Tools Of The Trade: Moving To Office365

Getting to the cloud, specifically Office365 can be a challenge. You more than likely have hundreds if not thousands of mailboxes crammed full of user emails, network shares full of years of user documents, etc. Getting this into the cloud while respecting the business’ ability to work can be a challenge. Here are a couple of the tools I have found that are incredibly effective at helping meet these challenges. A couple of the “requirements” needed in my mind….

  • A cloud/hosted solution is ideal as this allows faster deployments instead of having to setup on-site/local resources to migrate.
  • Solution should be a “swiss army knife” in terms of out/in options for going between multiple clouds/providers/data types.
  • Affordable/scalable pricing.
  • Support to stand behind the migration product.
  • Abilities to incrementally sync data “up” so you don’t need to do everything at one time.
  • Some sort of CSV/script automation ability (who seriously wants to sit and manually do each mailbox 1 at a time?)

With those goals in mind, here are the 2 tools I use for migrations that have been very successful. One for email/mail data and the other for data/documents.

BitTitan’s Mailbox Migration
https://www.bittitan.com/products/migrationwiz/mailbox-migration

This is a great, flexible tool. You have lots of legacy/niche mail options (Lotus, Zimbra, etc.) and can go between many providers such as Gmail, O365, etc. Its cloud based so as quick as you can provide an admin account to grab the data it can begin migrating. A VERY useful component is the ability to incrementally sync the mailbox data and it has scheduling logic. This is very useful for cutover migrations, the week leading up every day you can sync mailbox data then cut MX records and sync remaining mail, no data loss and seamless process. I have also had very good accuracy in terms of no missing mail/lost items which other products I have had issues with.

Files To Go (ThinkScape)
http://www.thinkscape.com/SharePoint-Online-File-Migration-Tool

This is my goto tool when moving large quantities of network shares/user data to OneDrive/Sharepoint. My favorite feature is the pricing as its time based so you can buy it for 1-6 month increments which is very useful! It also mitigates long file names, file extension, character issues, etc. that can trip up an O365 migration. You can also do CSV file automation which really helps. It is an “on-prem” solution but the feature/functionality/cost tradeoff is worth it. Other tools can be extremely expensive whereas this is very cost effective. I believe it helps that a Microsoft O365 MVP actually wrote the product as it specifically gives the features most migration engineers care about.

Between those 2 tools, I have been able to successfully move the 2 main use cases in Office365 (email and documents) with minimal issues/cost. Hopefully that helps you as well.

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