How Long Does it take to Migrate to Office 365?

How Long Does it take to Migrate to Office 365?

You are at the helm of a growing organization. You realize that you need a bigger, better and more capable communication platform than the bare-bones legacy email communication system your organization uses. After rigorous and thorough research, you are convinced that Office 365 is your best option. Now you plan to migrate your existing mailboxes to Office 365.

What are the first questions that pop up in your mind?

Based on our experience with countless clients who have faced this dilemma, the top three questions, which we often get asked time and again:

  • How much will it cost?
  • How long does Office 365 migration take?
  • Where do we start?

In this write-up, we will attempt to address all three migration-related questions while focusing on the second. The answers to the remaining questions will unravel in due course.

O365 migration process

Office 365 is a comprehensive suite of several products and applications bundled together and hosted on the cloud. What you get is what you pay for. With that said, every organization differs in its scale of operations and may not need all the applications on offer. Consequently, there will be significant variations in the magnitude and scale of migration. We will only consider the migration of mailboxes while addressing questions like the ones above unless stated otherwise for the sake of simplicity.

How long does it take to migrate mailboxes to O365?

Migrating mailboxes to O365 can range from a few minutes to several months. While the answer to such a query certainly cannot be whetted on stone, based on our experience and the historical data from Microsoft, it could take up to two weeks to migrate a batch of not more than 1000 mailboxes. The size of the mailboxes is as important as the number of mailboxes. In other words, a single mailbox of over 10 GB will take as much time to migrate as hundreds of mailboxes with less than 1 GB of data under the same circumstances.

Common factors affecting the migrating speed

Migration is a complex process involving several variables with some having a greater impact on performance than the others. A qualified Office 365 migration service provider will take into consideration the factors which are likely to have the greatest impact on the speed and degree of success while planning the migration process depending upon the method used.

Source service

The source from which you are migrating to Office 365 tends to be one of the major factors impacting the migration process. Different email service providers store their files differently. The way data is stored, processed, and accessed by the provider are the factors that determine how easy or difficult it is to migrate data to Office 365.

Resource consumption

The process length depends on the migration speed of mailboxes. The speed with which migrations take place depends on the resources available for processing. Factors such as processing power of the CPU, competing for backend tasks such as backups, physical limitations on data transfer due to policies, all have a significant impact on the speed of migration.


The physical infrastructure at various touchpoints affects the data transfer speed. The size of the server at the source and destination mailboxes along with the geographical distance separating the two determine the speed of data transmission. The process will be hampered if the servers are overloaded, either on-premises or with the hosting providers.

Network capabilities

Office 365 migration services require a fast and reliable internet connection to carry out data-intensive tasks. Hardware and software components such as modems and drivers along with the bandwidth provided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) at various stages across the chain will impact transmission speeds. Firewall settings can play a role in throttling data transfer at the client premises. Additionally, internet speeds also vary depending on the type of connection, number of active users and devices connected to the network and other factors.

Are you ready for Office 365 migration?

Now that you know the factors which affect the time taken to migrate to Office 365, you probably would have realized the necessity for preparing for the process. The complexity of planning increases with the scope of migration. The cost of migrating also escalates proportionally. Apart from these challenges, it is important to prepare for exigencies and compatibility issues during the process of Office 365 migration.

At Apps4Rent, we determine all the factors with meticulous care and provide you a detailed roadmap for migration. Post-migration, our Microsoft-certified experts are always available to solve any issues you might face. Feel free to contact our customer support team for details.

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