Migrating to Office 365? Don’t forget the details

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Organizations across the globe are moving their email and calendar solutions to the cloud.  Google Apps and Microsoft were neck and neck in this market for a while, but it appears that adoption of Microsoft's Office 365 is increasing rapidly.  A recent Radicoti report sums it up:

Cloud-based mailboxes powered by Microsoft Exchange Server technology currently represent 31% of all worldwide Business Cloud Mailboxes. Adoption of cloud-based messaging and collaboration continues to show strong growth and is expected to represent 43% of worldwide business mailboxes by 2018.

Microsoft also leads in the On-Premises Messaging and Collaboration market with its Exchange Server platform, which currently holds a 64% market share. Over the next four years, Microsoft’s market share in the On-Premises Messaging and Collaboration market is expected to increase to 76%, as it continues to gain market share away from its competitors.

There are a number of reasons for companies turning to cloud-based email, and Office 365 in particular.  Microsoft has a compelling collaboration story, through solutions like Sharepoint, Lync, Yammer, and Skype.  There's an Office 365 plan for every size organization and comfort level.  Office 365 can be deployed on-premises if desired, and there's very little friction between that and the user experience in the cloud.  And Microsoft recently sweetened the Office 365 suite by adding 1 TB of OneDrive storage to each account.

Despite these benefits, we're still seeing a number of companies holding back from the cloud.   There could be any number of reasons for this, such as infrastructure concerns, poor migration environment, governance and compliance issues, etc.   Like any IT project, breaking it down into segments will make it easier to plan and manage.

Pre-migration:  This is the time to legacy emails and PST files, and make a determination on whether to migrate or archive these messages.  Plan to identify and process redundant, obsolete, or trivial data.  PST files can be deleted after migration.

Migration and ongoing:  Office 365 connections may affect internet and web proxy infrastructure traffic.   Business continuity will depend on the availability of these connections.  Plan to set up link failovers and intelligent network traffic prioritization.

Post-Migration and ongoing:    Microsoft offers baseline security, information management, and retention management as part of the Office 365 suite, but is this enough?  Be prepared to evaluate systems such as real-time protection, encryption & data leakage prevention, ‘legal hold' policies, and more.

Obviously this is not a comprehensive list of migration tasks, but it covers many of the considerations that tend to get missed in deployment checklists like this.

There are many benefits to moving to Office 365, and Barracuda wants to help you take advantage of them.  Barracuda offers a suite of security and storage solutions that complement the move to Office 365 during all phases of migration.  This spans everything from managing your legacy PST files, to ensuring optimal traffic for Office 365, and even providing a layered approach to email security and information management.  For more information on our Office 365 solutions, visit our corporate site here, or watch our on-demand demonstration video:


For a risk-free, 30-day evaluation unit of our Office 365 solutions, visit this page.

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