Moving to the Microsoft cloud can be a risky proposition for many small businesses, which is why we recommend you consult with Office 365 experts before hitting the ‘buy’ button.
Here at 1-Fix HQ we love the cloud. We embraced a hybrid cloud working model over 4 years ago, and have been running our e-mail on Office 365 since they launched the service. The benefits it brings our business include flexible working, simple remote access, easier management and a stable and secure company providing the infrastructure.
As part of our service we help clients move their in-house e-mail onto Office 365 on a regular basis, and have seen some common misconceptions and pitfalls which could have tripped up clients making the move on their own.
Key things to consider:
- Your in-house systems – can they work with Office 365? Is your Office version new enough? Will the computers run Office 2013 acceptably?
- What to migrate – will you take everything to the cloud? Do you want to run a hybrid deployment and keep an in-house e-mail server alongside the cloud services?
- How to migrate – What is the process you’ll undertake for moving the mailbox data to the cloud? What will you do about Outlook profile data? Who will manage the desktop Outlook switch-over?
- When to migrate – Are there better days & times? Can you move without downtime?
- Post-migration support – Do you have in-house resources to help with any issues that arise after the migration? If not, do you have any Office 365 experts in your network who will assist?
Although these are all key things to consider, you shouldn’t be put off the idea of moving to the cloud. Most Office 365 experts will have processes that can help you with the considerations above, and some will have tools that can help you and your staff during the migration process.
If you’re just starting out on the process, the first thing you should do is to take a look at a trial of Office 365. The trial provides you with 25 user licences for Office 365 Business Premium – which includes the full Microsoft Office 2013 suite (or 2011 for Mac clients) plus e-mail hosting (Exchange online), online conferencing/instant messaging (Skype for Business) and cloud file sharing (Onedrive for Business):
Whatever you choose to do, good luck and we hope you have success in moving to the cloud!