Why Migrate to Office 365?

Organizations are switching over to cloud services like Office 365 in large numbers as it provides all essential business productivity applications at one place without any requirement to deploy an expensive infrastructure. The Office 365 cloud platform helps them achieve better business performance and growth while leaving the entire responsibility of its maintenance on Microsoft. The subscription plans designed by Microsoft suit the requirements of all types of organizations and are affordable too. All these reasons explain why small and mid-sized organizations largely are adopting or migrating to Office 365.

Microsoft 365 has a plethora of applications that helps organizations in improving their communication, collaboration, and security. Some other benefits of Microsoft 365 are:

  • Task Management - There are several applications that are helpful in managing business tasks and their assignments to team members like Power Apps, Power Automate, Planner, and To-Do. All these applications can enhance productivity and the quality of any project.
  • Content Management - With the help of cloud storage facilities from Microsoft, the organizational data is accessible from any device or location. Also, it has applications like OneDrive for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Sway for collaborative activities.
  • Intranet and Team sites - There are facilities like SharePoint and Yammer to connect with your team members for the enterprise-level social networking. It helps you create a connected workspace.
  • Threat Protection - There are multiple services that work solely to protect your data from internal and external threats like Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics.
  • Information Protection - Control the sharing of information using various information protection features of Office 365. There are several applications like Office 365 data loss prevention, and Azure Information Protection for this purpose.
Which method to choose to migrate Exchange to Office 365?

For small organizations, cutover Migration process is the recommended method of migration. It helps them migrate up to 2000 mailboxes from Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013 versions to Office 365 (but for best results, migrating up to 150 mailboxes is recommended). Also, it is the easiest among all the migration methods.

In Staged migration, mailboxes are migrated in batches. It is recommended when the organization has more than 2000 mailboxes and is running an older version of exchange (2003/2007). Hybrid migration is suggested when the organization want to maintain and manage both on-promises and off-premises setups for some period, and want to migrate gradually from Exchange 2010/2013 to Office 365.

Cutover migration – Migrate up to 150 Exchange mailboxes to Office 365 easily

Here is the glimpse of the cutover migration process’s Steps in brief:

  • Step 1: Prepare servers and create empty security groups (mail-enabled) in Office 365.
  • Step 2: Verify your on-premises domain with your Office 365 account to ensure that you own the domain.
  • Step 3: Establish connection between the Office 365 account and the existing email system.
  • Step 4: Create a migration batch to export EDB files in single migration cycle.
  • Step 5: Initiate the cutover migration process and then route your emails on Office 365.
  • Step 6: After routing the emails on office 365, delete the cutover migration batch.
  • Step 7: Assign license to Office 365 users for the exported accounts.

Aforementioned process appears simple, but it is. A silly mistake during the process can lead issues. Therefore, it is better to install a third party EDB to Office 365 conversion tool for flawless migration.

How to move existing email data to Office 365 (Exchange Online)?

To ensure continuity of business operations and email communication, it is necessary for organizations to export existing email data to Office 365. In this blog, methods to export data from EDB, PST and OST file to Office 365 are discussed as most of the enterprises have Exchange Server or Outlook as their main emailing application.

Export Exchange data to Office 365 manually

Microsoft offers a few methods for the migration of Exchange data to Office 365. The selection of migration method depends on the organization’s Exchange environment, number of mailboxes, availability of resources and the time period in which migration process needs to be completed. There are four methods to migrate EDB to Office 365:

  • Cutover migration
  • Staged migration
  • Migration using a hybrid configuration

Alternately, organizations can rely on user-friendly third-party tools to migrate Exchange to Office 365 for faster and hassle-free mailbox migration.

Export Outlook PST file to Office 365 manually

There are three methods to migrate PST files to Office 365, network upload, drive shipping and via third party tool. Uploading files through network is easier among the two manual methods. Follow below given Steps to migrate PST files to Office 365 through network upload method:

  • Step 1: Install Azure AzCopy tool by Microsoft.
  • Step 2: Copy the Shared Access Signature URL (SAS URL).
  • Step 3: Import PST files in Azure location in cloud using AzCopy.exe.
  • Step 4: Use Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer to view the list of uploaded PST files.
  • Step 5: Create CSV file defining the PST mailboxes to be exported.
  • Step 6: Create an import job in Office 365 and import PST files using CSV files.

These Steps are complex and require technical training for successful accomplishment, which is why experts recommend third party option to migrate Outlook PST file to Office 365. Tools such as Import PST to Office 365 makes migration simple and easy. It imports PST files to Office 365. Also, it makes the process quick and convenient for all types of users.

Export Exchange OST file to Office 365 manually

Exchange OST cannot be directly exported to Office 365. User must convert OST to PST file to migrate to Office 365. In order to convert OST to PST file format manually, follow below given Steps:

  • Step 1: Open MS Outlook and click on File menu.
  • Step 2: Select Export to a file option and click Next button.
  • Step 3: Choose PST file/folder option then click Next button
  • Step 4: Select the OST folder which is required to be converted and check include subfolders option.
  • Step 5: Define the saving location for the converted file and click on Finish button.

Following the above process user can obtain the required OST file in PST file format and thereafter perform manual process as discussed above in order to relocate the selected OST files to Office 365. However, it has already been discussed that the manual process might create complication. So, the user must acquire a third-party tool which can save user's time effort. Import Outlook PST file data to Office 365 is one such tool that can simplify the entire migration of OST to Office 365.

Easy methods for migrating EDB, PST, and OST to Office 365

From the above discussion, it can be concluded that manual migration process for various file types (EDB/PST/OST) can be substituted by third party tools to make the migration quick and easy. Employment of third party EDB to PST tool has advantages for the organizations in terms of time, money and efforts. Moreover, third party tools can be operated even by non-technical people.