Things to Know Before Doing an Office 365 Migration

Things to Know Before Doing an Office 365 Migration


There are some vital things to know before you perform an Office 365 Migration, whether from another email system or from an on-premise Exchange server.


There is no true Backup built into Office 365


You can recover deleted items anywhere from 30-60 days but it’s not a true backup and even then items may go missing.  In order to properly backup Office 365 email you will need a tool like Acronis which lets you back up to the cloud or to your own servers.


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You will need a 3rd Party Spam Filter


The built-in Junk Folder and Spam Filtering is poor.  If you want a real spam filter that allows for granularity and high level of phishing and spam filtering you are going to need a 3rd party tool.  EveryCloud, Proofpoint and Barracuda are all legitimate options.


SharePoint and OneDrive serve a purpose but we don’t recommend using that as your sole file system


SharePoint is not great for a lot of reasons but mainly we don’t like it because people who have used Active Directory before having a certain expectation with folder management and security that SharePoint does not CLEANLY provide.  It is an okay solution that is basically half as good as an AD File Server.

OneDrive is basically a personal DropBox so don’t think of it as anything more than a Dropbox replacement.  It is not a file server and does not work well with teams or admin management, it is nothing more than a personal tool.

We recommend keeping your internal file server if possible or trying a solution like Citrix’ ShareFile if you want a true cloud file server.


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There is no clean way to notify Outlook users that their password will expire


You get notified of password expirations when you log in to the OWA and that’s it.  You can set up some sloppy PowerShell scripts but they don’t work well.   If you use Outlook or the Outlook phone app then the only way to know that your password has expired is when your email stops working.



Multi-Factor Authentication is a MIST but it can be a pain if you don’t use the Outlook Client or Outlook app


Multi-Factor Authentication is a must, but be aware that once it is set up (and it is actually pretty easy to setup) that you are going to want to use Office 365 Outlook or the Outlook mobile App because two factor does not work well with anything else.

When you use anything other than Outlook you have to create an APP password and those can only be managed by the user’s themselves and cannot be managed by the admins.

Of note, is that you can turn on or turn off MFA one user at a time if need be.


Your on-prem Exchange server will hijack Outlook profile setups


When Outlook opens up on a domain with an Exchange server, Active Directory automatically kicks in and takes over the configuration of the Outlook profile.

You will either have to manipulate Exchange Services, Un-install Exchange, Adjust Registry Settings or change your local DNS to point outside in order to bypass your Exchange server


Hybrid Office 365 Migrations are BAD (in my humble opinion)


You can read an entire article about How Awful office 365 Hybrid Migrations are HERE

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