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Email is one of the most utilized methods of communications in an office. It’s estimated that the average worker spends about 2.5 hours every day on emails (sending, reading, responding). That’s about 23% of a workday. A Microsoft email migration can improve your companies workflow. So, any efficiencies (or inefficiencies) that impact business email can have a significant effect on overall company productivity.

That’s why many companies in Colorado and the rest of the country switch to a cloud-based email system, like Microsoft 365 (formerly called Office 365). Migrating email to Microsoft 365 offers multiple benefits, including:

  • Ability to access email from any location, on any device
  • Integration of calendar, contact, tasks, notes
  • Native integration with other Microsoft 365 programs
  • Ability to backup and apply security policies for all user email
  • Advanced phishing and anti-spoofing protections

Since email is such an important part of the business workflow, the thought of an email migration can be daunting. How can you ensure you’re not left missing some of the data you need?

The pros at B-Comp Services handle Microsoft 365 email migrations just about every day, and we’ll take you through the process below, so you’ll know exactly what to expect.

Steps to Successful Email Migration to Microsoft 365 

Email security is a big reason that companies migrate to using Microsoft 365, in addition to the cloud accessibility. Phishing email accounts for more than 80% of all cybersecurity incidents.

Just a snapshot of some of the advanced anti-phishing protections you can find using Microsoft for your business email are:

  • Spoof intelligence
  • Anti-phishing policies 
  • Email authentication

There is no reason to be afraid of business disruption during an email migration. With proper planning and a strategic approach, the transfer can go off smoothly and without any interruption of business activities.

Here is what you can expect when migrating business email to Microsoft 365.

Plan Which Data is Being Migrated

Will you be migrating email accounts only, or contact and calendar items as well? The first step of the process is to identify which data is going to be migrated, this can include:

  • Email
  • Calendar
  • Contacts
  • Tasks
  • Notes
  • Journals
  • Special folders (Junk, Deleted items, Drafts)

Obtain New Microsoft 365 Accounts

You’ll need to obtain the license for your Microsoft 365 account for your users. Businesses can choose from several plans to fit their needs.

Gathering of Current Mail System Account Information

To migrate the email data from your current system to Microsoft 365, the team assisting with your migration will need mail account login information. This is generally gathered securely by sending an email to each specific user.

Both cloud email (Gmail, etc.) and on-premises hosted email can be migrated. There are usually two types of methods used, depending upon timing:

  • Cutover migration: This happens the fastest, typically over a few days depending upon your number of accounts and is typically used when an entire organization is moving to Microsoft 365 email at the same time. 
  • Staged migration: If you plan to migrate to Microsoft 365 more slowly, a staged migration can be used. This means migrating email accounts in batches over the course of a few weeks to months.

Setting up Mail Server Information

Mail server information for DNS records are updated, so your domain knows which program to use for your email sending/receiving.

During this step, it’s also important to update the DNS information of any cloud services that you use for email sending, such as a CRM program or email program (like Mail Chimp).

Setting Up Email Migration Customizations

If you’ve been using shared mailboxes or distribution lists, those are also noted so they can be migrated as well, and they’ll be intact once you begin using Microsoft 365 email.

Additionally, it’s smart to take this opportunity to set up email authentication on your mail server. These include using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC email authentication frameworks to prevent spammers from spoofing your email domain and to help ensure your company emails make it through receiving mail server security.

Migrating the Accounts & Data

Once everything is ready, your DNS information is changed, and the migration begins. This is done during a time that is least disruptive to your users.

According to Microsoft, the timing of migration varies according to how much data is contained in user accounts. For example, a mailbox with up to 10 GB of data can take 1 day to migrate, where a mailbox of 100GB could take 3 days or more.

Connect Devices to New Accounts

If your employees are like most people, they’ll be reading their email on multiple devices, not just their desktop workstation.

They’ll be taken through the steps to access the new Microsoft 365 email account on all devices (computers, smartphones, etc.).

Training, Security, Optimization

To ensure a productive transition, user training should be held right after the migration to show employees how to use the Outlook interface, including how to access it through a browser or device application.

If your organization uses sensitivity labels for document security in Microsoft 365, then you’ll want to ensure they’re set up properly to control email security (such as adding encryption to sensitive messages.)

There are a number of productivity-boosting optimizations that can be used in Outlook, such as saved text blocks, rule, and categories. These can all be set up to reduce the amount of time it takes to read/organize/respond to email.

Ensure a Smooth, Expert Email Migration for Your Business

The B-Comp Services team are experts at email and data migration to Microsoft 365. We have helped countless Colorado businesses migrate their workflows while boosting productivity

Contact us today for a free cloud migration consultation at 303-282-4934 or through our contact form.

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