5 important considerations before you migrate from IBM to Microsoft Office365

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Microsoft’s Office 365 has proved to be a game changer. Microsoft offers a productivity suite to businesses of all sizes at a low monthly cost which frees up valuable IT resource.

As times have changed, Lotus Notes and Domino houses are virtually all looking at ways to make the upgrade to the newest IBM collaboration tools or lift-and-shift to Microsoft.

As well as all of the staff productivity benefits that come with the latest capabilities of Microsoft Office, the surety that comes with monthly budget planning for operational expenditure cycles rather than unpredictable on-premises capital expenditure cycles is appealing for the financially-savvy CIO. There’s a lot to consider when you’re making the leap from IBM to Microsoft.

So, here’s five important considerations to make early on in your journey.

1. The single most important part of the migration is the planning.  Spend time, don’t rush. This is where we highly recommend expert help (get in touch here to speak with a leading expert in the UK for email migrations). There’s all sorts of planning considerations to ensure success. Your key concerns should be:

a) Email and calendar invitations need to be correctly routed and file attachments are properly handled during the entire migration project. Without this in place the users’ working day will be severally impeded.

b) Email migration and coexistence is the most critical part. Minor downtime amplifies to major blows to productivity. Experts like LAN2LAN will ensure a fully-functional coexistence environment to ease the transition and mitigate risk.

2. Get the transition period right. There are many companies that get IBM Notes to Office365 migration right and many that get it wrong.

The deadline is often of no real business importance, it is IT driven. However, the migration timeframe set is often too tight and unrealistic, not allowing for some of the essential migration steps required, such as detailed discovery & planning, remediation migration preparation and training.

When a new technology is introduced within a company, make sure the correct level of training is provided to ensure users will be enthusiastic about using their new tools.  Without sufficient training, users will not be comfortable and proficient with the new technology, and so productivity levels will not reach full potential.

Don’t be those guys! External migration experts will help here, offering a best practice migration framework including a range of effective training strategies and techniques to enable a more seamless transition from one platform to the other.

To help with the strategic training planning and delivery, how do I get staff excited about this and how do I train them? Ever considered working with a freelance animator to make a custom animation explaining in layman’s terms what the business goals and solution is all about? How about hiring someone with expert skills and enthusiasm to deliver training sessions? You could go from no-desire to inspired project team and end users. Ironically, it’s a domino effect you’re looking for. Get the majority of your staff on your side and the rest will follow.

Never underestimate the training necessary for your staff in a Lotus Notes to Outlook/Office 365 migration with many new ways of working, it is as important as the solution. This is where external expertise really proves its value so if you wish to speak to one of our team, please just get in touch on 0870 787 4001 or email info@lan2lan.com

3. User Profile Migration.  User profile migration is also important. Without it, the user experience is not consistent and therefore training costs (or, more usually, IT Helpdesk’s time spent) heighten.  The user profile and grouping of people to be migrated is essential so that they transition in a timely manner together with relevant colleagues and team mates.

4. Start Collaboration and Sharing.  This is where many of the new and tangible opportunities are, where you can improve how you work and operate as an organisation.

Get the version that works for you. Select the right elements of Office 365, to start with email is a given and often ‘Skype for Business’ too. Build your business-case for SharePoint, Yammer and One Drive as appropriate, formulate your strategy and then select the relevant O365 subscription.

There are several versions of Office 365, ranging from a few pounds per user per month to little over a score for the fullest service. You can effectively pick and choose which pieces of the pie you want to eat. Heavily invested in Exchange on premises and can’t face another email migration? No trouble! Get a version without Exchange and still have all the pieces talking to each other. Connecting the dots and getting the data transfer right takes planning. Your best bet is to work with an external partner so get in touch if you would like to speak to an expert before you dive in.

5. Office 365 Security. You can now access your email and data from many places and devices.  How do you ensure that your information is safe, whilst still readily available for relevant users?

Office 365 brings with it some excellent security features and, inevitably, some questions open for the project’s key sponsors. Ensure you have implemented relevant security features and functions.

Working with LAN2LAN is a great way to ensure a very secure Office 365 environment as our expertise is in both Migration and Cybersecurity. Reach out to speak to one of the leading security professionals in the country here.

Don’t forget Back up either!  It goes without saying that when you move from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange you’ll want to employ a backup. There is a degree of backup offered out-of-the-box in Office 365. However, your back up (and access to the backup) may be different due to your specific circumstances.

Review your options: backing up to another cloud environment or backing up to an on premises server. Also, consider local backups to desktop for particular site collections and team sites.

At LAN2LAN we are experts in our field. We live and breathe these technologies and we have some of the strongest minds in IBM and Microsoft technologies in the country at our disposal. Reach out to speak to someone who really knows what they’re doing and ensure a successful future for the IT infrastructure at your company, contact us on 0870 787 4001 or email info@lan2lan.com





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