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What’s the Problem with Office 365 Tenant-to-Tenant Migration?

Tenant-to-tenant migration is inherently complex and requires a specialized skillset in order to execute swiftly and without disruption.

4 Min Read
tenant-to-tenant migration
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Tenant-to-tenant migration can be an extremely difficult project, no matter the size of your customer’s organization.

From the moment they’re onboarded to Office 365, users are working across multiple services and workloads, with little or no storage limits, resulting in large amounts of data accumulating very rapidly. Microsoft provides limited functionality for cross-tenant migrations, which is not sufficient for large or complex tenants, resulting in long and difficult projects. Additional factors include:

  • Large numbers of SMTP domains

  • Multi-national teams within the organization

  • Companies with 24-hour operations that cannot be interrupted

  • Multi-geo relocation

  • Use of services that do not migrate

  • PSTN implementations

  • License mismatch/downgrades

  • Legal holds/litigation cases/advance e-discovery implementations

  • High use of mobile devices

  • Many admins in the source tenant/decentralized admins

  • Custom applications, including custom SharePoint applications

Organizations that Need a Migration Partner in Addition to Their MSP

If you look at the drivers of tenant-to-tenant migration, you’ll see that these projects are frequently the result of mergers, acquisitions or divestitures (MAD). Even if the migration isn’t the result of MAD, we find that tenants with around 3,000-plus users typically need the guidance of an experienced partner as the complexities are compounded at that size. Even if your customer’s IT team successfully performed the initial migration from on-premises to Office 365 internally, a tenant-to-tenant project is much different.

In comparison, when you’re on-premises conducting the O365 migration, you have total control over your systems. This gives more flexibility to customize things, open up firewall ports, and be creative with how the data is moved. But when you’re in the Office 365 service, there are certain restrictions that must be adhered to and this makes things a little more difficult.

Office 365 Service Opportunities for Partners

With a migration involving so much work beyond just moving the data, there are many opportunities for Office 365 service providers to get involved alongside a migration vendor. For example, tenant-to-tenant migrations require a unique identity plan that necessitates specialized partner assistance in relation to the Active Directory and Identity management configuration.

Partners can provide up-front consulting around this identity/AD piece and then naturally assimilate into a project management role, handling all customer-facing aspects of the service including IT implementation, change management and training/adoption.

Why You Want a Partner

What makes a tenant-to-tenant migration even more perplexing is the fact that many of the products within Office 365 were not created with migration in mind.

One example of this is Microsoft Teams and the lack of APIs, which renders this crucial workload incapable of being automatically migrated over. Having encountered this issue many times during tenant-to-tenant migrations, we’ve developed several methods to work within these limitations that you can learn more about here.

When all these considerations come to a head for the migration project, it means that there’s going to be a delicate dance performed during the migration to circumvent speedbumps and entire roadblocks. If you are unfamiliar with this process and you want to minimize disruption and stick to your customers timeline, then you’ll want someone in your corner who has experience.

Having a partner like Quadrotech that offers tenant-to-tenant migration as a fully managed service allows the service provider partner to focus on its core competencies and services related to the migration. Additionally, during migrations we adhere to a “follow the sun model,” operating with staff in multiple time zones to ensure the project stays on track and any potential problems are resolved in real time, as they happen.

At Quadrotech, we’ve done a lot of work over the years to establish creative and repeatable methods to achieve fast, effective tenant-to-tenant migrations despite restrictions with the Office 365 service. Our software and structured approach have been proven successful in some of the most complex environments, including those scenarios mentioned above. Quadrotech’s Cloud Commander solution provides fast migrations with robust, scalable management features to keep even the most complex projects on track. If you would like to learn more about what we can do to simplify and speed up your upcoming customers migration, contact us today.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for more information around tenant-to-tenant migrations, we’ve compiled some resources below for review:

Mike Weaver is the Director of Enterprise Migrations and is the Product Owner of Cloud Commander, PST Flight Deck and Mailbox Shuttle, for Quadrotech. Bringing a wealth of experience in large Enterprise Environments, Mike assists with complex, multi-product implementations of all Quadrotech solutions. Prior to joining Quadrotech, Mike led Merger, Acquisition, and Divesture Messaging Projects. He also administered, and engineered solutions for Microsoft Exchange, Veritas Enterprise Vault, PST Flight Deck, Archive Shuttle, as well as many other solutions and products in the Windows Infrastructure space. Mike holds a Master of Business Administration from Quinnipiac University and a Bachelor of Science from Central Connecticut State University.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

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