Eight tips for Office 365 Tenant-to-Tenant migrations

By 19th January 2021 No Comments

Are you looking at migrating your data from one Office 365 tenant to another? To get the most out of your migration it is important that you don’t just view it as a simple lift and shift exercise, the whole point of migration is to improve.  

    1. Understand what data you hold, then ensure your data is in the correct format and in the proper place. A lift and shift will not work, you will just be moving the problem somewhere else. 
    2. Create intelligent locations for your documents in SharePoint. One of the key benefits of storing your data in SharePoint is the improvement in searchability. However, why would you want to improve your searchability if all it does is points out you have six versions of the same document? An example of this is you are an executive in a company and have access to the month’s finance reports. You go to the location where they are kept and find that this month’s report is not there. This does not mean that you need to look somewhere else, it just means it is not ready yet.     
    3. Think of your document framework in a third dimension. Consider who will edit it, who consumes it (maybe contributes) and who can access it. You need to think about not just where it lives, what title it has but how it will be shared in a sustainable and secure way. The last thing you want is to delegate the ability to put data into a data/document management for everybody in the business to inherit an overhead on their job role of managing permissions. What you need to do is look at an information architecture that takes into consideration stopping people wading through junk to find information and not having to be permanently managing permissions.     
    4. Cleanse your data. To ensure a successful Tenant to Tenant migration you must cleanse your data, then understand who owns it, engage with them, and then move this data into a location that will scale moving forward. 
    5. Think outside ‘the document layer’. SharePoint ipart of the fabric of Office 365 and is integral to Office 365. Even though OneDrive, Teams , etc are all in SharePoint, they are all part of ‘the document layer’. Now is the perfect time to think about the bigger picture and deciding if you are using an automation layer on top of your document layer.  
    6. Decide your fine grain permissions. This allows different sets of users to view data but not edit. Consider the intranet. You want to make the HR Policy available to everyone to read but you do not want them to be able to edit it. You need to think about where the data belongs by assessing the classification of the data: is it private, is it confidential, who is at risk? Look at the ownership of the data and how the data is consumed and work out where that data should go and then project forward. Questions like ‘How are these data pots going to expand?’ ‘What does the business look like from an organizational point of view?’ ‘Are you naturally more aligned to department, regions, or functions?’   
    7. Consider how the data will come together. For example, a complex area is Finance, here you have a finance department that has a subset where only certain people can see certain documents. Then another subset which is potentially a direct one-to-one with other departments e.g., a direct share with Marketing but is different from the direct share with the Sales team. On the other hand, you might have an open structure where everybody can see everything. Sometimes you will have a regional, or if you have a franchise, you will have branches where you might need to have a one to one with certain branches. You need to think about what you are giving people access to and how to structure that in an information architecture, which then layers across the different toolsets.  
    8. Manage the business change. You need to ensure people understand what is going on, why and how you are moving your data and plan scalability and the future growth of the data whilst being able to provide a better solution than you already have.  

When looking at moving into Office 365 you need to clearly understand the benefits: cost, availability of data and the ability to find data easily. Simply migrating from one Tenant to another will not give you this and if you are looking at a lift and shift you are just moving the problem and not addressing the root cause. Use this migration as an opportunity to improve your SharePoint, provide your users with a better experience, and to get it working to its optimum. 

Taking on a Tenant-to-Tenant migration can be overwhelming, ensuring it is a success and not just a lift and shift exercise takes planning and understanding of best practice. If you are finding this daunting contact us and we will be happy to chat with you through your migration and sign post you in the best direction. 

If you are ready to start your migration our SharePoint planning and migration platform Casper365 can help. Designed to allow you to create your plan in the Planning Centre, produce a premigration report, and can deliver the functionality that says this report needs to be signed off by the Department Head and any other party involved.  

Once the premigration is signed off, the job can be scheduled and the migration can happen. Once completed a post-migration report is created to update you with the result: what migrated successfully, if any issues arose and how they were then resolved.   

That not only allows you to use that data for communication to other departments but it also provides a complete audit trial as all data gets uploaded to a site collection on your tenant. This means in a year from now when someone asks a question relating to that data, you have it on record, ready to go. Claim your free Casper365 demo here.     

Matt Carter

Author Matt Carter

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