We’ve recently undergone a company-wide transition from Google’s cloud application services to Microsoft’s. Switching cloud platforms sounds like a painstaking and time-consuming task, but it really isn’t. Here’s how we switched seamlessly – and how we could help you do the same.
But first, let’s talk about why we switched (and why you might want to). We are a growing business that has used various software as our business has developed and requirements changed. We decided we wanted everything to work more cohesively, so we switched all our cloud apps to Microsoft to ensure everything was under one roof, so to speak. As a Microsoft Silver Partner, we are mainly using Microsoft tools and our customers are also taking advantage of the flexible tools from Microsoft, so it makes a lot of sense for us to use the same applications in the cloud as them.
So if you’re predominantly a Microsoft user – i.e. using Office to conduct your daily tasks – and most or all of your customers use it too, then it makes sense to use all of Microsoft’s services to get the most organised and effective cloud solution.
Here’s how we did it
The first phase was moving from Gmail to Outlook. To do this, we used a migration tool that selects accounts and automatically transfers data from one platform to another. It effectively points one tenant to another and tells it to move. There’s usually a few pre-migration admin tasks to carry out, but from then on the switch only takes a few hours,
At ITSB we did this manually which involves custom mail flows and script building – but even so, it was a relatively painless progress. For our customers the move is also a pain free and straightforward transition.
The second phase was moving documents from Google Drive into Sharepoint. Different departments in ITSB have different Sharepoint locations (e.g. HR and marketing) so we decided to move those over individually. This provided the opportunity to tidy up the folders moving them one by one so only the files we actually needed were transferred and that the structure we set up was correct.
In the case of a client transition, we would ask what data you would want in the cloud and how you would like to access it. Once we have that information we can set the tools in motion for transferring the data. We temporarily and securely store files in the cloud, then when it’s in the cloud we can quickly move it into Microsoft. Archiving older documentation is easy to do at this stage just in case you need it in the future.
When moving applications it is useful to think about how you want this information structured and how you want to access it. Think about which groups within your organisation want to access files – for example, you might want to predefine the users that can access certain information and have specific permissions. This improves the security of information as well as making it easier to access the things you’ll need logically and quickly. Also, consider how you want your information to be shared with customers as well as internally within your organisation.
We saw the transition as an excellent opportunity to restructure and reorganise how our departments work and access data within ITSB. Usually an organisation’s file management will grow organically as their business grows, and this can lead to many different departments having access to files which may no longer be necessary to them any more. A cloud migration can provide the perfect opportunity for restructuring this.