Moving to Office 365 and the Cloud: 5 Steps to Success
Office 365 is here, and using the cloud is now easier than ever. Everything from email, calendaring and contacts to state-of-the-art project and document collaboration to the latest in online meetings, chat and voice communications is at your fingertips with Office 365. Your people can work together more easily from anywhere, on virtually any device, while collaborating with others inside and outside their organization. It’s simple, highly secure and people don’t have to change the way they work because Office 365 is based on the familiar Outlook and Office tools you already know.
Eager to take advantage of the benefits of Office 365? Here are 5 key steps to help your organization smoothly and successfully migrate to Office 365 cloud services.
Plan, plan, plan. You email system is the plumbing for your organization and integrates with all the core systems that help run your business. Your migration plan will help ensure the transition happens with no lost data or "out-of-order" services.
Create an identity management strategy. Assess and define where and how you will manage user identities, passwords, roles and responsibilities. Will you continue to use your existing systems or will these be upgraded at the same time? Office 365 integrates seamlessly with Active Directory, but other systems may need to be included in the identity workflow at some point.
Determine your migration requirements. What data (and how much of it) must transition from your current systems to the cloud? Before you move into a new house, you discard what you no longer need so there is less for the movers to pack and transport. The same principle applies when you're moving organizational data. At the same time you need to be sure everything you need, from email and users unique directory structures to documents bound for SharePoint, is transported completely.
Determine your compliance requirements. Document and email retention policies will define your needs for archiving, backup and recovery. The standard capabilities of Office 365 may be sufficient or you may need to add additional capacity.
Create an end users training and communications plan prior to transition. Since Office 365 is based on the familiar Exchange and Office applications, your training needs will be simplified. Some features such as the Outlook web interface will probably be new to your users. And if you're using SharePoint and Lync for the first time, you will need to be sure employees are able to utilize these powerful new tools. Surprises are fine for birthdays, not for tools and processes that your employees use every day in their work. Employees want to be informed well in advance of any changes taking place in their business environment.
Interested in trying Office 365? Sign-up here for a 30-day trial good for up to 25 users.