How to Migrate IBM HCL Notes emails to office 365?

Aftab Alam | Updated On - 05 Oct 2021 |

Read time 10 min

Office 365 is getting popular day by day. Organizations are switching over to Office 365 from their on-premises email systems to benefit from its cost efficiency and other advantages like zero-maintenance unmatchable security, advanced features, and universal accessibility. Users of HCL Notes and SmartCloud Notes are not an exception.

HCL Notes to Office 365 migration

HCL Notes user-interface is quite difficult to use. So it is not suitable for novice and non-technical users. It is expensive to purchase, install, and the cost of maintenance is also high. Users need to purchase it individually as it is a standalone application. Many users complain of synchronization issues between Notes & Server as well. So it is natural that many HCL Notes users are eager to migrate to Office 365. Also, Office 365 provides more benefits and services than HCL Notes such as less RAM storage, large cloud storage, support to VoIP and PBX technologies, integration of collaboration tools like SharePoint, OneDrive, Skype for Business, Yammer, Teams, etc.

For the users of IBM SmartCloud Notes, since HCL has taken over the collaborative products in IBM’s portfolio, it is going to end the Softlayer Infrastructure under which the SmartCloud Notes comes. So, SmartCloud Notes users also have to migrate to other cloud platforms like Office 365 ultimately. For migration, they can follow the same process as HCL Notes to Office 365 migration.

Instant Solution

Try Kernel Office 365 Migrator for Lotus Notes Migrator to Export HCL Notes, SmartCloud Notes & Domino Server files to Office 365. Demo version migrates 10 emails FREE from each NSF to Office 365.

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Migration from HCL Notes to Office 365 manually with IMAP Connector

One can migrate from HCL Notes to Office 365 or Exchange manually with the help of IMAP Connector. Below mentioned are the steps for HCL Notes to Office 365 migration:

  1. Backup NSF files
    First of all, backup your HCL Notes NSF files. In case your migration fails and NSF files get corrupt during the migration, you can recover the mailbox data from the already taken backups.
  2. Create new Mailboxes for each NSF user
    Now, create new mailboxes at the Office 365 location (with same name as in IBM Notes) for each user who has an account in HCL Notes.
  3. Enable IMAP TCP/IP port

    You need to enable the IMAP TCP/IP port for each user account. Just follow the upcoming steps to do the same:

    1. Open Domino Administrator in the Lotus Notes Application.
    2. Go to the Configuration tab.
    3. Open the Server document which executes the IMAP service.
    4. Click Ports>Internet Ports>Mail tab.
    5. In Mail (IMAP) column, change the ‘TCP/IP port value status’ to Enabled.
    6. Click the Save button to save the changes and close the application.
  4. Synchronize with IMAP Connector
    Finally, use IMAP connector to synchronize mailboxes between Lotus Notes and Office 365. There should not be any issue in the connection now.

Drawbacks of Manual HCL Notes to Office 365 Migration

The manual migration process has many drawbacks.

  • The firewall and proxy server of HCL Notes may block the connection to the Internet
  • NSF files which are more than 1 GB in size are not migrated
  • Calendar items have to be migrated manually as this method does not support its migration
  • The migration process is quite lengthy and time taking
  • Allows migration of 15 mailboxes only at a time
  • Great chances of structure, properties alteration, data loss, and incomplete migration
  • Only a technical expert can perform the migration without any hassle

Note: Another method to move NSF data to Office 365 platform is exporting it to the CSV file format using the Export feature in the Notes application and then importing the CSV file into the Office 365 platform using the Network Upload method which includes the use of SAS URL and AzureAz Copy tool. This method is not recommended and explained as it is complex, lengthy, suitable for only emails, and fails many times.

An Easy Method for NSF to Office 365 (Exchange Online) Migration

An easy method for migration from Lotus Notes to Office 365 is available. It is by using Kernel Office 365 Migrator for Lotus Notes. This tool can migrate all the mailbox items like emails, calendars, appointments, drafts, journals, address books, appointments, tasks, attachments, sent items, and calendar. The tool shows support to all HCL Notes versions and Office 365 plans for the migration. Also, it ensures smooth migration without any data loss.

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Features of Kernel Office 365 Migrator for Lotus Notes

  • Unlimited NSF file migration
    One can migrate multiple NSF files simultaneously to Office 365 using this tool. Also, the multiple NSF file migration can be automated with the help of a CSV file if needed.
  • Preview of NSF data before migration
    The preview option of the tool lets the user see the content of the selected NSF file before migrating it. It helps in verifying the data.
  • Three savings formats
    Using this tool, one can save the NSF emails in three different formats TEXT, HTML, and RTF (Low quality & high quality).
  • Migrate SmartCloud Notes and Domino Server
    Along with local NSF files data, the software allows to export or move SmartCloud Notes data and Domino Server data to the cloud location successfully.
  • Modify folder name before saving
    The tool allows users to rename mailbox folders (Inbox, Sent, Drafts, Trash, etc.) before saving to Office 365.
  • Intelligent filtering before migration
    Notes data can be filtered with integrated filter options to move only desired data to the destination.
  • Smart and advanced mapping
    Source and destination mailboxes for multiple NSF files migration can be facilitated either automatically or in batch with a CSV file easily.
  • Impersonation Rights
    For Office 365 mailboxes, there is an option of direct assignment of impersonation rights in the migration.
  • User-friendly GUI
    The tool is designed in such a way that even non-technical user can perform the migration without any assistance.

How to Migrate NSF Files to Office 365 Easily?

Let us understand how to migrate HCL Notes emails to Office 365 in an effortless manner. Use the robust Kernel Office 365 Migrator for Lotus Notes for subtle export of NSF files (both Notes and Domino Server) to Office 365 destination. Follow the procedure in sequence:

  1. Launch Kernel Office 365 Migrator for Lotus Notes software and click Add Local NSF File(s).
    Launch Lotus Notes to Office 365 migrator software
  2. Browse the number of NSF files to migrate. Selected NSF files will get listed for migration.
    Select NSF file to migrate
  3. Select the NSF files and click Migrate option.
    Click to migrate
    Note: You can preview the file content by selecting any NSF file with Preview option to view its complete content. Select the data as required and migrate directly from there.
  4. Provide Office 365 account login credentials. You can also assign Impersonation Rights to the user mailboxes by selecting the checkbox or click the link to know how to assign these rights manually using PowerShell commands. Click OK.
    Provide Office 365 login credentials
  5. In the Mapping window, select the second option of Map automatically and click Get Target Mailbox(es) list button. The tool will search all mailboxes of respective Office 365 account and will automatically map such account which have same name as the source NSF file. Then select the NSF file and click Mapping option to manually select the target mailbox.
    Select NSF file and click mapping option
  6. The list of target mailboxes is opened. Select your choice and click OK. Similarly, map for other NSF files.
    Map other NSF files
  7. After all the NSF files are successfully mapped with an Office 365 account, click OK.
    Mapping NSF and Office 365 done
  8. The filter window will appear. You can set date range, email categories, folder mapping and folder filters.
    Apply filter option
  9. Select the most suited saving mode and click OK.
    Select the saving mode
  10. A message will be displayed after a successful migration. Click OK.
    Migration successfully done

Hence, the HCL Notes files are migrated to Office 365 platform.

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Software Video Tutorial for Lotus Notes to Office 365 Migration



Due to the complexities of the Domino/Notes applications, many Notes users are migrating to Office 365 cloud. And the same happens with SmartCloud Notes as HCL is going to end this service. As you do not have much time to move your data, use the Kernel Office 365 Migrator for Lotus Notes to migrate the emails to Office 365. With this tool, the Office 365 migration process is similar for HCL Notes and SmartCloud Notes.