What is Office 365 Staged Migration?

In the present age of highly developed technology, a large number of businesses and enterprises have already either moved or are planning to move their current On-premise email Environment to Online mail exchanges. The reason for this movement is to get rid of the costs like Server edition running cost, overhead costs and ease of management. One such platform is Office 365 which offers a flexible approach to staged migration.

What is Staged Migration?

Staged Migration is a way that enables the migration of your on-premise mail exchanges to cloud-based systems. Office 365 migration performs the transition in batches and the migration process is dependent on several aspects which include the number of employees/users, current company-messaging environment if the company wants to make the migration to work with the existing on-premise environment and the size of On-premise environment etc. There are several migration approaches and one such efficient approach is making is staged.

Office 365 staged migration allows migrating the batches of messages and mailboxes for few weeks/months and is helpful for migration of large volumes of data and is suggested when the source message system is MS Exchange 2003 or 2007 Servers. Medium-sized companies, that want the migration of their exchange mail boxes to MS Office 365 over a particular period, are the key prospects for a Staged Migration.

Moving with Office 365 migration is a project with multiple phases. With Office 365 migration, some points that need to be considered include synchronization of accounts at on-premise environment and MS Office 365 using Active Directory by Azure, verification of on-premise domain name to MS Office 365, migrating other recipients than user and employees mailboxes through directory synchronization and typing ‘Out of office’ messages if required after migration is done.

The following are the steps for Staged Office 365 migration

  • Admin syncs the listing of all users among both on-premises as well as cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 environment.
  • Create a .CSV file with a list of on-premises mailboxes to be migrated.
  • Using the migration dashboard, admin generate and run a batch of staged migration in the online exchange admin centre.

Now the Exchange Online

  • Verifies that the directory sync. is enabled.
  • Confirms that for every user in .CSV file, there is a mail-enabled user in Microsoft Office 365.
  • Modifies the on-premise email user to a cloud exchange based online mailbox user.
  • Starts with initial synchronization.
  • Verifies if the mailbox at on-premises is configured along with the cloud based online exchange email id.
  • An email message containing status is sent to the admin with the list of mailboxes which are successfully migrated.
  • All emails, calendar items and contacts are then migrated.
  • Once admin verifies migration process, he then converts the mailboxes at on-premises as cloud-based email facilitated users.

Once all mailboxes within a batch which are based on-premises are migrated, the admin removes the batch for migration and executes the tasks after configuration including assigning product licenses to users of Office 365, configuring the record of MX pointing to Office 365 and creating an Autodiscover DNS record.

Benefits of Staged Migration

  • Consolidating all emails and scheduling systems to a single and secure solution.
  • Providing Office 365 to the employees enabling them to access their emails, calendars, meeting and collaborations and other information from anywhere across the globe.
  • Maintaining the compliance and security for the data, employees, users, infrastructure and environment.
  • Complex migrations can be done without disrupting end users.
  • Performing the migration in batches as per the company needs.
  • Have room for up to 2,000 mailboxes
  • Keeping track on migration, thus ensuring happy customers.
  • Analyzing the timeline and costing before the project.

Undoubtedly, the migration with staged approach is significant, but it is a bit lengthy and involves manual involvement. A well-planned Office 365 migration, thus can lower risks associated with the business risks, improve user satisfaction and help a company enjoy the benefits of cloud system with a security level provided by Microsoft.

If you have any questions, please ask below!