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MAD Day One Activities for Office 365 Tenant to Tenant Migrations

May 22, 2020 by Natalie Frith

Day one of a Merger, Acquisition or Divestiture (MAD) project can certainly be exciting, but it can also be hectic. Depending on the situation, it can be well-planned with plenty of notice, or you can have virtually no notice and rapid adjustment is required.

This is the day that the deal finally closes, and it’s a common stress point for IT teams. On day one, the newly formed organization needs to be able to interface very quickly with one another so that business does not come to a grinding halt. All of this needs to be done with few communication options, as the two organizations haven’t yet come together.

It is also a critical time for identifying areas of potential synergy and developing a process of cultural integration, making communication and collaboration vitally important. Quadrotech’s resident expert in Office 365 Tenant to Tenant Migration, “MAD” Mike Weaver, discusses this in more detail in this short video:

Setting your strategy

A common mistake is to try and ‘boil the ocean’ by cramming too much into day one. A good strategy is to focus on driving progress in select high-priority areas. Let’s review the easy and common ‘wins’.

Before an organization can begin more complicated initiatives such as email migration and integrating customer databases, it’s best to start with the basics. If both organizations are already operating in Office 365, there are some features that can be turned on to allow the organization to begin collaborating quickly before the migration is performed.

An important first step is to set up federations to enable free/busy calendar information sharing. While it may seem minimal, this is fundamental to knowing when others are available, allowing you to begin collaborating.

Next, you’ll want to integrate each other’s address books so that contact information is available. This will allow the two merged organizations to quickly lookup other people, determine if they are free/busy, and then quickly begin working together. You can learn more about this process

The next thing to check is your OneDrive for Business external-sharing policies. You need to ensure both organizations can freely share documents to facilitate collaboration. You can learn more about handling the differences for mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures in this blog series.

Planning your move

The third step is to begin to prepare for your migration. Analysis of what your users are using, the volumes of data, and how they are using the service. You want to ensure that you are not disrupting day-to-day business operations as important groups of users are prevented from collaborating in an effective manner.

Data is key and advanced Office 365 management software can have a big part to play, highlighting who to migrate together and helping you schedule migration waves. This is particularly complex when migrating multiple tenants at once. Often times organizations need to employ a third-party tool to manage multiple tenants in the interim, and plan the migration to one tenant.

Establishing all technical requirements is only half the story, as MAD activity inevitably requires a huge amount of ‘people planning’. You need to prepare your team for change – coaching them through the seven stages of Impact to Integration. As a starting point, you can view our MAD Change video playlist here.

Performing these tasks ahead of time will better enable the various business functions to begin operations together. Taking care of these formalities first and laying the groundwork for seamless communication will make it much easier to begin planning the full data integration between organizations down the road.

For more resources to aid you in an Office 365 tenant to tenant migration resulting from a merger, acquisition or divestiture, be sure to check out our MAD Content Hub for more in-depth on-demand webinars, videos, blogs and white papers.