Office Live to Office 365 and Other Solutions: Last Chance for Migration
As users of Microsoft Office Live Small Business already know, services for the popular pioneer cloud productivity service will end on 4/30/2012. Microsoft has a new service with far more capabilities, including every feature wished for by users of Office Live Small Business and many that were never even imagined, like the live video teleconferencing capabilities. Microsoft did provide information for transitioning to Office 365, but the guide is 23 pages and is very technical in some sections. For most small businesses without dedicated technology staff, it makes sense to hire a professional with experience migrating to Office 365 for a smooth and secure experience. There are some pitfalls that good professionals can help you avoid, and the rest of this article will focus on them.
During the planning stages, it is vital to record all of the E-Mail addresses needed both for people and for automated systems. Workflows and ways your users are utilizing their current productivity software need to be documented and planned for in the new software, including implementation, customization, and training plans for employees so they can make a seamless transition to the new system with a minimum of lost productivity.
Avoiding service interruptions during a transition between E-Mail and web hosting services is one of the most important hallmarks of a migration by a seasoned professional. Even experienced computer professionals may not have a lot of experience when it comes to making changes in domain records and scheduling service transitions. When this is done correctly, there is no time in which website visitors are turned away or E-Mail messages are lost. With E-Mail in particular, users have different preferences in the setup of their folders and contacts, which when disrupted will slow user productivity until they adapt to a new system. Only engineers who are regularly performing migrations from different E-Mail clients into Office 365 will be able to follow the nuances of making sure that much of the new environment is familiar to the user in their new system.
After the transition to Office 365, monitoring is needed to make sure that security, training, and adoption by employees is adequate. Employees inevitably respond negatively to technological change, and some of the worst responses will come from the best employees. This surprising fact is overlooked by many managers, but if the concerns of employees are properly addressed a new system can be an opportunity for positive change and happier employees. A good systems engineer will offer a change management component when planning your migration, and to keep up productivity during your transition, it is important not to overlook it.
Backing up data during a transition is very important in case plans do go wrong. Even engineers seasoned and experienced in a particular migration will make complete backups during the process to make sure nothing is lost due to the unexpected. Data loss can be a disaster, because the collection of the data represents many hours of paid labor, and in many cases replacing lost data is not only expensive but also impossible.
With such a short time to go before Office Live Small Business is gone forever, you need professionals you can trust. That’s why it is a great idea to call us for a free consultation today at 646-853-0573.