How to Plan a Successful Data Migration to Microsoft 365

Data Migration to Microsoft 365 (formerly called Office 365) is currently the most popular cloud platform. In the world based upon the number of users.

A big draw of the platform is the Office programs, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. And the fact that they are available in a cloud interface.

The integration of other cloud tools like OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams add additional value.

Many companies in North Carolina and around the U.S. had to shut locations and have employees work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has been a driver for even faster full cloud service adoption.

This means many companies are migrating to Microsoft 365 to help their businesses remain resilient no matter what new threats may come in the future. 

Due to the multi-app nature of Microsoft 365. Having the right migration strategy can make all the difference in how effective your team can work after data is transferred. 

Take These Steps for an Effective Microsoft 365 Data Migration

Microsoft 365 has multiple “buckets” where you can put data. Companies that transfer all their files into OneDrive (one bucket) during a migration miss out on the full benefits and efficiency the platform offers.

Some of the areas where data can be housed in Microsoft 365 include:

  • OneDrive
  • SharePoint Team sites
  • SharePoint Communication sites
  • Microsoft Teams

By putting the right data in the right place during a migration, you can provide better protection for sensitive data and make files easier to access by those that need them.

Use these steps when doing a Microsoft 365 migration to get the most out of the platform.

Step 1: Delete or Archive Unneeded Older Data in OneDrive

When doing a migration, there is no reason to bring over outdated files that users end up having to sort past when looking for relevant files. 

Any files older files that you don’t need to retain at all should be deleted prior to migration.

For files that you may want to retain for historical or legal purposes, such as marketing art from 10 years ago or outdated contracts.

You can archive these in a OneDrive folder that won’t get in the way of current data.

Step 2: Move User-Specific Files to Personal OneDrive Folders

Every user has certain files that they access, but others in the company don’t on a regular basis. 

With a Microsoft 365 subscription, each user gets 1TB of personal OneDrive cloud storage. For those files that are generally kept on a user’s hard drive and not accessed widely by others.

Moving them into personal OneDrive folders keeps them accessible, secure, and easily searchable by the user.

Step 3: Move Department or Project Files to a SharePoint Team Site 

SharePoint often goes underutilized or completely unused by companies that sign up for Microsoft 365 simply because they aren’t sure how to use SharePoint sites.

These sites are an excellent way to keep data:

  • Organized
  • Accessible
  • Secure

Move files that are used within a specific department, like accounting or R&D, or that relate to a specific project to a SharePoint Team site.

Related: 6 Things You Can Do With Microsoft Teams Beyond Online Meetings

What this does is allow members of that department, or “team,” to share, collaborate on, and access the files. While keeping them secure from anyone not in that specific department.

SharePoint also displays data in a much more engaging way than just a folder and is dynamic and encourages collaboration.

SharePoint Team Site Example from Microsoft

Step 4: Move Companywide Files to an Internal SharePoint Communication Site

Another type of site within SharePoint is a Communication site. This is designed to make files more broadly available than a Team site.

For any companywide files that you make available to all employees. You’ll want to house them on a SharePoint Communication site.

Which will ensure they’re more easily assessable than if you were to move them into OneDrive.

Some ways you could deploy this during migration include:

  • Create a Communication site for HR documents to store and make available the latest copy of employee time off forms, handbooks, etc.
  • Create a Communication site for company communications to broadcast newsletters, announcements, and other internal notices.

Step 5: Move Customer/Vendor Documents to an External SharePoint Communication Site

SharePoint provides a dynamic way to share information outside your organization as well as inside.

Just change access permissions when creating a SharePoint Communication site to create a site that makes available sales brochures for your target industries or new vendor forms for companies you work with.

Step 6: Create Tabs in Teams for Company Wiki’s or Employee Training

Microsoft Teams can natively connect with OneDrive and SharePoint sites to bring in data.

It also allows you to set up Tabs that give instant access from within the platform to programs, files, and more.

You can streamline your training and onboarding process or make data security procedures easily accessible by adding them into Teams as Wikis or FAQs.

Another benefit of Teams is that you can put information within the appropriate department or project channel.

So users don’t have to sort through unneeded information to get to the data they need for their specific area.

Ensure a Smooth & Effective Data Migration to Microsoft 365

Migration is an important step in moving to Microsoft 365. Ensure it’s done right and that data is stored in the best place to empower your users by working with RCOR.

Contact us today to schedule a Microsoft migration consultation. Call 919-263-5570 or contact us online.