Implementing the Design
By the end of your Planning Stage, you are ready to implement the migration. The planning deliverable should include the following:
- A complete SOW with costs and contingencies
- A proposed solution to address all mission-critical business needs and SLAs
- User lists mapped from current accounts to new cloud-based accounts
- A complete description of your:
- Current state
- Transition state
- Operation state
- A complete schedule for the migration
The design should be fully customized based on your starting point. Companies migrating from Google docs will have much different needs than those coming from Lotus Notes. It might seem obvious, but sometimes one piece that’s overlooked is the experience needed to smoothly transition from different systems. Be sure your partner is experienced with each of your legacy systems.
Your specific technical, business and regulatory requirements also dictate certain protocols that you must follow during the migration. This includes specific policies such as HIPAA for healthcare, encryption of user data and storage of archives.
Your schedule should include a complete list of the employees affected, when they will move to the new system, when they will lose access to the old system and how long, if at all, they will lose access to email and stored data.
Larger companies may need to schedule a pilot program to transition a few employees. Successful completion of a pilot program shows your proof of concept for the wider migration.
You also might need to address mission-critical solutions or specific SLAs by offering simultaneous access to the old system while users get up to speed on the new system. This sort of connection can be complicated, so it’s another area to be sure your partner has the right experience.
As the new system becomes a reality for your employees, you need to offer them the support and information they need to start using Office 365 to its full potential. Most migration partners also offer support personnel for the go-live period as well as training. The full scope of your training program depends on your specific userbase and business needs, but help should be available from partners there as well.