So, you have finally migrated your email systems to Office 365 and everything went smoothly. All those hours and days of rigorous migration planning finally paid off. But wait! You are not done yet. While an email migration can no doubt be a tedious and time-consuming task, it also requires the company’s IT administrators (or whoever is overseeing the migration) to perform certain pre-migration and post-migration tasks.
Failure to plan (and implement) your post-migration activities could cause you and your users a lot of unnecessary hassle. Issues like users’ personalization settings disappearing, users not being able to access their legacy emails, non-migration of plug-ins and add-ons and tiny issues like these can all snowball into a frustrating situation for any IT administrator. Therefore, an effective post-migration planning is essential.
In this article, we discuss 7 post-migration activities that you must perform for your users after Office 365 migration has been performed successfully. Here’s a good checklist to begin with:
Create user-specific post-migration checklists
Backup all Office 365 user data
Reapply user permissions and assign licenses
Verify that there is no missing data
Reapply Outlook personalization settings
Check the shared calendar and contacts settings
Decommission your physical, on-premises servers
Email migrations are complex activities. They can be difficult to understand for the end users. Therefore, proper communication is key to avoid unnecessary chaos. Ensure that you create custom, user-specific checklists that contain important details and information like 1) details of possible delays, 2) how to self-test the success of the migration, 3) how to reapply all personalization settings to their mailboxes in Office 365, and more. This form of instruction shall be welcome among users as it will give them a direction for their actions post the Office 365 migration event.
After the Office 365 migration, there is a chance that most users will take time to get used to the new application. At the same time, they may explore O365’s features to learn more about them. There is a possibility here that one (or more) users may accidentally end up deleting their full or partial account data. This situation could be avoided with the timely backup of Office 365 user data and content. Hence, post-migration, backup all user content and data from Office 365 to prepare your company for unforeseen events.
When an email migration takes place, there is a chance that the user permissions and rules that were applied previously to accounts aren’t carried over to Office 365. If this happens, you need to manually apply those permissions to the user accounts. Additionally, if your users had some client-side rules for their Outlook, those need to be reapplied manually since only server-side rules can be migrated. Since permissions migration can be tricky to understand, it is advisable to inform your users regarding the same. This way, they will not panic when they do not see their permissions and rules applied to their Office 365 mailboxes as it was to be expected. The step of manual reapplication also applies for assigning Office 365 subscription licenses to your users. Without necessary permissions, there will be difficulty navigating full functionality of your Office 365 plan.
Perform a deep-level search through all files, folders, and content of the mailboxes. Confirm that there is no missing information or data that was not migrated to Outlook. To do this, open every folder and check for its status at the bottom right of the Outlook client screen. Unless it says, “all folders are up to date”, there is some data or content missing. Alternatively, check with your users whether all their files and folders are present at their expected locations or not.
If you used any plug-ins or add-ons with your Outlook client before the migration, they must be reinstalled after the migration process; keep your account credentials handy during the process as you would need them. Additionally, if you had email signatures before the migration, you must recreate them after the process has completed as they have sometimes don’t migrate. Finally, if you had set up personal Outlook rules, you will need to set them up again. Apart from this, any other customizations made to the Outlook client would need to be reapplied as well.
Though it takes some time for your calendars to synchronize with Outlook client, your shared calendars should remain intact. However, there is no harm in sharing them manually once again with specific users. In case new contacts are created after migration, you’ll need to add them again anyway. Permissions can also be changed accordingly.
Since you have now migrated to Office 365, your physical servers are no longer required. Therefore, you must decommission them to avoid confusion and needless expenditure. However, take extra caution to perform this step only when you are 100% certain that your company is ready as this is a permanent decision.
Performing a successful email migration is winning half the battle but devising and enacting a proper post-migration strategy is equally important. Ensure that you follow the steps mentioned above to have a smooth, hassle-free experience to Microsoft Office 365 from beginning to end.
If you need help with your email migrations, we offer Office 365 migration services from all email clients including Gmail, Lotus Notes, Kerio, Exchange, Thunderbird, Yahoo, and more. For more information, contact our Office 365 migration experts today!