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Office 365 Tenant to Tenant Migration Series – Part 3

Series Overview

In this series we cover a unique Office 365 migration scenario known as “Office 365 Tenant to Tenant migration” which occurs when you migrate from Microsoft Office 365 to Office 365 usually for a merger & acquisition. Our goal with this series is to educate stakeholders so they can make educated decisions regarding this type of migration, as there are potential risks to be avoided as well as opportunities to save money in the process. We do so by defining key factors, providing example scenarios, and outlining cut-over strategies.

In Part 1 of this series we discussed key concepts & terms relating to Office 365 tenants. In part 2 below, we discuss the two primary reasons for Office 365 Tenant to Tenant migrations.


Part 2 – Office 365 Tenant to Tenant Migration – Why Migrate Office 365?

Are you considering an Office 365 Tenant to Tenant migration? You may want to consider why you are migrating in the first place. Here are a few common reasons for migrating in an on-premises environment:

  • Out of date hardware/software
  • Broken/degraded services
  • Technological advances
  • Maintenance/infrastructure changes
  • Compliance requirements
  • Budget
  • Corporate Restructuring

Fortunately, we live in the future! With Office 365, almost none of the above apply:

  • Out of date hardware/software Old news!
  • Broken/degraded services Thing of the past! (mostly)
  • Technological advances Too many new features to keep up with…
  • Maintenance/infrastructure changes Maintenance schmaintenance.
  • Compliance needs Add features with the click of a mouse!
  • Budget
  • Corporate Restructuring

Unfortunately, many organizations still grit their teeth over the last two…


Budget

The debate over whether subscription services are more cost-effective than traditional purchasing models is probably too complex to ever be settled (is there not an MSP out there who can deliver an objective comparison?), but it’s hard to deny that feature management in the Microsoft 365 universe is extremely efficient. Identity-based licenses make compliance and budgeting a breeze. It seems like new features to ease client deployment and upgrades are rolled out quarterly. With cost of ownership simplified down to user count, the financial considerations of migrating to a new tenant can be broken down to a few key factors:

  • License cost – What will your pre vs. post-migration license cost be?
  • Value-added services – Will you lose any third-party reseller services like tier-1 support?
  • Double licensing – Will you temporarily be paying for two contracts?
  • Indirect costs – Could a new tenant lead to conditions that indirectly affect your bottom line?
  • Project costs – How much will the migration project cost?

After weighing these cost factors, does a Tenant to Tenant migration make sense for your organization?


Corporate Restructuring

While budget is always a concern, the #1 reason we perform Office 365 Tenant to Tenant migrations for our customers is corporate restructuring. Most of these projects are the result of mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and rebrands.

Often companies are migrated into an umbrella tenant. Others are merged and rebranded. Sometimes companies are divested entirely or simply migrated into their own tenant to be managed on their own. Unfortunately, there is a fundamental lack of documentation for these processes when it comes to Office 365.

Office 365 Tenants come with a unique set of design limitations that can make corporate restructuring a rather complicated task in comparison to on-prem. The more notable limitations include the inability to change Initial Domains, the inability to change SharePoint Online site URLs, and the inability to use the same vanity domain in more than one tenant at a time. The more elusive but equally important of these restrictions are the lack of API access to Teams feed data, general lack of cloud deprovisioning support, and complex identity dependencies for merging hybrids. Microsoft makes it very easy to move in, deploy tools, and expand your organization, but it’s not necessarily easy to move out!


Conclusions

The decision to be purchased or to change domain names generally doesn’t fall on accountants or IT administrators. Unfortunately, it’s up to them to provide cost-effective solutions when such commands rain down from above.

Don’t go it alone! If your organization is undergoing a merger, acquisition, divestiture, or rebrand, or if you are considering an Office 365 Tenant to Tenant Migration, give us a call. Our experienced team of consultants will provide the resources you require to ensure a successful transition.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS:  With our team’s assistance you will accelerate the integration of your information technology assets.  Strategic SaaS specializes in merging messaging systems, document management and server and networks.  Use our experience to ensure your merger’s success.

 


By Chris King – Senior Technical Engineer

September 4, 2018

 

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