As Google and Microsoft battle for domination in the cloud computing sector, business leaders are faced with a tough choice between G Suite and Office 365. Although the two platforms provide a similar degree of functionality, they still have some major differences. This also means that migrating from one to the other is no easy task and one that requires careful planning and execution.
1. Decide which functions to migrate
Before you get started, you need to determine the scope of your migration. An important question to ask is which services you want to carry over. If, for example, you’re only planning to migrate your email, the process will be a lot quicker and easier. However, if you’re moving everything over, including online storage and data generated by Google’s web apps, then things can get a lot more complicated.
2. Identify what can’t be migrated
Despite offering similar features, there are some data elements in G Suite that don’t have any Office 365 counterparts. Naturally, this sort of data cannot be migrated and will need to be manually transferred. Some things that can’t be migrated automatically include Google Forms, newer Google Sites, individual email signatures, and files bigger than 15GB.
3. Outsource migration or do it alone
The next big decision is whether to outsource the migration to a managed services provider or to do it yourself. The latter is less likely to be a practical option unless you have a dedicated in-house IT department to take care of the process. On the other hand, the former basically puts the entire process on autopilot, even if you need to migrate email, storage, groups, sites, and documents.
If you plan to do it yourself, keep in mind that there are several steps involved in moving your emails, user accounts, and cloud-based files. You’ll also need a robust data-backup solution to use as a failsafe throughout the process.
4. Move your emails
☑ To migrate from G Suite mailboxes to Office 365, you’ll need to do the following:
☑ Go to Users > Active users, select Import multiple users, and list down all employee email accounts, usernames, contact information, password, and roles.
☑ Assign Exchange Online product licenses for each user.
☑ Go to Exchange Admin centre > Recipients > Migration > Migration endpoints > New and select IMAP. This allows you to connect your Office 365 system to Gmail systems.
☑ Go back to the Migration menu, but this time select Migrate to Exchange Online and list down all the Gmail mailboxes you want to migrate.
☑ Sign in to Office 365, go to Setup > Domains, where you can configure messages to be routed directly to your Office 365 accounts.
5. Transfer files from Google Drive to OneDrive for Business
Here’s how to move your G Suite files to Office 365:
☑ Select the documents you want to migrate in Google Drive, right-click, and press Download to get a zip file.
☑ Log in to your OneDrive account, and go to Files > New > Create a new folder.
☑ Upload the zip file.
6. Define your migration and failsafe policies
Whenever you’re migrating between systems, you need to remember that any policies governing your data also move. If you don’t pay close attention to this fact, you risk leaving your data open to a security breach whilst it’s being moved to the new system.
You’ll also need to reevaluate your security protocols during the migration. Microsoft offers Advanced Threat Protection for Exchange servers while G Suite uses the similar Enhanced Pre-delivery Message Scanning. However, you can’t simply export the settings from one system into the other. Instead, you’ll need to manually configure the settings in Exchange to ensure they’re in line with your security policies.
Finally, the most important part of any migration plan is your failsafe, which you need to have in place before you move a byte of data. To do this, make sure you have a complete and up-to-date backup of all your original G Suite data that you can roll back on if necessary. This way, you’ll also have an archive you can refer to if any data ends up getting corrupted during the move or fails to load properly in Office 365.
For any experienced IT professional, migrating from G Suite to Office 365 should be a straightforward process, but it also requires close attention to detail. Empower IT Solutions takes the burden off your shoulders with our data-migration services. Call us today to find out more.