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Migrating to Office 365 is a big change for any organization. Your users will have to get used to working with new applications and operating in an unfamiliar environment. You’ll also need to prepare your current file systems and networks to ensure they are compatible with the new platform. To make the migration go smoothly, consider several areas that could cause problems for your systems and users.

Carefully take into account these four points during the planning stage of your Office 365 migration so you can address potential problems before you start migrating important files and data.

 

Directory Readiness

As you prepare to migrate to Office 365, you need to ensure that your directory services are ready for migration. Ideally, your users will be able to log into Office 365 by using their usual Active Directory login information.

They will be able to use the same user directories in the cloud as they do when accessing internal resources. To achieve this ideal functionality, you should synchronize each user’s directory to Office 365.

 

Network Readiness

After preparing your directory services for migration, the next step is to prepare your network for Office 365 migration.

Do you have enough bandwidth to successfully use software that is based in the cloud? You should also consider the impact of any proxies and firewalls that you currently use; could they interfere with communication between your network and the cloud server?

You may need to open ports in your firewall to allow data to be transferred. At the same time, you have to ensure that your firewall is still protecting you against external threats.

 

Client Readiness

In addition to setting up your network and synchronizing your directories, you also need to consider whether your clients are ready to access the Office 365 services. Microsoft provides a tool to help you assess your existing client infrastructure to find out whether it is suitable for Office 365.

This is the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit, also known as MAP. Use this tool to flag up any incompatibilities that you need to address before you can migrate to Office 365.

 

Support Readiness

If you develop problems during your migration to Office 365, where will you turn for help? Although it’s good to think positively about your upcoming migration to Office 365, you have to acknowledge the possibility that technical problems might arise during or after the migration so you can develop a plan for dealing with them.

Don’t leave yourself without technical support. Bring a consultant on board at an early stage of the migration so you can be sure of getting the support you need, as soon as you begin to develop a problem.

This will help you avoid the frustration, lost earnings, and other costs that can be caused by a lengthy battle with technical problems.

 

Conclusion

When planning your migration to Office 365, you have to take into account all the factors that could make the transition more difficult. This gives you the chance to address potential problems before they arise, helping your migration go as smoothly as possible.

Consider the readiness of your directories, network, and clients before you begin the migration. Don’t forget to think about support before you start so you always have the help you need close at hand.

 

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