work with you to build a plan that maximizes the number of users per night without inconveniencing your user base.

2. Take the load off your IT operations. Purchasing a managed migration service avoids both a steep learning curve and a lot of tedious manual work for IT operations. Months of monitoring migration progress and an additional workload of processing exceptions will take their toll and are completely avoidable. With a managed service, the Project Manager simply sends us the lists of users to migrate and we send back the exception reports.

3. Ensure the process is repeatable. Tony Sterling, SVP Customer Success at Quadrotech is clear that this is the secret sauce of getting to the cloud faster: “A repeatable process is what makes the difference between a project taking months instead of years. That process makes use of the automation advantages our technology provides but it is the specialist ops expertise of the process that keeps it on track.”

4. Use a single migration workflow. Using a single workflow for mailboxes and archives (or PST files) allows us to set a schedule once and monitor the progress in a single console. It also ensures the proper steps execute at the correct time. From litigation holds, to licensing, and mobile device tasks, if the command can be executed in PowerShell, then you can put it into the workflow. This avoids the old school approach of moving the mailbox, then moving the archive, with a gap in between – which can slow the project. That approach can also result in separate teams for archive and mailbox migration, which is unlikely to speed project completion.

5. Ensure project fatigue doesn’t compromise the outcome. In large projects, IT operations, prompted by the onset of project fatigue, sometimes get tempted to accelerate the rate of users migrated over time. Unchecked, this will invariably lead to difficulties that in turn will delay the project, not speed it up. Our repeatable process follows compliance best practice at every step, and a full audit trail following Microsoft’s best practices is maintained at every step of the migration process.

You can learn more about our fast, reliable managed migration services in this short video:

If you need to move mailboxes, email archives or PST files to the cloud, our specialist team can take you there with security and speed in mind. Complete our contact form today, and one of our migration experts will be in touch to discuss your project.