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Microsoft Office 365 migration

Consultancy, reporting, migration, support

March 2014

iBizify.net was approached by an Oxfordshire based IT support company to assist them in helping a London client who urgently needed a cloud migration to Office 365. For contractual reasons, the support company’s name is not disclosed here.

The support company’s client was reliant on on-site servers that were stretched to their limit. The company was growing, but was also going to be divided into what would become two different organisations. They needed to scale their business, be able to work remotely and change sites with minimal interruption. Migrating from an “on premise” solution to cloud-based Office 365 services provided the perfect solution, saving time and money whilst gaining a wealth of new benefits. However, due to their position – they needed to migrate fast!

Knowing of iBizify.net’s expertise in Office 365 migrations, the support company contracted them to consult, plan, report and implement the migration as soon as possible.

The brief

iBizify.net would need to migrate over 70 mailboxes and related data from Microsoft Exchange and Active Directory over to two newly provisioned Office 365 tenancies, ready the networks and computers for the changeover, prepare the end users, provide support and finalise the migration. There were also a number of new users and computers to provision. This would all occur over two physically separate sites.

Preparation

Following initial consultations with the client and the support company, iBizify.net got to work on a detailed migration plan based specifically on the client’s needs. The report included such topics as:

  • Preparation
  • Customer readiness
  • Infrastructure and hardware requirements
  • Software licensing
  • Internet domain preparation
  • Server, Active Directory and Exchange preparation
  • Hardware and software requirements
  • Client computer configuration
  • Mobile device setup
  • Email migration
  • Domains, DNS updates
  • Software licence application
  • Testing
  • Post-migration tasks and clean-up
  • Old server decommissioning
  • End user introductions
  • Post-migration support

iBizify.net created customised hand-out material for the end users to help them with the changes they would go through, providing answers to frequently asked questions, and offering handy support and training resources.

During the on-site consultation visit, issues that could have caused problems were identified and addressed in the plan to ensure a smooth transition.

Migration

The first phase migrated 12 users at the same time as their office move. Just one day on-site was required in addition to off-site, up-front preparation.

During the second phase the remaining 53 users were migrated with just two additional days on-site.

The complexity of the site-split involved some creative thinking and a few custom PowerShell scripts to filter out, identify and export relevant data to the appropriate site.

Whilst the mandate was dealing with the migration and software configuration, iBizify.net also helped to provision new hardware and configure infrastructure to aid in completing the migration on time.

Training and support

iBizify.net organised group and one-to-one training and introduction sessions with staff to ensure their desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones were all set up. Remote workers were dealt with individually by remote software as was convenient to them.

iBizify.net’s remote support service was employed following the implementation to resolve any issues as they occurred but problems proved to be minimal and no further site visits required.

Conclusion

Despite some challenges such as third-party broadband still not being provisioned at the first new site on the day of the changeover, the migration went perfectly. Thanks to careful planning and user preparation the end client was able to make an almost seamless move from one site to another, all whilst migrating from on premise – to the cloud!

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