Any IT admin leaving Google’s G Suite for Microsoft’s Office 365 knows that there are some significant differences between these two software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms. As a result, migrating data from Google to O365 requires careful planning that may not be explicitly addressed in the official Microsoft Office 365 Onboarding Guide. To ensure your G Suite data isn’t lost in translation, we’ve outlined the best practices for IT admins managing the migration from Google Apps to O365. No matter what third-party tools or services you employ to move your data from Google’s cloud to Microsoft’s online office suite, our guide will help you avoid the common pitfalls and problems associated with G Suite to Office 365 migrations.
What’s in Your Migration Toolbox?
Just as there are multiple experts-for-hire to handle a Google Apps to Office 365 migration, there are an equal number of software tools and services for this as well. These solutions range from free applets that simply do Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) transfers between Gmail and O365 mail accounts, to complex SaaS tools that map and move data between Google accounts and Active Directory-managed Office 365 users. Each migration tool has an associated set of costs and compatibilities to consider.
What is Your Migration Timeline?
Unless you can count the number of G Suite users in your Google domain on two hands, it’s unwise to migrate everyone over to Office 365 at the same time (and it’s probably a bad idea even for domains of less than 10 user accounts). Migration should happen in waves, and start with a pilot subgroup of early adopters. If possible, break up your migration into at least three stages -- typically 10 percent of users in the first wave (sometimes called the pilot wave), 40 percent of user accounts in the second, and the remaining 50 percent in the third. Leave ample time between each stage to troubleshoot any problems discovered during each phase. By setting a clear, reasonable timeline before your migration starts, you’ll avoid several headaches in the future.
Adapting to change can be hard, so we’re here to help. To ensure your G Suite data isn’t lost in translation, we’ve outlined the best practices for managing this migration from start to finish.