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Email migration to Office 365 Part 8 – Are you ready to migrate?

Apr 20, 2017 by Emma Robinson

Throughout this series we’ve covered a range of topics surrounding email migration to Office 365. If you’ve missed any, or would like to consolidate your understanding of a particular part, here’s what we’ve discussed to date:

  1. Reasons to migrate to Office 365 and how you can make your project a success
  2. Common mistakes during Office 365 migration
  3. Technical considerations before you start
  4. Managing data volume
  5. Interdependencies and data elimination
  6. Selecting third-party products and services
  7. Running a migration project

This penultimate post will guide you through a brief self-test questionnaire to assess how ready your organisation is to take on a migration project.

About this self-test questionnaire

To round up our series on migrating email to Office 365, we’ve ‘borrowed’ the following checklist from the essential Quadrotech guide Email Migration to Office 365. The 20 questions below cover everything from compliance, policies, business case, technology and business risks. We’re confident that these will help you to assess your organisation’s position in terms of readiness to commence your migration project.

The Questions


  1. Are you aware of the retention requirements for your industry sector(s)?
  2. Do you have clear user policies defining email usage, retention and security?
  3. Do you have a full understanding of your current live mail, public folder and archive environments?
  4. Have you carried out an assessment on the extent of PST use in your organisation?
  5. Do you have compelling business reasons to migrate, and improvements you want to achieve (e.g. scalability, increased performance, better security, fix broken archives, cost savings, merger/acquisition/consolidation, or improved mobility?)


  1. Have you carried out a risk assessment covering the migration period and the effect on users?
  2. Have you determined interdependencies with other work streams or projects?
  3. Have you assessed whether your existing hardware and network infrastructures are able to handle migration loads acceptably?
  4. Have you assessed whether you have the people/expertise/resources to manage the migration in-house?
  5. Have you ensured existing data formats are compatible with the migration process?

Project planning

  1. Do you have a strategy for reverting back should the project hit difficulties?
  2. Do you have a procedure for fixing problems with lost, corrupted and duplicated items during migration?
  3. Do you have a procedure for reconciling the correct users with the appropriate items (including leavers)?
  4. Do you have a helpdesk planned to assist users in case of difficulties during migration?
  5. Can specific emails still be retrieved if required (e.g. for legal requirements) during migration?

Solution assessment

  1. Have you determined your target environments? Are they compatible with each other?
  2. Does your selected target environment (including cloud) meet all legal and regulatory requirements?
  3. Have you determined how to minimise licensing and storage costs in the target environment?
  4. Does your selected migration toolset/service meet chain-of-custody, reporting and auditing requirements?
  5. Have you ensured your selected migration toolset/service minimises licensing costs and resource requirements?

If you can answer all of these questions with a Yes, then chances are you’re ready! If there’s still a significant amount of No’s cropping up throughout the questionnaire, you may need to address or develop some areas of the process before you get started. If you think you’re ready? Good luck! We hope your migration is a fast, successful and causes minimal impact.

What’s next?

A successful Office 365 migration might feel like the finishing line, but there’s a lot to consider once you’re in your new Office 365 environment. This is the beginning of transforming your IT, improving productivity, end user agility and mobility, not to mention taking advantage of the enhanced security and administrative capabilities.

Our final post in the series will begin to explore ‘what’s next’ once your migration has been completed. When it comes to making the project an ongoing success, you need to understand how your organisation is embracing the change, and develop a comprehensive strategy to drive active usage, service adoption, and measure the return on your Office 365 investment through effective Office 365 management. Make sure you don’t miss out.