As great as Microsoft Office 365 is, you may get quite a few surprises if you don’t know what you’re expecting or didn’t have any time planning it up to the last detail. And as with any other transition and implementation plans, a most tedious planning is required in order to combat any roadblock and gain success.
We advise you to take note of these 10 things when considering to move to Office 365:
1. Migrating isn’t as simple as 1-2-3
Chances are you already have an on-premise Active Directory environment. Migrating with this won’t be an easy process. There may be a tool within the Exchange Server that may reduce the number of steps for the process but migration will still be tedious and would require a lot of advanced planning. If your business only has a couple of users, it may be best to opt to start fresh rather than migrating a couple of user accounts.
2. You may have to reconfigure your spam filtering
You may find spam filtering to be an issue especially if you’ve already got one in place (which most would have) through a different software. Microsoft Office 365 has its own email security which is the Microsoft Exchange Online Protection. As is, it is already a decent spam filter but of course, you still may want to fine-tune and configure its spam filter settings to get as close to how yours was before, if not the exact.
3. Outbound email addresses may change
By default, when you’re subscribed to Office 365, all user accounts will have an email address that ends in onmicrosoft.com. Of course it is possible to use your own domain name to accept emails coming in but make sure to do some configuration changes (which may not be too intuitive) for your outbound messages to use your domain name as well.
4. No more third-party utilities installations
To manage their Exchange Servers, many businesses use third-party utilities. If these utilities are designed to be installed directly to an Exchange Server, you won’t be able to use them anymore with Office 365. Microsoft does not allow third-party software installation onto its servers.
5. DNS issues may pop up
Adding a domain to the Office 365 account brings up a list of DNS entries that need to be made for the domain to function properly. These DNS entries will be relatively straightforward but Microsoft Lync, now Skype for Business, requires some SRV records to be created.
This won’t be a problem for those who have Microsoft DNS servers but it can be problematic to those who don’t have it. Your ISP may be managing your DNS entries and it may have no idea how to create SRV records. If something else is managing DNS servers then you might have trouble getting the necessary DNS records to be created.
6. Different management tools
You may have to use different management tools if you don’t keep any on-premise servers, as the Exchange Management Console will no longer be an option. Office 365 uses the Exchange Control Panel as the primary Exchange Server management tool.
7. Reset file server permissions
For businesses whose goal is to outsource their entire Active Directory domain, make sure that you have a plan for all file server data before decommissioning your domain controllers. Just remember that if you are outsourcing everything except for file servers, you may not be able to use Active Directory accounts for managing file access.
8. Phone calls and emails from Microsoft
You may find yourself getting quite a number of emails and phone calls from Microsoft after your transition. They are just on point with asking how the transition went and offer any support you may need or answer questions.
9. Mobile device access
If your organization makes use of smartphones and emails are connected there too, make sure to not forget connecting the mobile devices to the Exchange server as well. Forgetting to do so may present a roadblock when connecting mobile devices after the process is done. However, this is only true for businesses who choose to move from their on-premise domain.
10. Some level of loss of control
You may be used to doing administrative tasks, patch management process and software upgrades on your own before moving to Office 365. That won’t be necessary anymore as Microsoft rolls out updates automatically on its own to ensure ease of use for their subscribers.
All these may give you a certain anxiety when moving to Office 265 and that would be normal. If you’ve got the operational budget to go through with the implementation or migration, we of course suggest to go through it with a qualified IT team by your side. Consult an expert if you have to as this is no simple process, especially so if you want to successfully reap the many benefits moving to Office 365 could bring to your organization. Remove the hassle and worry and aim for peace of mind by letting the experts handle the whole process and just enjoy the blissful operations after.
If you need help with migrating to MS Office 365, contact us now and schedule a free network assessment to give us an overview and plan the migration successfully.