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How to Switch from Google Apps to Office 365

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It’s true, sometimes migrating to the cloud doesn’t turn out to be so satisfying, but that doesn’t mean the cloud is your problem. It may be that the software you’ve chosen isn’t living up to your expectations! The Google Apps for Business software has been slow to progress, which is why many Google customers have or are thinking about making the switch to Office 365. The combination of familiar Microsoft software and enterprise-class support that impresses has led to factual Office 365 growth in recent years. In fact, just last year Bitglass customer Office 365 market share increased from 7.7% to 25.2%!

Why the Switch from Google Apps to Office 365 Makes Sense to Executives

Although companies have moved to Google Apps for its low cost, the switch to Office 365 is rather appealing after end user dissatisfaction with the Google software. Many of these companies making the switch are finding the familiarity of Office applications and Outlook email is critical for their end users to feel productive, so the Office 365 suite financially makes sense. Instead of purchasing Google Apps combined with the Office Suite to make your end users happy, many of these companies switch to Office 365 within a year after they realize the Outlook integration really is worth the extra couple of bucks! Plus, for any company with more than 25 users, the core Microsoft infrastructure, versatility, know-how, and security far outshines the cheap email and productivity platform Google offers. Bottom line, even partners feel like Google Apps is a dead end, so the switch from Google Apps to Office 365 is a switch many companies will continue to make.

During your migration from Google to O365, you will experience good and bad surprises, but your new functionality will make the migration worth it!

Manual Migration

If you plan on completing the migration yourself without any Office 365 consulting, there are a few steps you should take up front. Some of the technical up front steps you should take include increasing Office 365 connection limits, shortening the DNS Time-to-Live setting, and backing up any critical data you have in Google Apps. You’ll then need to create your Office 365 mailboxes and assign licenses to each user; you can create the new mailboxes one by one or make it simple with a bulk CSV file. When you’re ready for your migration, complete the following steps:

  • Use the Office 365 portal’s migration tool which is available in your Office 365 Administration portal under Manage My Organization.
  • Click New and choose IMAP
  • Provide your IMAP server and basic connection information
  • Input a CVS file with list of mailboxes to be migrated (exclude folders you don’t need)
  • Point your DNS MX records to Office 365 (task dependent upon your DNS provider)
  • Add your domain to your O365 portal and configure DNS management to set Microsoft nameservers

If you’d like to also migrate contacts, calendars, and filters you’ll need to take a few additional steps.

Third Party Migration

Migration Tools

If the manual method has already overwhelmed you just by reading the email migration steps for your company, you may want to consider using a third party tool. Migration tools typically migrate email, calendars, and contacts without a ton of manual effort. However, if you’ve never used the tool, the tools themselves can be daunting and challenging to use in times of unfamiliarity.

Migration Partner

There are many businesses that consider a one-time migration fee unnecessary so they’ve taken it upon themselves to perform their own Google Apps to Office 365 migration. But an Office 365 migration, if not done by a seasoned Office 365 professional, may end up to be more of a headache than you think. And, at the end of the day, all of the time wasted is going to cost a business money. Maybe your email seems to be migrated, but in a month you can’t seem to find the contract you’ve had signed by your latest new client, or maybe your email simply stops working.

It’s easy to skip the little steps when an inexperienced technician performing your Google Apps to Office 365 migration; we know because we’ve cleaned up many of these projects! So, how does one go about finding a migration partner? Check this article out!

You may also want find use in this Office 365 plan comparison!

 

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