As we touched on in our recent blog post, “What Exactly is the Cloud? It’s OK to Ask,” the cloud has become a pervasive and useful business tool for organizations across all industries. This is increasingly relevant as many businesses contemplate making the switch from Microsoft Exchange, an on-premises email service, to Microsoft Office 365, a cloud-based email service. There are countless benefits to making this transition. Office 365 offers greater data security and storage, increased mobility, customizability and (perhaps most importantly) greatly reduced costs. With this cloud-based service, businesses cut expensive hardware costs and can choose custom configurations that perfectly suit their needs — no paying for extra, unused features. The decision to migrate seems like a no-brainer, but the actual execution is a little more complicated.

Changing your email service from Exchange (on-premises) to Office 365 (cloud-based) may seem like a simple, methodical process. However, the extensive planning and processes that go into the transition are often overlooked. This transition is actually a major undertaking, and there is no such thing a simple migration to Office 365. Many businesses attempt to go into this migration blindly or with the help of a single consultant and unfortunately experience many issues, inefficiencies and roadblocks throughout the transition.

Transitioning to Office 365 is an involved process. Businesses must perform intensive initial research to understand the machinations of the cloud-based service. They must then make detailed and firm plans as to how to use the service to meet their specific needs, as many of these decisions cannot be reversed. Finally, businesses must implement management plans to ensure that Office 365 continues to run smoothly after the transition. And this is just speaking generally; there are countless specifics with which to contend.

An organization may go about this transition with thoroughness and diligence and may still face unexpected issues in spite of this. The following are just a few contingencies that could throw a wrench into the migration process:

  • The existing Exchange account is corrupted or unstable.
  • Executives cannot afford to have any email “downtime” at all.
  • The network connection is slow.
  • The organization has particularly intense security measures.
  • The infrastructure has poorly configured firewalls, proxy devices and CAS servers.
  • The organization has built their processes on older versions of Outlook.
  • The organization has complicated legal and compliance policies.

These are just a few of the circumstances that could cause complications in the transition to Office 365. Suffice it to say, every business has its own particular quirks and idiosyncrasies and could benefit from professional assistance in this significant undertaking.

AIS helps organizations migrate their on-premise Microsoft Office suite to the cloud. We can smooth the entire transition by handling subscription plans, integrating existing services and customizing the Office 365 environment to fit the organization’s needs. If you are considering Migrating to Office 365, we can offer you peace of mind and eliminate any issues or inefficiencies that may arise. Whether you are looking for professional assistance or simply have some questions before you start, call us today at (317) 820-2497. An AIS representative will happily answer any questions you may have about this transition.

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